5 Best Exercises for Sacroiliac Joint Pain Relief

5 best exercises for sacroiliac joint pain relief

If you’re one of the millions who suffer from sacroiliac joint pain, you know how debilitating it can be. The good news is that there are exercises you can do to help relieve the pain. This blog post will discuss 5 of the best SI joint pain relief exercises.

We’ll also provide instructions on how to do each exercise correctly. So if you’re looking for a way to get relief from your SI joint pain, keep reading!

What are the best exercises for sacroiliac joint pain relief?

The best sacroiliac joint pain relief exercises stabilize the pelvis and lumbar spine and mobilize the hips supporting the sacroiliac joint.  Target stretching exercises for SI joint pain are very effective.  If you have pain, seek professional medical advice from your doctor or physical therapist.

What is the sacroiliac joint?

The Sacroiliac Joint is where the lumbar spine meets the pelvis

The sacroiliac joint is a strong, slightly movable joint between the sacrum and the iliac bones in the pelvis. It connects the lower spine to the hip bones and provides support and stability for the upper body.

What causes SI joint pain?

Degenerative joint disease (DJD)

DJD occurs when the cartilage around the joint begins to break down, leading to pain, inflammation, and stiffness.

Trauma or injury

A fall, car accident, or other trauma can cause the ligaments around the SI joint to become stretched or torn. Injury can lead to instability in the joint and pain.

Pregnancy

Pregnancy is a challenging time for the sacroiliac joint. The additional weight of the baby is supported by the sacroiliac joint. In addition, relaxin, a hormone produced to help create laxity in the pelvis for childbirth, can create the potential for more sacroiliac joint pain. 

SI joint dysfunction during pregnancy can also cause pelvic girdle pain. Pelvic girdle pain can be addressed by a manual therapist or pelvic floor physical therapist.

Arthritis

Both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis can affect the SI joint and cause pain. Exercises and movement will help manage arthritis pain.

Spondylolisthesis

Spondylolisthesis is a condition that occurs when one of the vertebrae in the spine slips out of place, putting pressure on the SI joint and leading to pain.  Spondylolisthesis can also cause 

SI joint instability

SI joint instability is a condition that can occur when the ligaments and muscles around the SI joint become weak or stretched. This can cause the SI joint to move more than it should, leading to pain. Sacroiliac joint instability can be associated with postpartum and pregnancy and can often be treated with stabilization exercises.

Sacroiliitis

There is no one specific cause of sacroiliitis. It often results from wear and tears on the joints or an injury. It can also be caused by arthritis or an infection. It is also a general term that describes pain and inflammation of the sacroiliac joint.

What are common symptoms of sacroiliac joint pain?

The most common symptom of sacroiliac joint pain is a dull, aching pain in the lower back and buttocks. The pain is often worse with extended sitting or standing. Other symptoms can include:

  • Pain that radiates down the leg
  • Stiffness in the lower back
  • Difficulty moving the legs or hips
  • Pain when lying down

Sacroiliac joint pain can be severe, and it is always important to check with your doctor to confirm your diagnosis. Sacroiliac joint pain exercises help with pain, but discussing other pain management and treatment options with your doctor is essential.

5 best sacroiliac joint pain exercises

The best sacroiliac joint pain exercises are strengthening exercises. Treatment for SI joint pain is typically a combination of pain relief, such as NSAIDs, physical therapy, or chiropractic care. In addition, treatment works to strengthen muscles that support the SI joint. Safe sacroiliac joint exercises will keep the pressure off the SI joint while working the muscles surrounding the joint.

Hip and pelvis decompression

Hip stretch with decompression for SI joint pain

  • Lay on your back in a comfortable positions
  • Slowly lift your left leg, bend your knee, and grab the heel of your foot with your left hand.
  • Gently rest your left forearm on the inside of your left lower leg.
  • Keep your right leg straight with your toes up.
  • Gently straighten your left knee until you feel a stretch in the back of your left leg. You will most likely need to keep your left leg bent.
  • At the same time, push your right heel away from your body and feel slight traction on your low back.
  • Hold 30 seconds to one minute.
  • Repeat on the right side

Glute bridge with adductor activation (inner thigh muscles)

Adductor and glute bridge for SI joint pain

  • Lay on your back with feet flat on the floor, knees bent, and upper body relaxed.
  • Place a physioball or pillow between your knees.
  • Engage your deep abdominal muscles
  • Lift your hips off the ground, using your buttock muscles and inner thighs to press the ball towards the ceiling.
  • Breathe out while you are lifting your hips up
  • Hold for two seconds at the top.
  • Control the movement as you slowly bring your hips down to the floor.
  • Touch the floor briefly with your glutes and lift your hips again
  • Repeat 10-15 reps for three sets

Glute bridge with hip rotator (upper outer thigh) activation

Abductor activation with glute bridge for SI joint pain

  • Lay on your back with feet flat on the floor and knees bent
  • Place an exercise band around your upper thighs.
  • Engage your deep abdominal muscles
  • Lift your hips off the ground, using your buttock muscles and inner thighs to press the ball towards the ceiling.
  • Breathe out while you are lifting your hips up
  • Hold for two seconds at the top.
  • Control the movement as you slowly bring your hips down to the floor.
  • Touch the floor briefly with your glutes and lift your hips again
  • Repeat 10-15 reps for three sets

Dead bug marching exercise

Dead bug marching for SI joint pain relief

  • Begin lying on your back on the floor with your knees bent at a 90-degree angle and your feet off the floor
  • Raise your arms to 90 degrees
  • Keeping a neutral spine posture in the lumbar spine, slowly exhale as you lower your right leg and left arm to the floor at the same time.
  • Make sure to keep your deep abdominal muscles engaged throughout the exercise.
  • Hold for two seconds before returning to starting position.
  • Repeat on the opposite side, lowering your left leg and right arm to the floor simultaneously.

Continue alternating sides for 20 repetitions.

Bird dog exercise

Bird dog exercise for SI joint pain relief

  • Begin on all fours with your hands directly beneath your shoulders and your knees directly beneath your hips.
  • Keeping a neutral spine posture, slowly exhale as you raise your right leg and left arm to the floor simultaneously.
  • Make sure to keep your deep abdominal muscles engaged throughout the exercise
  • Hold for two seconds before returning to starting position.
  • Repeat on the opposite side, raising your left leg and right arm to the floor simultaneously.
  • Continue alternating sides for 20 repetitions.

As you can see, there are a variety of exercises that can help relieve sacroiliac joint pain. Discuss other pain management and treatment options with your doctor before starting any new exercise routine.

Stop and consult your doctor if you experience any discomfort during these exercises. With proper guidance, sacroiliac joint pain exercises can be a safe and effective way to find relief.

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