How to Sit with SI Joint Pain: Know the Causes and Exercises

How to Sit with SI Joint Pain

Recurrent pain in your back, different than the regular one, demands attention. If ignored, this can turn into severe SI joint pain.

SI Joint pain, there are several myths and confusions out there. We decided to break them all and considered the doctor’s recommendation on it. From its causes to the exercises orthopedists prefer, you’ll find everything in this article.

If you’re dealing with SI joint pain, sitting down can be a real challenge. The good news is that there are ways to sit that can help minimize your pain and make you more comfortable.

Let’s get started and first know what it is and where this pain actually arises from.

What is Sacroiliac(SI) Joint Pain?

What is Sacroiliac Joint Pain?

SI joint is in the hip and forms when the Sacrum (the flat and triangular bone between the lumbar and coccyx) and Ilium (fan-shaped bone supporting the hip) unite.

This joint rarely moves to hundreds of degrees. Studies have shown their mobility from -1.1 to 2.2 degrees in the X-axis, -0.8 to 4.0 degrees in the Y-axis, and -0.5 to 8.0 degrees in the Z-axis, which is minimal.

Surrounding the joint, there are ligaments. When these ligaments loosen or stiff, pain raises from the lower back traveling down the thighs involving the buttock. This pain is termed “SI joint pain.”

What Causes SI Joint Pain?

Certain reasons cause SI joint pain. A few of them are

  • Sudden fall on the back
  • Injury due to accidents
  • Changes in hormones due to pregnancy or birth of a baby
  • Spine surgery
  • Sleeping posture with the entire weight of the body on one side
  • Long hours working with pressure on one buttock
  • The hard surface of the chair

While you cannot prevent a few causes of SI joint pain, you can manage your postures. Like, use an Ergonomic chair for SI joint pain OR with a soft cushion, allowing yourself to balance both your butts.

How Can You Diagnose SI Joint Pain?

Recurrent back pains will tell you if you need a diagnosis for SI joint pains. In that case, most doctors suggest:

  • Sacroiliac joint X-ray to determine if the joint is fused.
  • Sacroiliac joint MRI to arrest joint infection or Ankylosing spondylitis.

The diagnosis method is selected by the Orthopedist. After the reports, they decide on the better treatment they can put you on.

What can You Do to Treat SI Joint Pain? Is It Curable?

Stay contented because SI joint pain can be treated without the need for surgery. The initial stage is the pre-requisite, though. Acute SI pain needs at least a few days to weeks to completely fade.

Meanwhile, you are on treatment; the doctor can suggest any of the following:

  1. Rest is the first option you’d be recommended. Fortunately, this is not more than a couple of days.
  2. Keeping in view your current situation, you may be advised NSAIDs, including Ibuprofen, Aceclofenac, or Diclofenac.
  3. Physiotherapy or exercise is suggested hand in hand with rest and drug intake.
  4. Steroid injections are given a shot with severe SI joint pain. Although not a long-term cure, it’s a long-term relief source. This medication works as an anti-inflammatory.
  5. Radiofrequency ablation is the last method to troubleshoot this pain. It is followed by a steroid injection and is accountable for long-term treatment.

How to Sit with SI Joint Pain?

Apart from the treatments doctor suggest, you also need to manage your postures and habits if you have SI joint pain. The correct position helps you recover quickly and lessen the pain offending you.

When Sitting on the Chair

The simple way to monetize your sitting posture is to observe if you are sitting unbalanced. That means pressuring one buttock with the entire body’s weight or sitting cross-legged. When you sit, both of your hips should align with the cushion of the chair.

To help you sit properly, here are a few tips:

  • When sitting on the chair, let your shoulder blades relax and drop them down.
  • Your chest should be up along with that.
  • Both the knees of your legs should be apart from each other by a few inches.
  • Try to avoid positioning one leg over the other.
  • Level both your hip bones on the chair equally.
  • Fix a roll of towel or an orthopedics pillow behind your back on the chair.
  • Having your knees below your hip also eases SI joint pain. In that regard, you can tuck your feet under the seat or place a cushion on your chair and sit on it.

When Sitting on the Floor

With SI joint pain, sitting long hours on a chair might be uncomfortable. In that case, sit on the floor in the tailor position. This position flattens both your hips, preventing the SI joint pain from elevating.

Here’s how to sit in that pose:

  • Rest your hips on the floor or flat surface
  • Cross move each of your legs in such a way that it settles down your thighs
  • Sit with the shoulder relaxed and chest straight and up

How to Sleep with SI Joint Pain?

The wrong postures intensify the pain in your SI joint, while the right ones keep you from a severe stage. That’s why knowing the SI joint sleeping position is essential. Let’s discuss how you can dodge this pain by adopting the correct posture.

Sleeping on Stomach

Stomach sleepers are most prone to SI joint pain. Your unequal posture extends the spine, and the pressure is exerted on the ligaments, ultimately turning into SI pains. To avoid it, place a pillow below your lower abdomen.

Sleeping on One-Side

Not only does SI joint pain take birth due to sleeping on the stomach but on one side. To get rid of this pain by maintaining a one-sided position, use a pillow. Position it in between your knees while the knees are bending inward.

Sleeping on Back

People with the practice of back sleeping also come across SI joint pain due to the tight hip flexors. For those, the addition of a pillow under the hamstrings is working. Park the pillow beneath the sit bones of your hip.

What are the Best Exercises for SI Joint Pain?

Hypomobility (not moving much) or Hypermobility (moving so much) both navigates you to the Sacroiliac (SI) Joint pain. To avoid this, a few exercises can be very helpful. Those we have mentioned below. You can practice them regularly to reduce your SI joint pain.

Push/Pull Exercise (Best For Stuck SI joints)

This exercise has been proven to release the pain caused by the SI joint.

Push/Pull Exercise

It is pretty basic, and you can do it by following these instructions:

  • Lay straight on your back with your face towards the ceiling
  • Put one leg straight out, laying on the floor
  • Bend the knee of the other leg and hold it tight with your palms
  • Hold your leg for 5 seconds and then leave it for moving outwards
  • Remember here; your grip should be mild and not very much hurting
  • Again, pull up your knee, bend inward and push it against your chest
  • Hold it there for 3-5 seconds
  • Leave your knee and rest it on the ground
  • Switch the leg and follow the same procedure for the other leg
  • Do it three times alternatively for both of your legs

Isometric Push and Pull Exercise (Best For Unstable SI joints)

This exercise will activate the muscles in your pelvis. You need to use a bend/belt/rope (something easy to bend) to perform it.

Isometric Push and Pull Exercise

Follow the guidelines to do it correctly:

  • Lay down on your back on the yoga mat or the floor
  • Pass the bend through both of your ankles to the knees
  • Adjust the bend around your knees
  • Move your legs out, creating resistance against the bend horizontally
  • While pushing, hold your posture for three seconds
  • Now, relax for three seconds
  • After that, put a roller foam in between your legs (if you have one)
  • Squeeze and push your legs inwards against the foam
  • Maintain the posture for three seconds here
  • Repeat it twenty times and follow the entire procedure for both legs alternatively

Modified Dead Bug Exercise

With this exercise, make sure your back is not crushing the ground. There should be one hand gap between the floor and your back. In this exercise, you’d feel the extension on your pelvis.

Modified Dead Bug Exercise

Follow the described steps to perform this exercise:

  • Lay on your back with the face upward
  • Bend your knees in half
  • Lift your leg being parallel to the ground
  • Lift the other leg in the same position and align them
  • Now, slowly extend out one leg without resting it on the ground
  • Pull up your leg back and pause for a while
  • Do it the same with the other leg
  • Perform it five times for either leg


SI joint pain is treatable with certain exercises, therapies, and medications. It’s nothing you should be stressed about. If you’ve got it, make sure to sit and sleep in the right position we have mentioned above.

This was all about SI joint pain from our side. If you still have a question about this pain we haven’t answered, jot it down in the comment section.

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