Exercise and Physical Therapy for Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction

Consistency is the key to gentle stretches and exercise recommended by your doctor or physical therapist.

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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 physical therapy or exercise program. Your doctor can recommend a physical therapist who can help get you started with a gentle exercise plan.

gentle passive knee to chest stretchA physical therapist gently stretches her patient's lower back and SI joints during a knee to chest movement. Photo Source: 123RF.com.

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 Pain and 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:

  • Stretching for flexibility
  • Strengthening
  • Aerobic

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

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: 05/08/19
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