In America alone, over 54 million adults suffer from some sort of joint pain. Some even experience such pain that they are limited in what kind of activities they can do. If you’re someone who regularly enjoys an active lifestyle, then this can be frustrating, to say the least.
Sacroiliac joint pain is one of those areas in the body that can be completely debilitating. If not treated it can get worse and cause nerve damage.
Fortunately, there are plenty of things you can do to help prevent and relieve pain in the sacroiliac joint. In this article, we’re going to explain what SI joint pain is and 5 ways you can treat it yourself.
1. Ice and Heat Therapy
There’s a reason why athletes spend so much time icing and heating their joints and sore muscles—it works wonders for recovery. Ice therapy helps reduce swelling, inflammation, and numbs the pain.
Using heat therapy with ice therapy helps loosen up tight areas by increasing blood flow to that area. Using heat to restore blood flow to an area can help reduce pain signals that are sent to your brain.
Apply ice wrapped in a towel to your inflamed area. It’s important not to use ice directly on your skin as this can cause ice burns. Ice for periods of up to 15 to 20 minutes, 3 times a day.
Use a heating pad just like you would when with ice. Apply heat to the inflamed area for up to 15 to 20 minutes, 3 times a day.
2. Mobilize Your SI Joint
You can mobilize, or release, your SI joint by doing some simple exercises. Start with laying down in your bed on the floor with your legs up in a 90 degrees position. Press your hands into your knees while pushing against them with your knees—hold for 5 seconds and repeat.
Next start in the same position on your back with legs up in a 90° position. Then hold your hands in a fist side by side and put them between your knees. Now drive knees in against your hands while keeping your fists firm—hold for five seconds and repeat.
Another effective mobilizing exercise for the SI joint is to again start in the same position on your back. Bring the knees up to 90° and with one knee push against your hand, while pulling the other knee at the same time.
You want to hold this resistance for about 2 to 3 seconds and then alternate. Try to relax in between sets. You can do up to 10 sets at a time.
3. Make Your SI Stronger
A sure way to help relieve sacroiliac joint pain is to make the muscles around it strong. Strengthening your muscles supporting hips and your lower back will ultimately give your sacroiliac joint more stability.
An exercise you can do easily is to start on your hands and knees with a straight back—like a tabletop. Then lift one leg up and extend it straight back. Hold it for five seconds and then alternate legs.
Another simple but effective strength exercise you can do for the SI joint is to lay on your back with knees bent and feet flat on the ground. Now lift your hips and butt off the floor so that your knees, hips, butt, and shoulders create a nice straight line down to the head.
Hold this position for at least 3 to 5 seconds at the top before resting. Repeat this movement and hold for 10 to 15 repetitions.
4. Stretch Your Muscles
Having tight muscles cause strain on your joints. Tight muscles in one area of the body can cause pain in another area and may seem completely unrelated. That’s why it’s important to build a daily habit of stretching out all muscles in your body.
A stretch you can perform for the SI joint is the single knee-to-chest- isometric stretch. This is done simply by laying on your back and pulling one knee up towards your chest. Keep the other leg straight and on the ground.
Interlock your hands behind your knee by crossing fingers behind the thigh. Gently pull the knee to your chest and hold for five seconds. You can repeat this stretch 5 to 10 times on each leg.
One more stretch you can try is to lie on your back with your knees bent and calves resting on a box or firm pillow. Cross one leg over the other and squeeze them together. Hold for about 3 seconds and then relax. Try doing this for 10 repetitions.
5. Eat Foods That Help With Inflammation
The natural world is full of wonders, including foods that help reduce inflammation in your body. By decreasing inflammation in your body with the foods you eat, you can indirectly help reduce any inflammation in your SI joint.
Olive oil for example is full of omega-9 fatty acids that help reduce inflammation. Fish also contain another useful fatty acid—omega-3— that helps to fight inflammation. And if you aren’t nuts about fish, well, then you can eat nuts instead!
Eating foods that help eliminate inflammation in the body should go hand in hand with removing foods that cause inflammation in the body. Certain foods like processed sugar or corn syrup, alcohol, vegetable oil, refined carbohydrates, artificial trans fats, and processed meats have all been linked to causing inflammation in the body.
Sacroiliac Joint Pain Treatment
When experiencing sacroiliac joint pain, or any joint pain for that matter, it’s important to know that there are many ways that you can help prevent and relieve the pain. Mobilizing, stretching, and strengthing your muscles supporting the joint, while using ice therapy, and eating healthy foods are all great ways to help fight inflammation in the body.
If after reading this article you’d like to speak with a specialist about your pain, give us a call today. We’d love to talk with you and see how we could help.