Sacro-Iliac Joint Pain
by Penny Elliott, Physiotherapist
If you have back pain that is not in the middle of the lower back but is slightly to one side, it may be a problem with the sacroiliac joint (SIJ). The usual reason for an ache in this joint is poor alignment because of muscle imbalance. Tight hip flexors and adductors and weak core stability or pelvic floor muscles are usually associated with sacroiliac joint pain. Pregnancy can also cause problems in this joint because of the extra weight it is bearing. In this case a sacroiliac belt can give a lot of relief and stabilise the joint more effectively.
The starting point is to ease the pain with stretching of gluteus maximus, medius, minimus and the piriformis, and then commence stability work. If you feel as though your pelvis ‘goes out’ all the time, or you have pain referral through your gluteals, this stretch can help you stop the pain cycle.
If you have knee pain however, please do not do this stretch, but consult with a physiotherapist.
Extract New Bodyworks 2013
Sacro-Iliac Joint, Gluteals & Piriformis Stretch
Place your foot on a bench or up on a high chair. Let the knee drop out a little.
Now bend your supporting leg to take any stress of the lower back and then lean the trunk forward onto the hands until you feel a stretch in the hip and buttock of the leg that’s on the bench.
Hold for about 10 -15 seconds and then repeat on each side for a few repetitions.
Are you cheating with your hamstring stretches?
Alex Sherborne, Physiotherapist
Consider yourself fit but can’t touch your toes anymore?
Hamstring tightness results from both repetitive exercise and long periods of sitting. Longer, relaxed hamstrings can relieve knee and back pain, and can improve your performance when running, kicking or dancing. When it comes to lengthening and relaxing these muscles, I find people are very good at cheating (whether they mean to or not!). We have two hamstring muscles on the inside of the leg and only one on the outside, so people tend to turn their leg out to make it easier.
While you are standing, bend forward and try to touch your toes. Take a mental note of how far you get. Recheck this after doing the stretch below… If you take a few minutes to do this stretch 3 times a week, you will see a huge improvement in your hamstring flexibility over time.
Lying Hamstring Stretch
Extract New Bodyworks – PPFC 2013
Lying Hamstring Stretch
Lie on you back with one leg bent and one straight.
Loop a belt or towel around the foot of the straight leg. Use your arms to pull the leg up until a stretch is felt behind the knee – keeping the leg straight. This should be firm, but not painful.
Once the stretch has started to relax in this position, slowly rotate the leg in- you will feel an increased stretch on the inside of the knee, then rotate the leg out to decrease the stretch- all the time keeping the leg up using your belt/towel.
Repeat for 10 – 15 seconds, relax a little, then increase the stretch by moving the straight leg a little further towards your head.
Be sure to relax your neck and shoulders, and keep breathing as you do this stretch.