Is Cycling Good for SI Joint Pain? Detailed Answer

Yes, cycling on a stationary bike can cure SI joint pain. This is because cycling increases the flow of blood to both your lower back and hips which helps to lessen the pain.

Whereas traveling on a mountain or road bike for longer puts stress on the SI joint, enhancing your pain. A stationary bike does not put pressure on your joints even if you pedal more.

Is Cycling Good for SI Joint Pain?

Is Cycling Good for SI Joint Pain

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? Not sure? Keep reading to know about it.

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.

How Can You Treat Sacroiliac 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

You may ask if you can exercise with an inflamed SI joint or not. You can. By taking help from physical therapy and exercise, you can recover the Sacroiliac dysfunction joint and get relief from the pain.

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. Fitting of the bike

If the seat of your bike is too high or too low, it can also increase SI joint pain. Therefore, 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. 

What Happens When You Leave Your SI Joint 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 Sacroiliac Joint Pain and Cycling

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 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.

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.

Wrapping Up Effect of Cycling for SI Joint Pain

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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