What Are the Best Exercises for SI Joint Pain? 8 Workouts, Causes

What Are the Best Exercises for SI Joint Pain?

Sacroiliac (SI) joint discomfort is often described as a sharp, stabbing ache that travels from your hips and pelvis to the lower back and legs.

The sacroiliac (SI) joints are the joints in the lower back, where the sacrum (the flat triangular bone of the spine) and ilium (hip bone) connect.

  • The sacrum is a triangle-shaped bone toward the bottom of the spine, slightly above the coccyx (the tailbone).
  • The ilium is the uppermost part of the pelvis, and it is one of the three bones that make up the hip.

They work as shock absorbers, reducing the pressure placed on the spine by movement.

8 best exercises for sacroiliac joint pain

Consult a physiotherapist before you decide to go for any rigorous exercise schedule. Once it is confirmed that your pain is of sacroiliac (SI) origin, here is the best exercise you can do.

  1. Hamstring stretches
    • Lie down on your back with your buttocks near a doorway on the floor.
    • Then, on the floor in front of you, extend your uninjured leg through the doorway.
    • Lift and place your wounded leg against the wall close to the doorframe, maintaining it as straight as possible.
    • You will feel a stretch or pull in the back of your leg while doing this.
    • Repeat three times, holding the position for 15 to 30 seconds each time.
  2. Hip abduction stretch
    • Lie on your back with a resistance band around the knees and slightly bent the knees.
    • Gently push the knees apart while keeping the back arched. This will help strengthen the outer thigh and buttock.
    • Repeat this exercise 10 times, holding for five seconds each time.
  3. Glute muscle exercises
    • Lie on your stomach with your legs straight out in front of you.
    • Squeeze and hold your buttock muscles for five seconds, then release them for another five seconds.
    • Do two sets of 15 repetitions.
  4. Bridge
    • Lie down on your back, knees bent, and hands flat on the floor.
    • Lift the hips into the air and hold for five seconds while keeping the hands on the floor to strengthen the muscles in the lower abdomen, lower back, and hips.
    • Repeat this stretch 8 to 10 times.
  5. Lower trunk rotation
    • Lay on your back with your knees bent and heels flat on the floor.
    • Tighten your stomach muscles and press your lower back against the floor. 
    • Gently swing your legs in one direction as far as you can while maintaining the shoulders flat, then repeat on the other side.
    • Repeat 10 to 20 times more.
  6. Knees to chest
    • Lie on your back with your legs bent and feet flat.
    • Press your lower back onto the floor by tightening your abdominal muscles. 
    • Bring both knees to your chest and hold for five seconds before relaxing for five seconds.
    • Repeat 10 to 20 times more.
  7. Triangle yoga pose
    • The triangle yoga stance or pose includes twisting the lower spine.
    • Start with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart with your right foot pointed outward.
    • Stretch both arms straight out to the sides, parallel to the ground.
    • Then gradually bend both knees to the side so that your right hand is on your shin or the floor, and your left arm is over your head.
    • Hold this stretch for 10 to 20 seconds, then switch sides and repeat.
  8. Hip adduction
    • Sit on the floor with your knees bent 90 degrees, a pillow between your knees, and your foot flat on the floor.
    • For five seconds, gently squeeze the pillow with your knees, then relax for five seconds.
    • Do two sets of 15 repetitions each.


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Causes of sacroiliac joint pain

When the ligaments in the sacroiliac (SI) joint become too lax or tight, it can cause pain. SI joint pain can be caused by:

Sometimes, if movement in the pelvis is not equal on both sides, SI pain can occur.

Regular activities, such as sitting, standing, sleeping, walking, or climbing stairs, may aggravate symptoms. Sitting or sleeping on the affected side often causes more pain in the SI joint.

Symptoms of sacroiliac joint pain

Sacroiliac (SI) joint discomfort is often described as a sharp, stabbing ache that travels from your hips and pelvis to the lower back and legs. It could sometimes feel numb or like pins and needles sort of pain.

Weakness in the sacroiliac joint can cause lower back, buttocks, or leg pain. Leg pain produced by sacroiliac joint dysfunction can be difficult to distinguish from lumbar disc herniation or hip problems. The two can feel quite similar. Hence, an accurate diagnosis is necessary.

Health News

Medically Reviewed on 6/28/2022


Image Source: iStock image

SI-Bone. Rehabilitation for SI Joint Pain and/or Dysfunction. https://si-bone.com/support/patient-resource-library/rehabilitation-for-si-joint-pain-and-or-dysfunction

Orthopaedic Specialists of North Carolina. Sacroiliac (SI) Joint Exercises. https://orthonc.com/uploads/pdf/SIJ_Exercises.pdf

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