6 Valuable Exercises You Need to Prevent Sacroiliac Joint Pain
Is the Sacroiliac Joint (SIJ) the cause of your pain? There are several types of lower back pain, and sometimes it's hard to pinpoint exactly what's causing it.
SI Joint dysfunction often presents with a sharp, stabbing pain very low in the back. But fear not, as this can be the quickest and easiest fix in the realm of back pain.
But look deeper, because there is an underlying cause for why your SIJ became locked up in the first place. It may be an imbalance in your hips causing your pain.
Understanding the Sacroiliac Joint
The sacrum is a triangular bone at the bottom of your spine. It rests below the lumbar region of the spine, but above the tailbone, and consists of five fused vertebral segments. The sacrum connects to the pelvic bone, also known as the iliac crest, on the right and left sides at the sacroiliac joints. These joints support and distribute the weight of your body evenly throughout the pelvis.
SI Joint Pain is often caused by too much mobility (hypermobility) or not enough mobility (hypomobility).
Symptoms of SI Joint Pain
SIJ pain presents itself in a number of different ways. If your back pain is caused by the SIJ, then you’ll feel one or more of the following symptoms:
- Low back pain
- Buttocks, hip, and pelvic pain
- Groin Pain
- Pain in only one side of the SI joints
- Pain when transitioning from sitting to standing
- Burning sensation or stiffness in the pelvis.
- Radiating pain throughout the legs
- Feelings of imbalance
Causes of SI Joint Pain
Most cases of chronic pain stem from poor body awareness, posture, and movement. This is no different in the case of SI joint pain. There are many ‘conditions’ that can affect the SI Joint. But all those symptoms really boil down to an unhealthy pelvis.
If you don't fix the underlying issues of your SIJ pain, you can suffer from many issues later in life. Many people develop degenerative arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, psoriatic arthritis, and even gout. These are simply the outcomes of poor movement over time. Your body can't heal until you begin moving properly. Once you start giving your body a break it can begin to heal.
SI Joint Treatment and Exercises
A simple chiropractic adjustment may be the right SI joint treatment for you, but remember that it won't fix the pain forever. Learning to stretch and move the body correctly is the best SI joint treatment you can give yourself.
The following exercises will help to relieve your SIJ pain and prevent future flare-ups. These exercises aim to put mobility and stability back in your hips and lower back.
Hip Flexor Stretch
This stretch is a go-to if you sit all day. The hip flexor muscles can get very tight due to excessive sitting, and one side will often become significantly tighter than the other, creating an imbalance in the pelvis.
Begin this stretch with the hips tucked under, flattening the spine. Reach high overhead and take deep breaths. You should feel a stretch in the front of your hip and quadriceps on the leg that is down. Hold for two minutes on each side.
Sacroiliac Joint Stretch
This stretch will help to increase mobility in the lower back and hips. It's also a fantastic SI joint treatment and quick relief if you're feeling pain. If you push/pull hard enough, you may actually adjust your own Sacroiliac Joint!
Start by lying on your back. Bend one knee and lock the foot behind your other knee. Drop the leg across the body, holding onto the knee and using your other free hand to push hard on the lowest part of your back. Keep both shoulders on the floor. Hold this for 1-2 minutes or pulse in and out of it 20 times.
Double or Single Leg Bridge
This is for perfect for glute activation!
Start with your upper back and arms resting against a chair or table. With one leg straight and the other knee bent, lift your hips off the ground until your upper body is parallel with the floor and your knee bent is 90°. Do 10-15 reps per side 3 times. If this exercise is too difficult, keep both knees bent and do a double leg bridge.
Core strength is essential for reducing any type of lower back pain.
Start this exercise by lying flat on the floor with your knees bent. Tuck your hips so that your lower back is completely flat against the floor. Roll your chest off the floor, keeping your shoulders back and the arms and head relaxed. Take very controlled deep breaths through the nose and forceful exhales through the mouth like you are blowing out candles on a cake. Hold for 1 minute and repeat 3 times.
Squats are excellent for proper lower back and hip health. Use this motion, and for added glute strengthening, put a resistance band right below your knees.
Begin by hinging your upper body forward slightly and then bending the knees, squatting as low as you can. Use a chair or stool if you don’t feel comfortable squatting low. Keep your body upright and your back flat. Spread the knees as far apart as you can against the band and keep your whole foot in contact with the floor. Do 10-20 repetitions for 2-3 sets.
Like the hip flexors, a muscle called the piriformis can also contribute to imbalances in the hip. This is a great stretch not only for your piriformis but a great SI joint treatment.
Hold this stretch for 2 minutes on each side. To intensify this stretch, press your knee to the table/counter/bed and shift your upper body forward without rounding your back.
Many of the SI joint treatments require very little effort on your part to fix the pain you're experiencing. But our experience tells us that the underlying issue is caused by body imbalances and improper movement. While these exercises and stretches are great at relieving your immediate pain temporarily, we cannot stress enough that the best SI joint treatment you can give yourself is the fix your body.
If you're having issues with your SI Joint or if you have any questions with any of these exercises, be sure to check out our step-by-step online program that will teach how to transform your pain into a powerful mind and body!
If you have any questions, feel free to comment below, or email [email protected]!