SI Joint Yoga

February 21, 2013

If you’ve ever had pain from your SI (sacroiliac) joints then you know exactly where they are, SI joint pain can be excruciating!

Thank goodness we can maintain healthy SI joints with a little work in self awareness and pelvis balancing exercises, and prevent that excruciating pain from limiting the activity and enjoyment in our lives.

The SI joints are complex in how the sacrum and ilium articulate with each other in different spinal and hip movements:

One of the SI joints’ function is shock absorption (depending on the amount of available motion at the sacroiliac joint) for the spine, along with the job of torque conversion allowing the transverse rotations that take place in the lower extremity to be transmitted up the spine. The SI joint, like all lower extremity joints, provides a “self-locking” mechanism (the joint attains its most congruent position, also called the close pack position) that helps with stability during the push-off phase of walking. The joint locks on one side as weight is transferred from one leg to the other, and through the pelvis the body weight is transmitted from the sacrum to the hip bone.

Put simply the motions of the sacroiliac joint are:

  • Forward and backward rotation of both hip bones together on the sacrum during forward bending with both hips.
  • Forward tilt of one hip bone while the opposite hip bone tilts backward on the sacrum, which occurs during walking or running gait, and other asymmetrical movements of the hips.
  • Forward and backward tilting (nutation/counter-nutation) motions of the sacrum occur simultaneous with movements of the hips.
  • Figure 8 movement of the sacrum occurs with opposing forward and backward rotation of the hip bones (as in gait).

The sacroiliac joints are bicondylar joints, meaning that movement of one side corresponds to a correlative movement of the other side… nothing happens in isolation, there are multiple things happening at once.

Or at least there should be. If things aren’t moving or are moving too much we get pain, generally with weight bearing when those joints are not cooperating in their job of shock distribution.

This is pretty complicated, but if you find it interesting and want to know more, check out this video:

If you have severe low back, SI joint, or hip pain, please go see someone for assessment, diagnosis, and treatment.

If however, you wish to prevent future discomfort and maintain healthy feeling SI joints and comfortable movement, then check out this yoga sequence:

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