On Wednesday, I wrote about my initial sacroiliac joint injury and the general mechanisms for common issues with SI joint issues. After my injury, the next step was to seek out a manual therapist who released the tissues surrounding my right hip along with a gentle adjustment of the SI joint and pubic bone. This was painless.

Immediately after, I was standing with equal weight in both my legs, my belly button more centered, and the creak in my neck disappeared quickly thereafter. I still had plenty of issues in my tissues, including unyielding adductors, QLs and piriformis that were just working too hard, all the time, but this was a huge step forward.

Nowadays, I maintain a regular routine with my Yoga Tune Up® Therapy balls to decongest my tissues. I especially love using the Alpha Ball to take a tour of my pelvis. Check out this great Yoga Tune Up® self-massage video for a wonderful release for your piriformis and all of the muscles that run from your sacrum to femur. While Jill demonstrates in the video with the YTU Therapy Balls, feel free to experiment with any size of Roll Model Therapy Ball. 

While therapy balls help, releasing the tissues is only part of the solution. After you seek professional help from a Sports Medicine PT or Osteopath, it’s a good idea to follow a stability program that should become part of your lifestyle so that you don’t find yourself on your therapist’s table any time soon. Here are my three favourite sacroiliac joint exercises to strengthen your core and stabilize the SIJ for the long haul.

Do them regularly, completing as many repetitions as you can while maintaining good form, and you will find the stability and strength that will hug your sacroiliac joints in place and help prevent back pain.

 

Bridge Lifts

This pose is a bang for your buck. You will strengthen your legs, pelvic floor, gluteal muscles and core muscles, all of which are key to stabilizing your pelvis and spine. In addition, this can also open up the front body, including the psoas.

Shalabhasana Mini Vini

I like to think of this minivini as reverse bridge lift, the only difference being that you are on your belly. This upper back strengthening pose requires the core muscles to switch on to stabilize the pelvis and spine. It asks that you move from your thoracic spine without compressing the lumbar spine, much like in Bridge Lifts.

Lower Back Strengthening QuickFix for Back Pain Relief

Strengthen your entire torso, especially your transverse abdominus, internal obliques and quadratus lumborum on the side that is shortening. On the other side, you will traction those muscles away from the pelvis, creating more space for you to move with ease.

 

Whether or not you’ve experienced an SIJ injury, it is important for joint health to maintain mobility and stability in all ranges of movement, not just the ones you do continually on a daily basis. Give these exercises a try and let me know what you think!

 

Enjoyed this article? Read Finding Center by Mastering the Midline

Emilie Mikulla

Having contracted a major case of wanderlust, Emilie has traveled the world, working as journalist, and now lives Dubai. After a second surgery on her spine, Emilie followed a lengthy Pilates rehabilitation program and, amazed by the results in her own body, became a comprehensively trained Pilates instructor in 2008. Emilie has taught in Thailand, South Africa, Dubai and in San Francisco. Emilie is an E-RYT and has completed her trainings with YogaWorks and Yoga Tree San Francisco, before earning her Yoga Tune Up® certification from Jill Miller. She has also spent hundreds of hours assisting her mentor Harvey Deutch PT at RedHawk Physical Therapy clinic in San Francisco, in teacher trainings, and on retreats at the Esalen Institute in Big Sur. She has also recently participated in a week-long cadaver dissection workshop with Gil Hedley of Integral Anatomy. Emilie is the Lifestyle Editor for Women's Health & Fitness Middle East where she contributes a variety of articles and columns ranging from fitness and wellness, inspirational stories and nutrition. Blending dynamic movement with therapeutic releases, Emilie’s classes will empower you to practice the activities you love with awareness and joy.

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Doug Wright

The Therapy balls are a great way to floss the SI joint, so thanks for suggesting some helpful YTU techniques to follow up with to create additional stability in that region.

Emilee

One of the biggest problem areas I see-the SI joints. However, guilty as charged I have SIJ pain too. It has found its way back after majorly pulling an adductor in a kettle bell course doing triangle pose and has been hard to get rid of since. I am going to try this routine daily as part of my personal practice and see how it changes my hip tightness to hopefully modify my mechanics!

Katherine

Thanks for suggesting this mini sequence as a way to stabilize and strengthen the SI joint, while finding some suppleness and movement. As yogis we can spend way too much time with “hip openers” and not enough time creating integrity and suppleness in the joints.

Cynthia

Hooray – thank you for the reminder to roll regularly along with very specific references to helpful videos for SIJ. Much appreciated

Rachel Taylor

A sigh of relief is exactly what my right SI joint has been longing for. I think it’s actually felt stuck for years, but I’ve really been noticing it since giving birth 10 months ago. Thank you for both these exercises, and the encouragement to see a physical therapist. I don’t know why I’m so resistant to that action– maybe I think my pain isn’t painful enough? Anyway, whatever the weird sub-conscious thing going on there, I will go see someone and incorporate these exercises. I’ve also found the YTU pose Buttock Lifts really helpful.

marie josée packwood

Loved this !

Laurie

Thank you! This is a great follow up to your previous article and gives lots of hope to those with SIJ and related complaints. Also a great choice of exercises that you’ve recommended.

Georgia

Great reminder about SI joint support! I will give the exercises a whirl!

M Dickenson

Great, just what I need to get started helping someone dear to me that is in low back pain. Breath, movement and strength.

M Dickenson

Perfect, just what I needed to start help someone dear to me who is in lowback pain. Breath, strength and movement

Tari Surapholn

I totally agree with you about keeping joints healthy. Life style changes throughout ages and people let their life style changed their body, mental and physical, to become less awareness and connection to own self. My work requires driving for a log distance and I’ve been experience some tension to the muscle to my gluteus max and mini. When I discovered Tune up ball, I’ve been use the original ball on my left hip while I’m driving and that helps!

cg ovalle

Thank you for additional tools to use, i have l5,s1 bludging, and been dealing with strength in my sij due to a dislocation. So looking forward to trying out these new techniques .

E B

I really enjoyed this article! I have a hyper-mobile SIJ and bridge lifts are my go-to. I also like hip circles with a ball under my SIJ and my opposite glute to release and wide leg pliés to stabilize. I didn’t think about the Shalabhasana to flip it and all the lateral flexion. I will definitely add these to my routine!

Ekaterina

Precisely what I was looking for! Thank you Emy for the newest addition to my toolbox:)