Sacroiliac Joint Pain
Although not many people realize it, sacroiliac joint pain is something they face daily.
The sacroiliac joint is found in the pelvis and connects the iliac bone (the pelvis) to the lowest part of your spine above the tailbone, which is called the sacrum.
Because of its specific position, many tend to confuse sacroiliac joint pain with other types of pain, when in fact, it’s the perpetrator behind many problems they experience, not only the pain.
No matter how bad or difficult to detect sacroiliac joint pain is, there are some stretches and exercises you can do to relieve the pain.
There are also other stretches and exercises you should avoid to minimize the risk of experiencing sacroiliac joint pain. Keep reading to find out more about sacroiliac joint pain.
Sacroiliac Joint Pain Symptoms
There is a range of symptoms related to sacroiliac joint pain, and many of them are similar or same to symptoms for other conditions, making it difficult to get the right diagnosis for sacroiliac joint pain.
However, there are some symptoms that are directly related to sacroiliac joint pain and can help you determine if you have in fact, sacroiliac joint pain or something totally different.
In general, a combination of the following symptoms is a sign of chronic sacroiliac joint pain:
Lower back pain – lower back pain is a common companion to sacroiliac joint pain since the location of this joint affects the lower area of your back and can make it stiffer and more sensitive to
Sensitive lower extremities – sacroiliac joint pain often numbs your legs and makes them more sensitive than usual, which can impair their healthy function.
Pelvis and buttock pain – the sacroiliac joint is located in the pelvis, the feeling of pain in this area and the buttocks area are the most common symptoms people experience.
Hip and groin pain – because of the position of the sacroiliac joint, the pain you experience might spread out to your hips and groins, making it difficult to stand, walk, or even sit at times.
Instability – sacroiliac joint pain may lead to the irregular function of the whole area of the pelvis, which may cause you to feel like your legs are giving away or be unable to walk correctly.
Inability to sit right – as a result of sacroiliac joint pain, most people are unable to sit for long periods or in a certain pose. Additionally, you may feel discomfort while seating as a result of the sensibility of the area.
Pain going from sitting to standing – standing up can be a major struggle for people suffering from sacroiliac joint pain because of the sensitivity of the area and the irregular function of the muscles and tissue surrounding the joint.
Sacroiliac Joint Pain Relief
Beside treating it with pain medications, there are a few other things you can try to relieve your sacroiliac joint pain. Some of those include:
Rest regularly – it’s important that during the day, you have a 1 or 2 short rest breaks to give your muscles and joints the chance to rest.
Too much movement irritates and puts a lot of stress on all your joints, which can cause them to become inflamed, stingy and ultimately painful.
Visit a chiropractor – Chiropractors are health care professionals that help people with neuromuscular problems, so they can give a bit of relief when it comes to sacroiliac joint pain.
You can also try with osteopathic doctors or other health care professionals that can aid your sacroiliac joint pain by applying a bit of pressure and gentle massages to the right areas.
Apply ice or heat – hot or cold pads can reduce the inflammation in your lower back which can reduce any discomfort or pain you may be experiencing.
You can buy hot or cold pads from your local pharmacy or store, or make your own ones at home with ice cubes or hot bottles.
Support devices – There are a few devices, pads and wraps you can place around your back or the pelvic area to give it more support and minimize the pain you’re experiencing.
5 Sacroiliac Joint Pain Exercises for Relief
Doing some simple stretches and exercises can be of great help with your sacroiliac joint pain and relieve some of the pain you feel. If you’re experiencing sacroiliac joint pain, try out some of the following exercises:
1. The triangle
Spread your legs apart a bit wider than your shoulders with your feet pointing outwards.
Extend your arms on the side of your body parallel to the floor.
Bend to one side and touch your foot with your hand (left hand-left foot, right hand-right foot) with the other hand going over your head.
Hold this pose for 10 to 20 seconds on each side.
2. The Cobra
This pose comes from yoga and is great to relax your sacroiliac joints after overworking them. It doesn’t require much effort to do either.
It’s done by laying on your stomach and lifting your upper body with your arms as high up as your arms can extend while your pelvis and legs are on the ground.
Hold this pose for 15 to 30 seconds in a 3 series.
3. The bridge
Start by laying on your back with your knees bent, your arms parallel to your body and your palms on the floor.
While your palms and foot are still on the floor, lift your body up and squeeze your buttocks while bringing your torso in a straight diagonal line.
Hold yourself up in this position for 5 seconds and repeat it 8 to 10 times.
4. Quadriceps Stretch
This is a simple stretching exercise to relax your sacroiliac joint and it’s rather simple to do.
All you need to do is to put your arm on the wall, while standing against it, and grab your foot behind your body with your free hand.
5. Bird Dog
Another yoga-inspired exercise that helps strengthen your lower back and abdominal muscles so they can support your body easier and result in better stability and less stress being placed on your sacroiliac joint.
It’s done by standing on all fours, with your spine and neck straight in a neutral position while you’re looking at the ground.
Stretch your left arm forward while extending your leg backward and holding them straight with your body for 5 seconds at a time. Repeat on each side for 6 to 10 times.
5 Sacroiliac Joint Pain Exercises to Avoid
While exercising is always deemed as beneficial for all the muscles and joints, there are some exercises that can irritate your sacroiliac joint and worsen your pain.
So, it’s better to avoid doing the following types of exercises:
1. Crunches and sit-ups
Crunches and sit-ups put a lot of stress on your pelvic area which makes it easily irritable and inflamed.
The whole activity of the hips and pelvis puts stress on your lower back which worsens the inflammation in the sacroiliac joint and can make it more painful than before.
2. Golf and tennis
Gold and tennis involve a lot of twisting and turning of your hips, which irritates the pelvis and worsens the sacroiliac joint pain.
It also wears down the muscles, tendons, and joints in the whole area, which can further complicate your condition.
Biking and long rides put pressure on your pelvis and your sacroiliac joints.
This pressure causes inflammation in the whole area, making the pain worse and causing even more discomfort than previously.
4. Weight lifting
Weight lifting, especially heavy weight lifting that involves activating the lower back can significantly damage your lower back and with it, the pelvis and sacroiliac joint.
So if you’re experiencing any sacroiliac joint pain, avoid lifting heavy weights the next time you’re at the gym.
5. Football and basketball
Sports like football and basketball bring an additional risk for an injury to your lower back, which needless to say, will make the pain in your pelvis that much worse.
Additionally, you’re constantly running, twisting and turning your lower back, hips and pelvis which puts even more stress on your muscles and joints in the whole area and makes them more worn off and easily irritable.
Although sacroiliac joint pain is a common appearance today and a difficult condition to live with, thanks to the development of medicine and the knowledge we have of how the human body works, we can now treat it efficiently.
Even if the mild exercises and stretches don’t work, there are many medical devices and pills that can help you with your pain if nothing else seems to work.