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Corrective Exercises for SI Joint Pain

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.
Corrective Exercises for SI Joint Pain
A woman does a cobra pose in a yoga studio. Photo Credit Pixland/Pixland/Getty Images

The sacroiliac -- SI -- joint is the area where the spine and hips meet each other. The joint must support your body when you twist or when you lift objects, which is why you can commonly experience pain in this area. Because SI joint pain typically results when the joint slips out of place, corrective exercises can help reduce pressure on the nerves, lessening pain.

Knee Stirs

The knee stir exercise helps improve flexibility in the SI joint and reduce muscle tension. Start by lying on your back with your legs extended and your palms flat on the floor. Pull your pelvis toward your chest to place your lower back on the floor. Bend your right leg at the knee to pull it toward your chest, stopping when you make a 90-degree angle with your thigh and lower leg. Keep the leg raised as you circle it clockwise, making as large a circle as you can. Repeat four to eight times, then reverse the circle to perform it counterclockwise four to eight times. Lower the leg and repeat on the left leg.

Butterfly Stretch

The butterfly stretch stretches the buttocks muscles and helps to correct the SI joint. Start by lying on your back with your feet flat on the floor. Tilt your feet so the outsides rest on the floor; put the bottoms of the feet together and drop the knees to open up the pelvic region. You can place your hands on your hipbones to keep your spine in a neutral position. You should feel a stretch in your groin muscles as you hold the position for 15 seconds. Take a few deep breaths, then exhale to pull your legs back into the starting position. Repeat six to 10 times.


The cobra exercise helps relieve pain in the sciatic nerve, which runs through the SI joint. Lie on your stomach and place your hands on the floor beside your shoulders. Push against your hands to lift your upper body off the ground, feeling a stretch in your lower back. Do not let your shoulders creep up toward your ears. Hold this position for 15 seconds, then lower the upper body toward the floor. Repeat this stretch four times.

Knee Drop

The knee drop exercise helps restore range of motion to the SI joint. Lie on your back with your feet flat on the floor and your knees locked together. Tilt your pelvis slightly to place your lower back on the floor. Slowly lower your knees to your right side, feeling a stretch in the lower back. Hold this position for 10 seconds. Return to the starting position, then lower the knees to your left side and hold for 10 seconds. Repeat to stretch each side three times.

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