Is Cycling Good for Si Joint Pain?

Sacroiliac (SI) joint pain is a prevalent condition that can significantly impact daily life, causing discomfort, reduced mobility, and overall quality of life. As individuals seek effective ways to manage this condition, cycling has emerged as a popular exercise option. With its low-impact nature and potential to engage large muscle groups, many wonder is cycling good for Si joint pain or if it may exacerbate the condition.

In this article, I will delve into the relationship between cycling and SI joint pain, exploring the potential benefits and considerations associated with this exercise form. I will examine the biomechanics of cycling, its impact on the SI joint, and the existing scientific evidence surrounding its efficacy as a therapeutic exercise.

By critically evaluating the information which I gathered after discussing with orthopedics and different cycling forums, I aim to provide a comprehensive understanding of whether cycling can be a suitable exercise option for individuals seeking relief from SI joint pain. So, let’s get started!

Is Cycling Good for Sacroiliac Joint Pain?

Is Cycling Good for SI Joint Pain
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Yes, cycling can be beneficial for SI joint pain, as it is a low-impact exercise that engages large muscle groups without placing excessive strain on the joints. The repetitive motion of cycling can help improve muscular strength and stability around the SI joint, promoting better support and alignment.

Additionally, cycling facilitates joint mobility and cardiovascular fitness, which can contribute to overall pain management and improved function. However, it is important to consider individual factors, such as bike fit, posture, and intensity levels, and consult with a healthcare professional to ensure that cycling is appropriate and tailored to each individual’s specific needs and condition.

However, traveling on a mountain bike or road bike for longer rides may puts stress on the SI joint which enhance your pain but a stationary bike does not put pressure on your joints even if you pedal more at home.

This answer is not enough for your question, ‘Is cycling good for SI joint pain?’ You would also want to know how you can treat this pain and how long it takes for your SI joint to recover. So, let’s talk about some of the cures for SI joint pain.

Wait, do you know what makes the Sacroiliac joint pain? Not sure? Keep reading to know about it. Also, you can read a detailed guide about testicle pain after cycling

Where is the Sacroiliac Joint Present?

If you are unaware of the location of the sacroiliac joint, let me tell you that it is located at the point where your lower spine and pelvis come in contact.

This joint gives you support when you stand up. Sacroiliac joint pain is extremely common in cyclists. This pain also increases with age, is more prevalent in females, and with rigorous activities that involve standing for prolonged periods.

So, the areas that get affected are mainly your lower back and buttocks or can also go as down as your legs (one or sometimes both your legs). Your pain can get worse if you stand for hours or climb stairs continuously.

Do you know extra fats can also cause Sacroiliac issues? If you’re heavyweight, have a look at best bikes for overweight female.

Watch a detailed visual guide about Anatomy of Sacroiliac Joint

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How Can You Treat Si Joint Pain?

The following listed measures can decrease your pain to a great extent:

How Can You Treat SI Joint Pain

1. Proper Rest

For instant relief, get rest for 1-2 days or more if needed. Also, you can apply heat or ice to the lower back and pelvis area. This treats the inflammation and makes your pain go away.

Apply the ice for 10 or 15 minutes when you have pain. Since ice helps constrict blood vessels, it reduces inflammation. As for the stabbing pain, heat or a warm bath would sort it out. Heat opens blood vessels and increases circulation of blood to the area and helps relax the tight muscles, curing the pain surrounding the SI joint.

2. Medicines

For curing your pain, you are usually asked to take painkillers or muscle relaxants. However, know that nothing can cure it permanently. Prescription medicines are also provided to patients in severe cases.

3. Exercise for Si Joint Pain

You may ask if you can exercise with an inflamed SI joint or not, the answer is, yes you can. By taking help from physical therapy and exercise, you can recover the Sacroiliac dysfunction joint and get relief from the pain. You can choose a bike computer with heart rate monitor and cadence to monitor your exercise or in case of mountain bike, you can use one of the best Garmin watch for MTB.

Watch a Video Guide on How to Fix Your Sacroiliac Joint Pain

YouTube video

4. Avoid wrong movements

Avoid indulging yourself in any sort of the wrong movement. Any wrong move can make your pain worse and prevent your joint from healing. These wrong moves can include moving your knees towards your chest, sit-ups, and bending or twisting from the waist while keeping your knees straight. In addition to that, avoid running during your recovery phase.

5. Going for a Walk

Walking is better for SI joint dysfunction than running or jogging. You can start by taking small walks in your area.

6. Right position of the bike seat

If the seat of your bike is too high or too low, it can also increase SI joint pain. Therefore, choose best bicycle seat for Si joint pain OR adjust your seat such that your knee can bend slightly in it at the bottom of the pedal stroke. Also, keep your position straight and apply no stress to your lower body.

Besides, whenever going for bike riding, take breaks in between. When you stop somewhere for a break, straighten your body posture followed by bending your lower spine backward for 10 seconds. Be careful when you do this. You can do this 2 or 3 times till your back relaxes.

If you’re a beginner cyclist, you may also want to know: how long does it take to bike 5 miles.

Is Sacroiliac Joint Pain Permanent?

No, it’s not permanent unless you have a chronic case. For pain relief, you can take Sacroiliac joint rhizotomies for a year or more. Moreover, sit carefully when you have this pain keeping your hips neutral and your lower back relaxed and supported with something like a cushion or pillow. 

When you go for bike riding at night, always make sure to wear cycling glasses for night riding

What Happens When You Leave Your Si Joint Pain Untreated?

Not treating it at the right time can land you in hot waters because if the pain intensifies, you will have no choice but to undergo surgery. Only then you will feel relieved. So, make sure to treat it with physical therapy, get all the rest needed, and take painkillers. This way you will go back to the activities you enjoy most once again.

So, the next time someone asks you, is cycling good for SI joint pain or is cycling bad for Sacroiliac joint pain, you know the answer to it.

FAQs about Si Joint Pain and Cycling

What exercises should I avoid with Si joint pain?

If you have SI joint pain, avoid exercises like football, golf, abdominal crunches, weightlifting, sit-ups, extensive biking, etc.

Is biking ok for SI joint pain?

Biking for 30 minutes daily won’t be a problem. However, a recumbent bike helps more with SI joint pain as your body sits straight and you only have to pedal without moving your cycle around.

What exercises are good for Si joint pain?

Any exercise that does not involve moving the hips too much is best for SI joint pain. This comprises cycling, yoga, walking, etc.

Will my SI joint pain ever go away?

In case you have acute pain, the joint will heal on its own and the pain will subside within a few days or a week and not more than that. However, it gets serious when the condition is chronic which can take nearly 3 months to fully recover.

Is stationary bike good for Si joint pain?

Yes, riding a stationary bike is good for Si joint pain because stationary bike does not put pressure on your joints even if you pedal more at home.

Wrapping Up Effects of Cycling for Si Joint Pain Guide

Sacroiliitis if left as it is can reach your feet too. You can think of this pain as something sharp and stabbing in your feet or the pain can also be achy and dull.

A cyclist that has constant lower back ache, can develop SI joint pain. However, cycling itself does not increase SI joint pain. Cycling on a regular basis, however, could reduce the SI joint pain and help you get away with its suffering quite easily.

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