The sacroiliac joint (SI joint) bridges the triangular sacral bone, at the end of the spine and the pelvis bone in the hip. This joint acts as a shock absorbing structure during the activities such as walking and running. If SI joint cannot handle the abnormal or awkwardly twisting movements that an individual resorts to during a sports activity, it can lead to its irritation and dysfunction. These movements can also irritate the sacroiliac nerve located right in front of this joint and cause pain. Dysfunction of SI joint can result in back pain and pain in the leg. Aging may also cause dysfunction of SI joint by stiffening muscles of this joint. In such a situation, exercises can help you in relieving the stressed sacroiliac joint and its muscles.
Physical Therapy for SI Joint Dysfunction
Before, you can start the physical therapy for restoring the functionality of this joint, it is necessary to undergo dysfunction treatment for it. Ultrasound, massage, sacroiliac joint injections, etc., may also help you in lessening the pain and sacroiliac joint inflammation that is the outcome of its irritation. This helps you in preventing the aggravation of injury. The aim of sacroiliac joint dysfunction exercises is to loosen up the scar tissues formed in the joint, and imparting full flexibility to the muscles of the joint by stretching and strengthening them. These exercises can also aid you in increasing the flexibility of the back.
Exercise Your Hamstring
It is important that while doing these workouts, you should not stretch the back muscles beyond your endurance levels. If there is pain, then you must stop doing the exercise and consult a doctor. This exercise will help you take some of the strain off the muscles of the back.
Lay on your back and fold the right leg to raise the knee. Exhale slowly and pull the knee as close as possible to the chest. After releasing the right leg, repeat this exercise 10 times for the right leg and then for the left leg. This exercise, makes the hamstring muscles, which stretch from the lower pelvis to the leg, share the burden and relieve the back muscles to some extent. The pull exerted by the hamstring muscles on the pelvis, stretches the back and helps in rapid SI joint dysfunction rehabilitation.
Rock Your Knees
Lay on your back with the knees raised and pressed together. Keep your feet firm and flat on the ground. Move or sway your knees gently, from side to side, while maintaining your lower back still. Do not raise your lower back off the ground. Repeat the exercise 5 - 10 times.
This exercise will help you in stabilization of the pelvic by making the muscles, which supports the sacroiliac joint, stronger and flexible. These muscles, in the long run will help you in avoiding arthritis, because of the unnecessary wear and tear of the cartilage of sacroiliac joint.
Exercise the Gluteus Muscle
Lay flat on your back. Bend your right knee and maintain the right foot in a stable position. Rest your left leg over the right knee such that the left ankle is slightly above the right knee. Clasp your hands around the right thigh, firmly. Pull the right thigh towards the chest using both hands. Avoid jerking the right leg. This will stretch the left gluteus portion of your buttock. Remain in this position for 30 seconds to achieve stretching of the muscles.
You can stretch the right gluteus part of the buttock by folding the left knee and placing the right leg over it. Repeat the exercise 3 times for each leg and try to do it, 5 times a day. If you experience pain in the SI joint, stop doing the exercise and consult a doctor.
Butterfly Knee Stretch
Lie on your back, bend your knees, and maintain your feet pressed flat and close together. Let your tailbone and middle ribs touch the mat, and let your knees fall apart. Take them close to the floor. Stop when you feel a gentle stretch in the inner thighs and the groin area. Pull your knees back together and exhale while doing that. You will experience the pelvic floor muscles acting. This completes one cycle. Do it 6-10 times.
The sacroiliac joint absorbs vibrations due to impacts felt during the strenuous activities such as running and thus, it protects the spine and spinal cord from injury. It supports the weight of the upper body and allow for its movements in an arc of 1 - 4 degrees. At this time, it is necessary to distribute the weight of the upper body through the pelvis in a proper way so as to be able to control this movement. Your body achieves this by use of the muscles of the lower back, pelvis and properly employing ligaments and muscles of the sacroiliac joint. This is where these exercises help you the most.