SI joint pain cause, symptoms and treatment with 3 exercises

SI joint or sacroiliac joint pain is a specific type of low back pain that is relatively rare. However, when you do have it, it can be excruciating.

There are two known causes for the development of SI joint pain, both with their own symptoms. I will explain these causes later. Both causes require different treatment.

In this article, I discuss the function of the SI joint how you can test whether your pain is caused by the sacroiliac joint or your lower back, and how you can treat your SI pain.

  1. SI joint pain causes
  2. SI joint pain symptoms
  3. Sacroiliac joint pain treatment with 3 exercises
SI joint pain cause, symptoms, and treatment with 3 exercises

SI joint pain causes

The sacroiliac joint is formed by the connection between the tailbone (sacrum) and the ilium. The SI joint is therefore fully called the sacroiliac joint.

The function of the sacroiliac joint is to transfer the forces from the legs to the upper body and vice versa. It makes it an important function when walking and standing. Although the mobility of the sacroiliac joint is only 1-2 degrees, you miss that mobility a lot when it is no longer there.

Two causes can cause sacroiliac joint complaints. The first and most common cause of SI joint pain is overuse. Overloading the SI joint can arise because you demand too much from your back, which means that you overload your SI joint in addition to your back.

Misstepping is also a common cause of SI complaints. Misstepping causes the SI joint to become stuck and the muscles around the joint to overload. It causes pain. We then speak of an SI blockage. The joint is blocked so that it no longer moves.

Another form of overload occurs during pregnancy. SI joint pain is a common phenomenon during pregnancy. Because the ligaments become weaker during pregnancy, the mobility of the SI joint also increases slightly. It puts extra stress on the muscles around the SI joint. Weight gain and changed posture during pregnancy also lead to more stress on the SI joint.

The last cause of SI problems is SI joint inflammation. SI joint inflammation or sacroiliitis can also arise from overload and cause inflammation of the nerves that run along the SI joint. Sacroiliitis at a young age can be a sign that you have ankylosing spondylitis. It is a rheumatic disease that a rheumatologist can diagnose.

SI joint pain cause, symptoms, and treatment with 3 exercises

SI joint pain symptoms

The main symptom of SI joint pain is pain around the SI joint. The pain is in the buttock region, just below the pelvic rim. The pain can sometimes radiate to the back or groin.

A clear sign that you suffer from SI problems is when you cannot pull your knee to your chest when lying on your lower back. That is no problem with your other knee. When the pain comes from your back, you can pull one knee to your chest, but not both at the same time. In this way, you can keep lower back pain and SI joint pain apart.

SI dysfunction leads to pain when getting up from a chair, sitting in a chair, and walking. Lifting the leg is also painful because it moves the SI joint.

When there is sacroiliitis, the pain also radiates to the back of the leg, sometimes to the foot. The pain associated with sacroiliitis is sharper and more painful. It is because there is an inflammation in which the surrounding nerves are also affected.

Sacroilitis symptoms look a lot like sciatica. But with sciatica, the SI joint test as described is negative.

SI joint pain or low back pain

SI joint pain treatment with 3 exercises

The first thing you can do to get rid of your SI complaints is to loosen the muscles around the SI joint by massaging them. Making the muscles more flexible sends fewer pain signals, which immediately reduces your SI complaints.

It works exceptionally well for pregnant women with SI complaints because the muscles themselves are the problem and not the SI joint.

It also makes it easier to do the exercises that help you loosen up the SI joint, thus dissolving the SI block.

If there is an SI joint inflammation, you can also use anti-inflammatory drugs and massaging loose. Anti-inflammatory drugs reduce nerve irritation, which also reduces pain and radiance.

You can also do an exercise to mobilize the SI joint. It increases the mobility of the SI joint and reduces the load.

In addition, you can train your back muscles, which also makes the muscles around the SI joint stronger.

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SI joint pain cause, symptoms, and treatment with 3 exercises

SI joint pain exercise 1: Mobilizing your SI joint

The first exercise is intended to improve the mobility of the SI joint. When the joint loosens, the overload on the surrounding muscles will diminish, and the pain will also disappear.

Usually, you will experience immediate pain relief after performing the exercise.

Perform the exercise as follows:

  • Lie on your back
  • Grab the knee of your painful SI joint with 2 hands
  • Pull the knee toward you as far as it will go, keeping your other leg flat on the floor
  • Hold for 10 seconds
  • Repeat this 3 times

You can see the performance of the exercise in the following video.

Repeat this exercise several times a day.

SI joint pain exercise 1 Mobilizing your SI joint

SI joint pain exercise 2: Improving the stability of your lower back

The second exercise is for improving the stability of your lower back. When your lower back is more stable, your SI joint is also less stressed. It will cause you to experience less pain.

Perform the exercise as follows:

  • Lie on your back with your legs bent
  • Cross your arms on your chest
  • Now lift your pelvis off the ground
  • Hold for 10 seconds

You can see how to perform the exercise in this video.

Perform this exercise twice a day. It is best to start slowly and then slowly build up the exercise by stretching your leg and possibly holding it longer. Feel for yourself which version suits you best at that moment.

SI joint pain exercise 2 Improving the stability of your lower back

SI joint pain exercise 3: Improving the strength of your lower back

The third exercise aims to improve lower back strength. A strong lower back also ensures less stress on the SI joint and, therefore, less pain.

Perform the exercise as follows:

  • Lie on your stomach with your arms folded under your head
  • Now lift your arms and your upper body off the ground at the same time
  • Just keep your feet on the ground
  • Repeat this 10 times
  • Do this 3 times

So it is not the intention that you push yourself up. The extension must come from the back muscles. Do this exercise twice a day. You can slowly increase the number of repetitions to 15 or even 20.

SI joint pain exercise 3 Improving the strength of your lower back

Conclusion

You can easily relieve SI joint pain yourself with several exercises. If you do not succeed with the exercises, you can always send me an e-mail, and I will try to help you further.

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