Sink or Swim: Is Swimming Good for SI Joint Pain?

Can Swimming Offer Relief for SI Joint Pain?

In this article we will explore how proper use of swimming can help relieve that nagging sacroiliac (SI) joint pain.   Specifically we will cover the following topics:

  •  Understanding SI joint pain.
  • Why do people experience SI joint pain?
  • Why is swimming good for SI joint pain relief?
  • Video demonstration of swimming exercises for lower back pain.
  • How does swimming help alleviate SI joint pain?
  • The importance of proper swimming technique.
  • Tips for swimming with SI joint pain.
  • Preventing SI joint pain while swimming.
  • Other exercises that compliment swimming for SI joint pain relief.
  • When to avoid swimming with SI joint pain.
  •  Consulting a healthcare professional for SI joint pain management.

Understanding SI Joint Pain

What exactly is SI joint pain and why does it bother so many people?  Well, SI joint pain refers to discomfort or inflammation in the sacroiliac joint, which is located at the base of the spine where the pelvic bones meet.  This joint is responsible for transferring weight and force between the upper body and the legs, making it crucial for movements like walking, running, and even sitting.

Now, you might be wondering, is swimming good for SI joint pain relief?  Absolutely! Swimming is not only a fun and refreshing activity, but it can also provide much-needed relief for SI joint pain.  The buoyancy of water reduces the pressure on the joints, allowing for gentle movement without straining the affected area.  Plus, the rhythmic motion of swimming can help improve flexibility and strengthen the muscles around the SI joint, providing stability and support.  So, if you’re looking for a low-impact exercise that offers both relaxation and healing benefits, diving into the pool might just be the perfect solution for your SI joint woes.

Why Do People Experience SI Joint Pain?

SI joint pain, or pain in the sacroiliac joint, is a common issue that many people experience.  There are several factors that can contribute to this discomfort, including injury, pregnancy, and degenerative conditions.

One of the main causes of SI joint pain is injury.  This can occur due to a fall, a sudden impact, or even improper lifting techniques.  When the SI joint is subjected to excessive force or trauma, it can become inflamed and painful.

Pregnancy is another factor that can lead to SI joint pain. During pregnancy, the body releases hormones that relax the ligaments, making them more flexible in preparation for childbirth.  However, this increased flexibility can also result in instability in the SI joint, leading to pain and discomfort.

Degenerative conditions, such as arthritis, can also contribute to SI joint pain.  Over time, the cartilage in the joint can wear down, causing the bones to rub against each other.  This friction can lead to inflammation and pain in the SI joint.

Understanding the causes of SI joint pain is the first step in finding relief.  Whether it’s due to injury, pregnancy, or degenerative conditions, there are strategies and treatments available to help manage and alleviate this discomfort.  Now let’s dive into the reasons swimming is good for SI joint pain relief.

Why is Swimming Good for SI Joint Pain Relief?

Swimming is not only a fun and refreshing activity, but it can also provide significant relief from SI joint pain.  Whether you’re a seasoned swimmer or just a casual enthusiast, diving into the pool can do wonders for soothing those nagging aches.  So, let’s dive in (pun intended!) and explore some of the benefits of swimming and why swimming is good for SI joint pain relief.

One of the key advantages of swimming is its low-impact nature.  Unlike high-intensity workouts that can put additional strain on your joints, swimming allows for smooth and fluid movements that don’t exert unnecessary pressure on your SI joints.  The buoyancy of the water also works as a natural cushion, reducing the load on your joints and providing a gentle environment for your body to move in.  So, you can swim your way to happier SI joints without worrying about worsening the pain.
Low-impact nature of swimming reduces strain on SI joints
Smooth and fluid movements in water don’t exert unnecessary pressure on SI joints
Buoyancy of water acts as a natural cushion, reducing load on joints
Gentle environment for body to move in, without worsening pain

Video: Pool Exercises for Low Back Pain and SI Pain

A video is worth ten thousand words and we want you to get the most out of this content.  Below is a very informative video by Activ Chiropratic demonstrating 8 lower back hydrotherapy exercises.

How Does Swimming Help Alleviate SI Joint Pain?

Swimming is a fantastic activity for alleviating SI joint pain.  You might be wondering, how does splashing around in the water actually help?  Well, let us break it down for you.  First off, swimming is a low-impact exercise, which means it’s gentle on your joints.  Unlike activities like running or jumping, swimming doesn’t put excessive stress on the sacroiliac joint.  So, you can get your heart pumping without aggravating your pain.

Another reason why swimming is great for SI joint pain relief is because it helps to strengthen the surrounding muscles.  When you swim, you engage multiple muscle groups, including your legs, core, and upper body.  This not only helps to improve your overall strength and stability, but it also takes some pressure off your SI joint.  Plus, swimming is a fun way to exercise.  It’s like a mini vacation for your body and mind, and it helps to release those endorphins that make you feel good.  So, instead of dreading your workout, you might actually find yourself looking forward to taking a dip in the pool.

When it comes to joint and back pain relief methods, we would be remiss to leave out the importance of focused and targeted movements.  Finding the best joint pain relief exercises is important.  One such program that appears to have helped many individuals overcome debilitating back pain is the Back Pain Breakthrough Methods by Dr. Steve Young. 

best joint pain relief exercises

The Importance of Proper Technique

Proper technique is key when it comes to swimming with SI joint pain.  Remember, we’re not just talking about channeling your inner Michael Phelps here, but rather ensuring that your body is moving in a way that minimizes stress on your SI joint.  Picture your body slicing through the water like a dolphin, except without the fins and the adorable squeaking noises.  So, let’s dive into why good technique is so important for your SI joint health.

First off, proper technique can help distribute the workload evenly across your body.  When you swim with SI joint pain, you want to avoid putting excessive strain on your already sensitive joints.  By using the right technique, you’ll engage your core muscles, which can help take some of the pressure off your SI joint. It’s like having a well-trained team of muscles that are ready to tackle the challenges of swimming without causing any unnecessary discomfort.  Plus, with the right technique, you’ll be able to move through the water more efficiently, making your swim sessions feel smoother than butter on a hot pancake.  Click here for a very informative article on the website describing 5 swimming exercises for SI joint pain relief.

Tips for Swimming with SI Joint Pain

Warm Up Before You Dive In

Before you jump into the pool, it’s essential to warm up your muscles and joints to minimize the risk of aggravating your SI joint pain.  Start with some gentle stretching exercises, focusing on the muscles surrounding the pelvis and lower back.  A few simple hip rotations and gentle back bends can go a long way in preparing your body for a swim.  Stretching helps loosen up the joint capsules and promotes blood flow, allowing your muscles to relax and easing the strain on your SI joint.

Take It Slow and Steady

While it’s tempting to dive headfirst and make a splash, it’s better to take a more measured approach when swimming with SI joint pain.  Start with a slow and steady pace, focusing on maintaining a good body alignment in the water.  Engage your core muscles to support your lower back and pelvis, helping to stabilize the SI joint.  Remember, it’s not a race, so don’t push yourself too hard.  Take breaks as needed and listen to your body’s signals.  If you start to feel any discomfort or pain, take a breather and assess the situation.  It’s all about finding the right balance between staying active and allowing your body to heal.

Preventing SI Joint Pain while Swimming

Proper technique and precautionary measures are essential for preventing SI joint pain while enjoying a refreshing swim.  Your first line of defense is finding the right swimming strokes that minimize stress on your SI joint.  Backstroke and sidestroke are generally considered to be ideal choices as they allow your body to stay in alignment, reducing the risk of straining your joints.  So next time you hit the pool, channel your inner Michael Phelps or Missy Franklin, and give these strokes a go!

Another important aspect to consider is the type of swimsuit you wear.  Opting for a well-fitted swimsuit can provide the necessary support for your SI joint and prevent unnecessary strain.  Remember, tight or ill-fitting swimsuits can restrict your range of motion and lead to discomfort.  So, embrace your unique style, but make sure your swimsuit is supportive and comfortable, allowing you to swim with ease.

Other Exercises that Complement Swimming for SI Joint Pain Relief

Sick and tired of doing laps in the pool?  No worries, there are plenty of other exercises that can complement swimming for SI joint pain relief.  Keep in mind that variety is the spice of life, and it applies to exercise too! Mix things up and try different activities to engage those muscles and give your SI joint a break from the repetitive motion of swimming.

One great exercise to consider is yoga.  Not only does it help improve flexibility and strength, but it also promotes relaxation and stress reduction. Certain yoga poses, such as cat-cow, pigeon, and child’s pose, can specifically target the muscles around the SI joint, providing much-needed relief.  Plus, yoga has the added benefit of being a low-impact exercise that’s gentle on your joints.  So, grab a mat, strike a pose, and say goodbye to that nagging SI joint pain.  Check out our full length article regarding yoga poses for joint pain relief here!

When to Avoid Swimming with SI Joint Pain

Listen to Your Body

When it comes to managing SI joint pain, swimming can be a great way to find relief.  However, it’s important to know when to take a break and avoid exacerbating the pain.  Every now and then, our bodies need a breather, and the same goes for our joints.  If your SI joint pain is already acting up, it might be a good idea to give swimming a temporary pass.  Pushing through the pain can aggravate the condition and worsen the discomfort, which is something we definitely want to avoid.

Respect Your Limits

While swimming is generally low-impact and gentle on the joints, certain movements can put stress on the SI joint.  If you notice that certain strokes or kicks are causing a sharp or lingering pain in the joint area, it’s best to take a step back.  Remember, the goal is to find relief and not to exacerbate any discomfort.  It’s important to respect your limits and listen to your body.  If swimming is causing more harm than good, it might be time to explore other pain management options or talk to a healthcare professional for further guidance.

Swimming exercises are certainly an effective way to relieve joint pain for many.  However as part of a holistic approach to joint pain, natural supplements which help relieve inflammation and promote healing are also important.  One natural supplement that is growing in popularity and has many positive reviews is Joint Genesis by BIODYNAMIX.  Be sure to check out our comprehensive review on Joint Genesis here.

BioDynamix Joint Genesis Review

Consulting a Healthcare Professional for SI Joint Pain Management

When it comes to managing SI joint pain, consulting a healthcare professional is crucial.  They are the experts who can provide an accurate diagnosis and recommend the most suitable treatment plan for you.  Whether you’re experiencing occasional discomfort or chronic pain, seeking medical advice is always a wise decision.

Once you schedule an appointment with a healthcare professional, be prepared to discuss your symptoms in detail.  Explain the nature of your pain, its intensity, and any specific triggers or activities that worsen it.  This information will help your healthcare provider develop a better understanding of your condition and guide them in determining the most appropriate treatment options.  Remember, they are here to help you find relief and improve your quality of life, so don’t hesitate to ask questions and share any concerns you may have.


The information contained within this article is intended for general guidance and is not a substitute for professional medical advice from a licensed healthcare provider. 

Make sure to consult with a professional physician before making any purchasing or health care decision.  If you use medications or have concerns following the review details shared above.  Individual results may vary and are not guaranteed as the statements regarding these products have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration or Health Canada. The efficacy of these products has not been confirmed by FDA, or Health Canada approved research. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

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