Strengthening Exercises for Sacroiliac Joint Pain Relief

Strengthening Exercises for Sacroiliac Joint Pain Relief

Have you ever experienced pain in your hips or pelvis that radiates down to the lower back or thighs? Or felt your lower body going numb or all tingly? If yes, then you may be suffering from sacroiliac joint pain. 

In this article, we will explore what this condition is and how exercising can help you lead a pain-free and happier life. 

What Causes Sacroiliac Joint Pain?

Before we talk about sacroiliac joint pain (see also 'Vitamins and Other Supplements for Joint Pain'), it is essential to understand the anatomy of the sacroiliac joint, also known as SI. This is the joint that connects your iliac crests (hip bones) to your sacrum, which is the triangle-shaped bone between the lumbar spine and tailbone. 

This joint helps absorb shocks that occur while making movements between your upper body and legs. It is also responsible for forward and backward bending movements. 

Referred to as sacroiliitis, sacroiliac joint pain is one of the most common reasons for lower back pain. According to The Open Pain Journal, sacroiliitis is mainly caused due to:

  • Gout
  • Obesity
  • Leading a sedentary life. 
  • Degenerative conditions like osteoarthritis
  • Autoimmune conditions such as ankylosing spondylitis
  • Injury or trauma such as an accident or fall
  • Pregnancy leads to the release of relaxin. This hormone makes the joints less stable

Which Are Some Of The Best Exercises For Your Sacroiliac Joints?

Just because you experience pain in your sacroiliac joint, doesn’t mean that you have to live with it and compromise on the quality of your life. Exercising is a safe, natural, and side-effect free way of strengthening your sacroiliac joints. 

Here are some of the best SI joint pain exercises that will help build stability in the pelvis and reduce tension and pressure on the surrounding muscles.

1. Knee-to-Chest Stretch: One of the most effective sacroiliac joint pain exercises, knee-to-chest stretch help in strengthening your hip muscles. 

  • Lie on your back on a yoga mat.
  • Hold your left knee and pull it slowly towards your chest. You may feel a slight stretch in the back of your leg.
  • Hold the pose for 30-40 seconds. 
  • Repeat on the alternate side.

2. Trunk rotation: This is a great exercise to activate, stretch, and strengthen the muscles on the side of your core. 

  • Lie comfortably on your back.
  • Keep your feet flat on the ground. Your arms must be stretched in a ‘T’ position.
  • Keeping your knees together, twist them to your left as much as you comfortably can. 
  • Hold the pose for 4-5 seconds.
  • Repeat on the other side.
3. Hip abduction strengthening exercise: One of the most helpful sacroiliitis treatment exercises, this targets your abductor muscles and makes them stronger. 
  • Lie on your back with your knees bent slightly.
  • Place a resistance band around your knees.
  • Push your knees apart slowly. 
  • Hold the pose for 5-10 seconds and bring back the knees together.
4. Bird dog: This is an effective SI joint pain exercise that gives your SI joint muscles a good stretch. It also works on your lower back and gives stability to your lumbar spine. 
  • Get on all fours while keeping your spine and neck in a neutral position. Focus your gaze on the ground.
  • Gently extend your right leg and stretch your left arm outward.
  • Remember not to arch your back.
  • Hold the pose for 5-10 seconds. 
  • Repeat on the other side. 

Certain exercises put extra pressure on your SI joints and aggravate the pain. Our experts recommend these SI joint pain exercises to avoid:

    • Sit-ups
    • Crunches
    • Heavy weight lifting, especially when your lower back is involved.
    • Excessive cycling
    • Activities such as golf or tennis that involve twisting your hips.

Also Read: MSM – Not Just For Joint Pain

What Else Helps?

In addition to having an exercise plan in place, according to the Journal of Orthopedic Surgery and Research, adding supplements with chondroprotective agents such as glucosamine and chondroitin helps. Good quality supplements like Physio Flex Pro are not only safe but also lower pain and improve SI joint function. 

Make sure you don’t sit for prolonged hours. Change your sitting position. Keep your knees slightly apart when you sit and avoid crossing your legs. Use hot and cold treatments to alleviate pain and enhance your blood circulation.  

The Bottom Line

Before starting any exercise plan, consult your doctor. Be gentle with yourself and stay consistent with your routine. SI joint pain can be easily managed by adopting a holistic whole-body approach and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

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Abhishek Chauhan

Leoni Jesner is a certified ACE CPT, Level 3 Pilates instructor, and nutrition coach who crafts fitness, health and wellness content for a wide digital audience. An MA Business graduate of the University of Edinburgh, she has grown passionate about inspiring others to lead healthy, balanced and active lifestyles.