Yoga and Sacroiliac Pain

Yoga and Sacroiliac Pain

It is estimated that 80% of people experience low back pain at some point in their lives. Often times, perceived low back pain that seems to be coming from the lumbar spine is actually coming from the SI joint. The SI, or sacroiliac joint, is the junction point between the bones of the pelvis and the sacrum, or base of the spine.

The ligaments that hold these spinal segments together can become inflamed and lead to nerve pressure or muscle irritation that causes low back pain. SI irritation can be caused by a wide variety of reasons including pelvic misalignment, tight hips, too much sitting or excessive joint movement. It is also more common in women who tend to have wider hips than men.

Performing yoga with low back pain should be approached with caution as to not cause additional irritation to the ligaments. There are certain asanas that can support overall stability of this sensitive joint during practice, however; you want to avoid overstretching if you have existing irritation. Noteworthy poses to help strengthen and stretch the muscles of the lower back and hips include: cobra, locust, bridge, bow pose and camel pose.

While certain asanas can aid recovery and alleviate low back pain, others should be avoided until the pain subsides in order to avoid exacerbating the condition. Poses and variations to avoid include: seated forward bends, wide leg poses and twists. These poses can be gradually reintroduced once the pain is gone.

Be careful anytime you lift anything or use your back in a strenuous manner. Stay safe yogis, and until next week – namaste.

Cody Davidson
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