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Exercise and Physical Therapy for Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction

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Exercise and physical therapy are often tried before other treatments for sacroiliac (SI) joint dysfunction, such as medications. Both exercise and physical therapy can help you manage pain and other SI joint dysfunction symptoms.

Get the okay from your doctor before you start any exercise or physical therapy program. Your doctor can recommend a physical therapist who can help get you started with a gentle exercise plan.

In this Article

Physical Therapy to Treat Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction
Physical therapy can help ease stress on your SI joints, which can become strained from sitting or standing for long periods of time. It can also help you maintain joint flexibility—especially important as you get older.

Your physical therapist may have you try passive and active treatments—the 2 types of physical therapy—to help you manage SI joint pain.

With passive treatments, the physical therapist does most of the work. An example of a passive treatment for SI joint pain is applying heat or ice to the painful area.

With active treatments, you do the work. An at-home exercise routine is an example of an active treatment you can do for SI joint pain.

To get the most benefits from physical therapy, you’ll most likely need to do a combination of passive and active treatments for SI joint pain. Your physical therapist will create a physical therapy program to help address your symptoms.

Exercise for Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction
When you have SI joint dysfunction, you do not have to do intense exercise. In fact, you can benefit greatly from a gentle exercise routine—the key is to exercise consistently.

Among the many benefits of exercising with SI joint pain, it can help stretch and strengthen low back muscles, and it can help you maintain joint flexibility.

As part of an overall exercise plan for SI joint dysfunction, incorporate the 3 main types of exercise—aerobic, strengthening, and flexibility exercises—into your workout routine.

There are numerous gentle exercises and stretches you can do to help decrease pain caused by SI joint dysfunction.

Check out these exercise videos for examples of SI joint stretches you can do:

For help with how to do these stretches and other exercises for SI joint pain, work with a personal trainer or physical therapist.

Coping with Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction
Adding exercise and physical therapy to your sacroiliac joint dysfunction treatment plan can significantly help you manage SI joint pain symptoms.

Updated on: 09/07/12
Jonathan N. Sembrano, MD
This article was reviewed by Jonathan N. Sembrano, MD.
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