Is the Sacroiliac Joint (SIJ) the cause of your pain? There are several types of lower back pain, however, sacroiliac joint dysfunction often presents itself with a very sharp/stabbing pain very low in the back. If this does not match your lower back pain, check out our last blog about the 3 main types of lower back pain that we see in our office.
Of the types of lower back pain I mention, SIJ dysfunction can be the quickest and easiest to fix. A single chiropractic adjustment might be just the thing you need to relieve your SIJ pain! If one adjustment is all you needed, and your pain disappears immediately, there is still a reason why your SIJ became locked up in the first place – your hips are unstable!
SIJ Exercises to Relieve Pain and Prevent Future Flare-Ups
The following exercises will help to relieve your SIJ pain and prevent future SIJ flare-ups by putting mobility and stability back in your hips and low back.
Hip Flexor Stretch
This stretch is a go-to if you sit all day. The hip flexor muscles can get very tight due to excessive sitting, and one side will often become significantly tighter than the other, creating an imbalance in the pelvis. Begin this stretch as shown with the hips tucked under, flattening the spine. Reach high overhead and take deep breathes. You should feel a stretch in the front of your hip and quadriceps on the leg that is down. Hold for two minutes on each side.
Sacroiliac Joint Stretch
This stretch will help to increase mobility in the lower back and hips. If you push/pull hard enough, you may actually adjust your own sacroiliac joint! Start by lying on your back. To do this stretch, bend one knee and lock the foot behind your other knee. Drop the leg across the body, holding onto the knee and using your other free hand to push hard on the lowest part of your back. Keep both shoulders on the floor. Hold this for 1-2 minutes or pulse in and out of it 20x.
Chair Single Leg Bridge
This is for glute activation! Start with your upper back and arms resting against a chair or table. With one leg straight and the other knee bent, lift your hips off the ground until your upper body is parallel with the floor and your knee bent is 90°. Do 10-15 reps per side 3 times. If this exercise is too difficult, keep both knees bent and do a double leg bridge.
Roll Up Exercise
Core strength is essential for reducing any type of lower back pain. Start this exercise by lying flat on the floor with your knees bent. Tuck your hips so that your lower back is completely flat against the floor (image one demonstrates how it should not be!). Roll your chest off the floor, keeping your shoulders back and the arms and head relaxed. Hold this position for 1 minute. Take very controlled deep breaths through the nose and forceful exhales through the mouth like you are blowing out candles on a cake. Hold for 1 minute and repeat 3 times.
Banded Squats for Lower Back and Hip Health
Squats are excellent for proper lower back and hip health. Use this motion!!! For added glute strengthening, put a resistance band right below your knees. Begin by hinging your upper body forward slightly and then bending the knees, squatting as low as you can. Use a chair or stool if you don’t feel comfortable squatting low. Keep your body upright and your back flat. Spread the knees as far apart as you can against the band and keep your whole foot in contact with the floor. Do 10-20 repetitions for 2-3 sets.
Like the hip flexors, a muscle called the piriformis can also contribute to imbalances in the hip. Hold this stretch for 2 minutes on each side. To intensify this stretch, press your knee to the table/counter/bed and shift your upper body forward without rounding your back.
If you’re having issues with your lower back, or if you have any questions with any of these exercises, send an email to Info@CaliSpine.com. We’d be happy to help!