Sacroiliac joint pain, or SI joint pain, is commonly complained of as hip pain, lower back pain, pelvic pain, or pain in the butt because most people don’t realize where their SI joint is and that it’s causing the pain. If you think your SI joint may be the source of your pain make sure you continue reading for the best exercises you can do at home, and what most people don’t know about their sacroiliac joint pain.

Where Is Your SI Joint?

The sacroiliac joint (SI joint) is the joint between the sacrum and the ilium (the bones of the pelvis) on both sides in the back. See the image with the left SI joint circled and the right side pointed to. sacroiliac joint

You have two SI joints, one on each side of the sacrum, that play a role in supporting the body, shock absorption, and movement when walking. There are many ligaments and muscles that come across these joints, including the pelvic floor muscles, that can become overstretched or have trigger points that may be contributing to your symptoms. There are also many nerves that weave in and out of that vicinity that can become problematic when there is a dysfunctional joint or movement.

Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction Symptoms 

Common symptoms of SI joint dysfunction include: 

  • Lower back pain
  • Increased pain when standing 
  • Hip pain 
  • Pain with walking
  • Pelvic pain 
  • Tight hips
  • Tight lower back muscles 
  • Pain down the leg (either going straight down or going to the side of the leg)
  • And symptoms associated with the trigger points of the muscles connecting to the SI joint

Due to the location of the sacroiliac joint and the many layers of soft tissues involved it can be difficult to pinpoint the source of your pain on your own. It is easy to write off the subtle signs of its dysfunction early on. It can even be missed if the health care provider is not thorough in the assessment and treatment of the root cause.

When treated on the surface, this problem can lead to dysfunctional movement patterns that can lead to deterioration at the SI joint, hips, and/or lower back area to the point that surgery becomes the route down the road. If you suspect your SI joint is causing your symptoms make sure to seek consultation and treatment by a functional movement chiropractor who utilizes Dynamic Neuromuscular Stabilization. 

What Causes SI Joint Pain?

You’re having this pain and want to know why! Having seen many patients with sacroiliac pain or SI joint dysfunction we have found that the following can contribute: 

  • Trauma
  • Bad posture
  • Lifestyle
  • Bad ergonomics
  • Pregnancy 
  • Functional movement disorder 
  • Spine surgeries 
  • Car accidents 
  • Sports injuries
  • Lack of proper treatment of past injuries 

Now, contrary to popular belief, the majority of SI joint pain and dysfunction cases are not a result of injury but are from a chronic problem in movement and posture. Watch the video below for what I mean.


What Is The Treatment For Sacroiliac Joint Pain 

The best treatment for SI joint pain or sacroiliac dysfunction is not just an isolated treatment of the SI joint itself, but one that involves full torso stabilization. What I have found the most effective in doing just that is Dynamic Neuromuscular Stabilization (DNS) Exercises. As explained in my blog:

“What makes sense is to see how babies, born with body parts and muscles developed the strength in those individual muscles and then learned to coordinate the movement of the different parts together to perform complex movements like crawling and walking. This is accomplished with no coaching, no weights, no bands, and no machines. This is our biological movement development that we are all hardwired with.

If it has worked for all babies with little to NO ability to move, to moving perfectly, if it is for everyone regardless of gender, location, race, or genetic background, then why not learn from that? Why reinvent the wheel that we KNOW works perfectly? EVERY single baby learns to move perfectly; it is the lifestyle of playing one-sided sports, getting injured, having a sedentary lifestyle, etc. that messes up that perfect initial year or so that it took to perfect the art of movement!”

The exercise below is an example of a DNS exercise that targets the sacroiliac joints while the whole body is stabilizing itself. Look at it like a concert where all musicians are playing but the spotlight is on the ‘pianist’.

There are many treatments for sacroiliac joint pain such as medicine, chiropractic adjustments, physical therapy, acupuncture, and more. In order to get rid of the problem for good, you not only need to get rid of the cause but what ‘feeds’ the cause.

Isolating the area is NOT going to solve the problem because while the problem existed, the body has learned to modify its movement to accommodate the ‘hurt’ area. Unless the movement patterns are restored to the original ‘design’, the one we were born with, the problem will exist. The only common-sense exercises that are innate to our movement are what all of us followed as babies. It’s how we went from helpless infants to running toddlers.

Developmental Kinesiology exercises along with Postural Neurology are how we are able to not only help patients get rid of pain but learn how to catch and prevent themselves from falling into the wrong paths of dysfunction.

If you have sacroiliac joint pain and need help with the treatment, contact us.

Dr. Shakib