Sacroiliac joint exercises

Submitted by Kevin Pederson on March 8, 2013

The sacroiliac joint is the joint that connects the spine and the pelvis. The sacrum supports the spine at the bottom. This sacrum is supported on either side by the ileum. Many people think that the sacrum and the ileum are just one solid bone, but in reality, there is a joint between the two. There is a certain amount of movement capable by this joint (between 4% and 18% - the verdict is still out).


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The ligament that holds these two bones together are very strong, and the joint as a whole is a very sturdy one. Yet, a sedentary life can weaken the ligaments sufficiently so that any sudden activity can injure the joint and cause damage and a lot of pain.

In this article, we talk about the different exercises we can do to strengthen this joint.

What are the problems of a weak sacroiliac joint?

The sacrum bears the entire weight of the spine, which means that if the sacroiliac joint is weak, the chance of you getting injured is very high. Most cases of lower back pain are caused due to a dysfunction in the sacroiliac joint.

Usually, this will be in the form of tenderness or inflammation in the tendons which make up the joint. Stabilizing and strengthening the joint is the only long-term solution to being free from lower back pain.

Why should the sacroiliac joint be mobile?

Considering the low range of movement afforded by the sacroiliac joint, the question arises as to why is there a joint placed there in the first place. The only explanation that can be given is that during childbirth this joint displaces quite a bit to allow the passage of the child through the pelvic bones.

Sacroiliac joint exercises

Some of the best exercises to keep the sacroiliac joint in good working order are given below.

Knee to chest stretches

  • Lie flat on your back with your legs stretched out in front of you, and alternatively lift your knees up to your chest and back.
  • Hold the position for a few seconds before lowering the leg.

Knee sways

  • Lie flat on your back with your knees folded up and your feet flat on the ground.
  • Sway your knees from side to side so that they alternatively touch the ground on either side.

Leg circles

  • Lie flat on your back with your feet stretched out in front of you.
  • Lift your knee and keep your shin bone parallel to the floor.
  • Hold this position, while your circle clockwise and counter clockwise with your foot.

The sacroiliac joint is such that you never think twice about it, until one fine day, you end up with lower back pain so excruciating that you cannot stir from your bed. Keeping the sacroiliac joint healthy is not very difficult as detailed above. Spending 10 minutes flat on your back doing stretches is much better than spending days or weeks lying prostrate on your back because you can't move.

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