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The Best Stretches for Sacroiliac Pain

by
author image Rachel Nall
Rachel Nall began writing in 2003. She is a former managing editor for custom health publications, including physician journals. She has written for The Associated Press and "Jezebel," "Charleston," "Chatter" and "Reach" magazines. Nall is currently pursuing her Bachelor of Science in Nursing at the University of Tennessee.
The Best Stretches for Sacroiliac Pain
Sacroiliac joint problems cause pain in the lower back. Photo Credit Tom Le Goff/Photodisc/Getty Images

Your sacroiliac joint is the point where the lower portion of your spine, known as the sacrum, meets your pelvis. Although it is termed a joint, the sacroiliac joint does not move, but instead signifies the point where these two areas come together. The sacroiliac joint represents the points where two areas that are subject to pressure and strain on your body come together: the lower back and the hips. Stretched ligaments and muscles, and pressure on your spinal nerve can cause pain in this region. Stretching to relieve this pain can help you reduce inflammation and improve reduced range of motion.

Tensor Fascia Lata Stretch

The tensor fascia lata is the muscle the rests on the outside of your hip. When the muscle is tight, you may experience sacroiliac pain because the muscles act on the sacroiliac joints. Relieve muscle tension by standing with your right side to a wall or stable piece of furniture, resting your right hand on it for support. Lift your right leg forward in the air, then to the side to cross your leg slightly over your left. You should feel a stretch in your right hip. Tilt your upper back toward your left side to deepen the stretch. Hold this position for 30 seconds, then lower your leg. Repeat three times, then perform 3 to 6 different times throughout the day.

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Lumbar Rotation

The lumbar region refers to your lower spine. A nerve known as the sciatic nerve extends from the lumbar region to the sacroiliac joint, which can cause nerve pain on the hips and legs. To relieve this pain, place a pillow behind your head and place your lower back on the floor with your feet flat on the ground. Your feet and knees should touch each other. Keep your hands straight at your sides with your palms facing down. Gently rotate your knees to your right side, but do not lift your hips or back off the ground. Stop the rotation when you feel your hips are lifting. Hold in this position for five seconds, then rotate to your left side, repeating the exercise. Stretch each side five times.

Cow Face Pose

This yoga pose specifically targets the muscles around the sacroiliac joint. To perform, sit with your feet touching each other. Move your right leg over your left to cross your legs. Your right knee should be almost centered with your left and your right foot by your left hip and vice-versa. Keep the back straight as you lift your right hand in the air. Bend at the elbow to put the arm behind you, grasping the right hand with your left hand, if possible. Breathe deeply as you feel the stretch in your entire back, particularly your upper pelvis. You can lean forward slightly to deepen the stretch. Try to hold the pose for one minute, then release the arms and legs and repeat on the other side.

Piriformis Stretch

The piriformis muscle crosses over your hip and causes tightness in the sacroiliac joint. To stretch the hips, lie on your back with your legs extended. Bend your right leg to pull your right knee toward your left chest. Use your hands to pull the leg in a little further. You should feel the stretch on the outer portion of the buttocks. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds, then release the stretch to lower your leg. Repeat to stretch your left knee toward your right chest. Repeat on each side three times and perform throughout the day as needed.

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