Sacroiliac joint dysfunction exercises are designed to improve joint function and general mobility. This joint connects the left or right iliac bone to the spine. Iliac bones are the large bones that form the pelvis. The triangular bone structure found in the lower portion of the spine, directly above the tailbone is called the sacrum.
These joints are very important, but they’re also pretty impressive when you take into consideration the load they can handle. They help to absorb shock in the spine, help you to balance when you’re walking, and they actually support the entire weight of the upper body. Relatively immobile, these joints allow for only a few degrees of rotation.
Certain types of exercise, such as multi-joint exercises can aggravate pain in these joints, while other types of low-impact exercises can work to improve flexibility, essentially helping to prevent injury in the future.
Now, let’s learn what type of exercises you can do to keep these important joints in perfect shape.
What can Cause Problems with the Sacroiliac Joints?
Injury of the sacroiliac joint can be caused by severe impact, loosening ligaments caused by hormonal changes during pregnancy, and wear and tear associated with aging. In fact, women are ten times more likely to experience some type of sacroiliac joint pain, compared to men, due to the hormonal and structural differences between the genders.
Exercises for Pain Relief
Unfortunately, not all cases of sacroiliac injuries are treatable. But for some, certain exercises can be helpful in relieving joint pain, preventing joint pain from reoccurring, and even eliminating lower back pain.
Below you’ll find some stretches and exercises designed to alleviate joint dysfunction and pain. These exercises should not be performed until you’ve met with your physician to ensure working out will not cause further harm. Your doctor may also recommend joint pain supplements such as Joint Advance, or a sacroiliac belt for pain relief.
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Many of these joint pain exercises have their roots in either yoga or pilates. Both types of exercise emphasize improving stability, strength, balance, and flexibility, all of which can help with pain management. Some exercises can also help with fibromyalgia and joint pain, in mild to moderate cases.
Knee and Chest Stretch
This type of stretch is very gentle and very effective. It’s a pilates stretch for both the hips and back and it can be done with one or both legs.
To do, lie flat on your back with both legs extended. Breathe out as you bring in one knee to the chest, holding for a period of fifteen to twenty seconds. Breathe in as you lower your leg, then repeat with the other leg. Do a total of ten reps for each leg. If you have severe lower back pain, keeping the unengaged leg in a bent position can be a less painful option.
If you want to try using both legs at the same time, start off by lying on your back, drawing both knees to your chest while relaxing the spine. Hold this position for ten seconds, then lower both legs slowly. Repeat ten reps.
Rotations for the knee is another effective, gentle stretch. To do, start off by lying flat on your back with both feet flat on the floor and the knees bent. It’s important to keep the lower back anchored and the spine still, allowing the knees to gently move to the right. Hold this position for five seconds before returning to the center. Repeat this process on your left side. Do a total of ten reps for each leg.
Building a Bridge
This exercise focuses on strengthening the lower back and glutes. Lie on your back with your arms placed against your body and the knees bent. Squeeze your buttocks while raising your hips off the floor to bring your torso into a straight line. This position should be held for just six seconds. Repeat eight times.
The cobra pose is yoga inspired. It’s especially effective in people suffering from loose sacroiliac joints. For this exercise, begin by lying flat on your stomach. Place your hands beneath your shoulders, pushing up and extending your arms to bring your upper body off the floor while the pelvis and legs remain on the ground. While doing this stretch, you should focus on your buttocks and lower back. Hold the position for thirty seconds, then slowly lower yourself back to the floor. Repeat four times.
The bird dog is an exercise that will work the abs and lower back in order to help improve lumbar spine stability. Start off on all fours. Keep both the neck and spine in a neutral position. Extend the left leg slowly behind you as you reach your right arm forward. It’s important to keep the hips and shoulders straight in order to prevent your back from arching. Hold this position for six seconds. Repeat ten times on each side.