Pregnant? Lumbo-pelvic pain? Try an SI Belt!

Reference:Damen et al 2002 The prognostic value of asymmetric laxity of the sacroiliac joints in pregnancy related pelvic pain. Spine 15;27(24):2820-4

This published study involved 123 pregnant women who were questioned and examined at 36 weeks gestation and at 8 weeks after delivery.

SI joint laxity (left vs. right) was measured using Doppler imaging of vibrations.

Result:The women with low back pain (LBP), who presented with asymmetric laxity at their SI joints during their pregnancy, were three times more likelyto have LBP after delivery than women with symmetric laxity.

Personal Comment:SI joint mobility can also be manually assessed by Physical Therapists and asymmetry in ?joint play? can sometimes be palpated. This asymmetry is one of my criteria for diagnosing an SI dysfunction.

Other than mobilizations and muscle retraining exercises, I have found that MOST individuals with SI dysfunctions benefit from using an SI belt.

The belt should be worn just above the greater trochanter and just below the ASIS?s with only mild to moderate tightness (NOT maximally tightened!)

The simplest way to decide if the brace will work for your patient is by having them wear the SI belt as they walk around the clinic. The positive benefits should be felt immediately.

If your patient reports of significant pain relief or ease of movement with the belt on, please be good to her and give her a belt for home use. The belts are relatively inexpensive ($30) and can significantly enhance function during pregnancy and post-partum!

Note: The SI belt may increase symptoms if the SI joint is “out of place”. The SI joint must be mobilized in the appropriate direction inrder for the SI belt to provide and maintain symptomatic relief.

Posted on: April 03, 2003

Categories: SI & Pelvis

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