Exercises for SacroIliac Joint pain

(Keywords: EXERCISES FOR SACROILIAC JOINT PAIN, sacroiliac exercises, sacroiliac joint exercises, sacroiliac disease, leg pain during pregnancy )

A Swiss chiropractor, Dr Fred Illi, was the first to prove conclusively that the sacro-iliac joint was a movable joint. Prior to that medical anatomists were convinced that chiropractors were quite wrong in claiming that sacroiliac joint could cause pain, needed Chiropractic adjustments and sacroiliac exercises.

He took fresh cadavers and with a series of levers and contraptions was able to measure the movement in the joints.

The pelvis consists of a ring of three bones, two ilia (no doubt why Fred Illi had such a passion for the pelvis!) and a sacrum wedged between them. Hence the Sacro-iliac joint, or SIJ for short.

Latin confusion: One ILIUM (noun), plural two ILIA. Adjective ILIAC.

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By placing one thumb on the ilium, and the other on the sacrum, and then having you raise your knee, your Chiropractor can feel the movement in the joint. It's really as clear as daylight. Until one or both become fixated - then you can feel the absence of normal movement. Pain!

Why? Because the cartilage in the joint has no blood supply of its own. It's totally dependent on the fluid in the joint for its nutrition, and removal of waste products. Fixation leads to stagnation, the fluid is not replenished, oxygen and nutrients are rapidly in short supply... PAIN. And Immobilisation Arthritis, the most common cause of osteoarthritis. And hence the need for sacroiliac exercises.


These very simple three sacroiliac exercises and lumbar spine exercises should be done EVERY morning before arising. I do them myself... they take only 40 seconds, time well spent, it will pay a handsome dividend. I NEVER miss! NEVER. You shouldn't either if you have a short leg, chronic SIJ subluxations and pain, sacroiliac disease...


People carrying the HLA B27 gene (8% of white Americans, 4% of blacks) have a tendency to get an inflammatory sacroiliac disease called ANKYLOSING SPONDYLITIS, or Bamboo spine.

No one is sure why some patients carrying the gene get the disease and others don't. It's probably related to life style, diet, HOMOCYSTEINE CARDIOVASCULAR metabolism ... and many other factors. Think HEALTHY CHOICE FOODS... Think exercises for sacroiliac joint pain, especially if you know you are a carrier.

The presence of that HLA-B27 gene can be very confusing. Patients needing routine chiropractic sacroiliac joint treatment are often told they have Ankylosing Spondylitis when there are no other signs of the disease. To make a diagnosis of AS, the HLA-B27 gene must be present AND signs of ankylosis in the sacroiliac joint.

Just because you have sacroiliac joint pain and are carrying that nasty gene, don't necessarily be fobbed off with "you have arthritis and must learn to live with the pain".

In fact even patients with proven early stage AS in the SIJ respond well to chiropractic treatment and exercises for sacroiliac joint pain.


Radiologists have shown conclusively that a short leg causes more arthritis in the hip and knee, and curvatures of the spine. And in our experience more sacroiliac joint pain - hence the need for sacroiliac exercises. A difference in leg length is not uncommon... LEG LENGTH INEQUALITY ...


This week my colleague, Dr Jane Ackerman, has had a patient who has returned after a longer absence than usual from his maintenance care. He has had no pain for nearly a year, and neglected to come for his usual adjustment, every few months. Over the weekend, he connected a heavy trailer to his car, and bingo... acute SIJ pain, radiating to the lower leg, despite having done his exercises for sacroilac joint pain faithfully. Me!

Happily after only one sacroiliac joint treatment I am at least fifty percent better with, most important, minimal pain in the leg.

Fifty percent less pain is the dangerous time, and I of all people know it. This is not a one-treatment-miracle. I too have to go the discipline of being careful, doing my exercises faithfully, sitting less at this computer! and rescheduling for the next treatment. Tomorrow.

Leg pain during pregnancy

She in turn is seven months pregnant, and beginning to experience some lower back pain and upper leg pain. She too is doing her exercises for  sacroiliac joint pain faithfully, but still in need of chiropractic treatment.

Nutrition in pregnancy

This is not going to be an extensive comment on nutrition in pregnancy. That's a big subject on its own.

What is vital is that the pregnant woman eats sufficiently omega-3 fats and oleic acid fat. Why? Because the brain is sixty percent fat, half of which is omega-3 fatty acids, and because all nerves are coated in a fatty myelin sheath consisting mainly of oleic acid.

Oleic acid and the ALA omega-3 fatty acid are found richly in many fatty foods such avocado, ground flaxseed and pecan nuts. This is not the time to cut out all the healthy fats in the diet.

The other vital component of the pregnant woman's diet is foods rich in folic acid (folate) to prevent spinal cord anomalies like spina bifida.


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Interesting challenges of the day

1. Mrs B has had one of the nastiest of conditions; vertigo caused by a disturbance in the inner ear. Falling repeatedly and vomiting she consulted her doctor but medication didn't help. After two sessions of the Epley manoeuvres she was 50 percent better. After two weeks she was 75 percent improved; no longer vomiting or falling. She's not enjoying the Brandt Daroff home exercises.

2. Mr S, a 48 year old man, has right low back pain, groin pain and a numb feeling in his lower leg when he sports. For six months he's been off football. He too has two problems; a very treatable lumbar facet syndrome and a very serious blocked artery in the groin; it's called intermittent claudication. Smokers beware.  

3. Mr S looks like the leaning tower of Pisa; he has a slipped disc at L5 making him lean towards the opposite side. It's called the postero lateral disc hernia; we'll fix it, but he has to stop for a week or two. Antalgias are serious so take them seriously. 

4. Mrs V too has two conditions; a chronic low grade sciatica giving her an ache in the right leg, and a threatening Morton's neuroma. She's glad I'm back in Holland; chiropractic fixed it before, and we'll fix it again. 

5. Mrs W is one of the lucky ones, says her doctor. I agree. He says only 40% of patients with lumbar stenosis have a successful operation. We fixed a nasty slipped disc three years ago, but it came back two years later; the surgeon did a fine job but she has a weak ankle now giving her subtalar joint pain; it's routine stuff. 

6. I myself had an acute exacerbation of a femoral nerve lesion last year. One immediate treatment of the new strain by my colleague has fixed the pain in the lower back, but there's some residual numbness in the lower leg; no soaring tomorrow alas.

7. This lady is a 86 year old woman with a 63 scoliosis. Chronic lower back has been her lot in life but she's well pleased with chiropractic and comes for chiropractic help once a month; some conditions you can never cure.

8. She is an 78 year old woman, is doing remarkably well with a bad sciatica. But over 200 pounds she is not losing weight; in fact, gaining despite my suggestions. She's high risk for a stroke. I have referred her to a dietician to crack the whip.

9. A 61 year old man with upper cervical pain yesterday; it's not severe but also not getting better of its own accord. He's afraid it may turn very acute as when I treated him three years ago. Since then it's been fine. 

10. A 64 year old woman has had scheuermanns disease; it's left her with a spinal kyphosis and chronic middorsal pain. She responds well to chiropractic treatment provides she come every six weeks or so for maintenance treatment.

11. Mrs C has been having severe headaches, and taking a lot of analgesics. It's a non complicated upper cervical facet syndrome, and she's doing well.

12. Mrs D, a middle aged woman with hip pain of one year duration, despite other treatment. Xrays reveal an impingement syndrome and early hip arthritis. There's much to be done.

13. Mr D, a 71 year old man, has a severe ache in the shoulder and midback since working above his head. Trapped nerve tests are negative but he has advanced degenerative joints of Luschka; after just two treatments he is 50 percent better. Can we reach 90?

And so the day goes; chiropractors shouldn't be treating the elderly most medical sites state but that's so much bunkum.

Have a problem that's not getting better? Looking for a different slant on your pain? Want to pose a question?

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