Relaxin: The cause of some decidedly unrelaxing aches and pains.

In the spring issue of our newsletter, I wrote about one of the causes of hip pain, when the sacroiliac (SI) ligaments in the pelvic region have been stressed. Something I’ve come to notice with my female patients is the effect of menstrual cycle on SI joint; healthy active women feel fine except during the time close to their period when it seems like all they have to do is bend over to tie their shoe, and they can throw their back out.

There’s an explanation to this. During the late phase of the menstrual cycle, and also pregnancy, hormonal changes can cause the ligaments to become more lax. Specifically, there’s a hormone called Relaxin that can make the joints inherently less stable. Relaxin, as the names suggests, tells our muscles and ligaments to relax and creates the necessary flexibility so the uterus and pelvis can accommodate a baby that will grow from a couple of cells to the size of a small pumpkin.

Bracing your hips during menstruation and pregnancy can be beneficial. It helps support your hips, and gives you more effective strength in your back, hips, and legs. The Serola Sacroiliac Belt (that we use here at ALIVE) is designed to hold the SI Joint together and significantly decreases the frequency of it opening beyond its normal range. The ligaments are not stressed which is critical to its recovery. The belt holds the sacrum to the ilia with the proper tension to minimize re-injury to its ligaments during movement or exercise.

If you’re struggling with chronic joint pain, it may be worthwhile to track how your menstrual cycle impacts your pain. The right hip brace combined with Acupuncture treatment may just be the answer to some decidedly unrelaxing aches and pains.

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