Pilates Exercises Helped my SI Joint Problem

by Jim Potvin

Hi Jennifer,

I bought your Pilates Ebook back in Jul '09 as I was having SI joint problems do to my golf and karate type workouts. I am 62.

At any rate the other day I hurt my lower back and was going through your book to see if I could pick up some more pointers.

I noticed that in the side plank exercise you suggest 6 to 8 second hold and more repetitions instead of a longer hold. I had been holding for 17 secs and was finding it difficult so I was glad to notice this point in your book.

I also noticed that you suggest the crunch be done with one leg bent and the lower back supported. I am currently doing them with both feet on a couch and a towel under my lower back. I do feel some discomfort at times in my mid back. You state the bent leg type are as effective so I am going to give them a try.

I should mention that my SI joint problem has not recurred in the last 6 months since I started using your Pilates Ebook – Relief for Back and Joint Pain.

I found the Side Kicks / front and back irritating to the lower back and so discontinued them. Just my physiology I guess.

However, it got me to thinking about some of the other exercises I do from your book.

So if you have the time perhaps you could make some suggestions regarding hold times for the following:


Jennifer's Response and answers to questions(see bold below):

Hi Jim and thank you for your email and comments. I'm glad you are having success with most of the exercises.

I wanted to comment first on the front and back side kicks; for you as with most of my students if I don't have them do it slowly drawing the abdominals up and in as they reach back they have a tendency to feel it more in the lower back.

Try to feel the lumbar spine lengthening as you pull your deep transverse abdominals into your back. And...try reaching your top hand forward as you do this to offset and balance yourself better. Discontinue if you still have discomfort.

#2 Bridge or Pelvic Lift

Take an extra breath in and out at the top maybe adding a march to challenge yourself.

#6 Single Leg Stretch with Head Float

Do more repetitions, you can change the breath on this exercise to breath in...in... and then out...out as you switch legs.

Arrow advanced

Work to doing more repetitions of this exercise holding only up to 10 seconds while you keep correcting your posture feeling length in the spine not tension.

#13 Cobra advanced

You can hold this while performing more breaths and deepening your core connection on the exhale, getting more extension.

#16 Cat stretch

This one should just flow nicely from flexion to extension using your breathing as a cue to transition.

#17 Four point stance with opposite arm and leg extension

Hold this one as well with a longer breath pattern again deepening your extension with the inhale and exhale, just be cautious of the pressure in the wrists.

#20 Side / Heel kicks advanced

Add more reps and/ or move more slowly through the side kicks feeling and lengthening out through the heels.

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