Best Cardio For Si Joint Dysfunction

+ Font Size -

Best Cardio For Si Joint Dysfunction

Low-Intensity Exercises for Lower Back Pain Caused by SI Joint Dysfunction

Lower back pain isn't easy to deal with. It can even make a stroll through the park feel as arduous as climbing Everest. While there are many reasons of lower back discomfort, sacroiliac joint dysfunction is a common one.

The sacroiliac joint, commonly known as the SI joint, is located near the bottom of your spine and forms the back half of your pelvic girdle. There are two in the human body, one on the left side of the pelvis and the other on the right.

This joint's dysfunction can result in painful low-back and leg discomfort. As a result, physical therapists create therapeutic exercise regimes that are tailored to the specific type of impairment. Low-impact aerobic exercise, muscular strengthening, stretching, and the use of heat and cold can all help manage or alleviate pain. Some of the finest workouts for SI joint disorders are listed below.

SI Joint Dysfunction: What Is It?

Joint hypo- or hypermobility is referred to as sacroiliac dysfunction. SI joints that are hypermobile have too much movement, while hypomobile SI joints are locked and immovable.

The sacroiliac joint can be affected by traumatic injuries, biomechanical muscle imbalances, inflammatory disorders, or hormonal abnormalities. Pregnancy also induces joint laxity in preparation for the birthing process, which can lead to SI joint hypermobility.

Exercises to Help with Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction

Because of its location at the base of the spine, the SI joint is particularly vulnerable to the effects of physical exercise. Finding physical exercises that don't put a lot of stress on the low back is crucial. Consider the following choices.

Low-Intensity Cardio

Aerobic exercise helps muscle tissue repair by increasing blood flow throughout the body. Endorphins, which are released during cardiovascular activity, also serve as analgesics, reducing SI joint pain.

Swimming, walking, or using an elliptical machine are all good options. According to the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, strive for at least 150 to 300 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise every week. This amounts to roughly 20 to 30 minutes every day.

DonTigny Workouts

Richard Dontigny, a physical therapist, devised a set of exercises to realign the SI joint and engage the core muscles, both of which are critical for sacroiliac joint stability. Some are incredibly subtle, requiring a great deal of focus before you can feel them working. Begin with the following:

With your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor, sit upright.

Contract your core muscles and push one knee forward while bringing the other knee back, without moving your feet or upper body.

Rep in opposite directions.

Weight-Bearing Exercises

Strengthening the muscles in your low back promotes SI joint stability, making it stronger and less prone to injury and pain. To strengthen your low-back muscles, try this hypermobile sacroiliac joint exercise called a glute bridge:

  • Begin by lying down on the floor, knees bent and feet flat on the ground.
  • Raise your hips off the floor slowly while contracting your abdominal and gluteal muscles.
  • Hold for at least 10 seconds before slowly lowering your hips back to the ground.
  • Begin with 5 reps and work your way up to 20.

Resistance Training

Pillows, tiny exercise balls, and resistance bands are used by physical therapists at Ohio State University Medical Center to strengthen the muscles that support the SI joint. Here are two exercises for SI joint hypermobility:

Step 1: Adductors

  • Lie down on your back, knees bent, and upper body propped up on elbows.
  • Between your legs, place a pillow or a small exercise ball.
  • As you squeeze the ball or pillow, contract your inner thighs.
  • Make 10 repetitions.

Abductors (Move 2)

  • Wrap a resistance band over your outer thighs following that.
  • Lie down and press your thighs against the resistance of the band.
  • Make 10 repetitions.


Increased flexibility of the low-back muscles may aid in the relief of SI joint pain's tightness and discomfort. A knee-to-chest stretch is a good approach to relieve tension in the low back muscles.

  • Lay on your back on a sturdy surface to begin.
  • Bring one knee to your chest, holding the back of your knee with your hands and drawing the leg in close to your body.
  • Hold for 30 seconds, then slowly release.
  • Rep 5 times on each leg, working your way up to 15 reps.


According to Jennifer Adolfs, author of Pilates Relief for Joint and Back Pain, several Pilates exercises can help with SI joint dysfunction symptoms.

  • Starting on your back, bring one knee toward your chest.
  • Hold for two counts before letting go.
  • Do ten reps on each leg.
  • Then, with your knees bent, lower your feet to the floor and relax your arms by your sides.
  • Sway your knees from side to side while keeping your heels and both hips flat on the floor. A stretch will be felt throughout your lower back.

Other Pilates movements also aid in sacroiliac joint stabilization.

  • Lie down on your back with your legs outstretched.
  • Bring one knee to your chest by bending it.
  • As you circle the bent knee, keep both hips firmly pressed into the floor.
  • On each leg, make four clockwise and four counterclockwise circles.
  • Roll over onto your stomach once you've completed both sides.
  • To make a 90-degree angle, bend one leg.
  • Perform 6 clockwise and 6 counter-clockwise circles while lifting the lower leg off the floor. Maintain a firm grip on the floor with both pelvic bones.
  • Rep with the opposite leg.

Other options include heat, ice, and medication.

Your doctor may prescribe certain non-surgical treatments for symptom relief after an initial sacroiliac joint assessment. These allow you to execute the exercises in relative comfort in times of extreme pain.

In the treatment of pain associated with SI joint dysfunction, both ice and heat are beneficial. According to the Cleveland Clinic, ice should be used shortly after the onset of discomfort to limit blood flow and inflammation. Ice should be applied for no more than 15 minutes.

Heat packs can also aid with pain management; they can even be used before exercise to help muscles relax, although they should be avoided if there is inflammation, according to the Cleveland Clinic. Use a heating pad or warm compresses for up to 20 minutes. For optimal therapeutic benefit, alternate between heat and ice.

Your doctor may give anti-inflammatory medicine if you have considerable inflammation. Additionally, hypermobile SI joints in pregnant women may require the use of a particular SI joint belt.

What types of exercises irritate the SI joint?

Certain movements can aggravate SI joint pain and prevent you from mending. Do sit-ups, twist, or bend from the waist with your knees straight instead of bringing your knees to your chest. Running should be avoided until you've recovered.

Is cycling beneficial to the sacroiliac joint?

Bike riding: Some people find that riding a stationary or recumbent (reclined) bike at the gym relieves their SI pain. It improves blood flow to your aching lower back and hips while reducing stress on the SI joint.

Are squats beneficial to the SI joint?

Strengthening activities like squats and lunges can also assist to strengthen the gluteus and thigh muscles, which are vital in supporting the pelvis and SI joint. A doctor, physical therapist, or other health expert may recommend or prescribe additional strengthening exercises.

Are planks beneficial to the SI joint?

These muscles flex gently and with some endurance to offer pelvic and SI joint stability, as well as lower back stabilization. They also assist in the support of the pelvic organs.

Is SI joint pain always present?

Acute SI joint discomfort occurs frequently and normally subsides within a few days to weeks. If SI joint pain lasts longer than three months, it is called chronic. Chronic SI joint discomfort can occur at any time and worsen with particular activities.

How can I manually unlock my SI joint?

Begin by lying down on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Place one foot's ankle on the knee of the other. Wrap your hands over the knee that is supporting you. Lift the supporting knee off the floor using your abs, just going as high as you can without pain at the SI joint.

Are planks hard on the lower back?

This puts a lot of strain on the shoulders and neck, which is typically exacerbated when people try to look up or forward during the plank. In most cases, this position causes neck and upper shoulder pain, but it can also cause lower back pain.

How long does it take to recover from sacroiliac joint dysfunction?

The severity of sacroiliac joint pain varies based on the amount and source of the damage. Acute SI joint pain appears out of nowhere and normally goes away within a few days to weeks. Chronic SI joint pain lasts more than three months, and it might be felt all of the time or become worse with certain activities.

Which sleeping posture is best for SI joint pain?

If you have SI joint pain on one side, try sleeping on the opposite side to relieve the pressure on the joint. A pillow placed between your knees and ankles might help correct your hips.

Is it possible to overcome SI joint dysfunction?

You can need up to six months to fully recover. Our Physical Therapist may use heat or cold, electrical stimulation, massage, and ultrasound to help reduce your pain and muscle spasms following SI joint surgery when you visit Healing Hands Physical Therapy.

With SI joint pain, can I lift weights?

When carrying big objects, try not to twist. The goal of these exercises is to gently move your sacroiliac joint. If these workouts cause you any pain or discomfort, stop doing them. If your discomfort persists, contact your doctor or a physical therapist as soon as possible.

With sacroiliac joint pain, what can't you do?

  • Moves to Avoid: Single-leg lower body moves such as lunges of any kind or step-ups/downs put your pevis in a less stable posture.
  • Because of the hypermobility in your pelvis, impact actions like sprinting, jumping, or other ballistic moves are likely to increase pain.

How many times a day should I plank?

How long should you plank for? The world record for holding a plank is more than four hours, but you don't have to put in that much effort. Most experts agree that anywhere from 10 to 30 seconds is sufficient. Concentrate on completing many sets of shorter tasks.

Is planking beneficial to sciatica?

Traditional crunches and sit-ups, on the other hand, might increase pain by putting pressure on the sciatic nerve. Hinging forward vigorously, such as in yoga's Forward Folds, can be painful. Planks and standing rotations should be used instead of these exercises to strengthen your core.

write a comment