Top 3 Exercises for SI Joint Pain

Top 3 Exercises for SI Joint Pain


Straighten the left leg down and bring the
right knee up. What you are going to do is interlock your fingers like this and push
your knee down into your hands. This is called a single knee to chest isometric and what
it does is it actually uses muscles in your rear to rotate your pelvis. Great for people that
have pain on either side of the back, right here on either side of the tailbone. In Central
Pennsylvania, many times people call it their sciatic and what they mean is their
sacroiliac but it helps move the pelvis. What we do here is we push down into the hands.
5 second hold and in our clinic we do it 10 times. This is a ball squeeze but we are going to
do it with core stability and a core isometric. Many times when we are talking about the core,
a lot of people will do crunches. I don’t think we have ever had a patient that we have
ever helped to focus their exercise program on crunches. What we are going to
do here is you are going to slightly arch your back and the way that you do that is
you stick your bottom into the mat, into the table. Slightly arch, pull your belly button
in and up. Do you feel how that gets tight right there? Then we are going to add a ball.
You are going to slightly arch your back, pull up and in and this is about a 50% contraction.
It is not all out, you are not bearing down, you are not trying out for the Olympic
games. We are just getting a little contraction there. Slightly arch, pull the
belly button in and up and then squeeze the ball at the same time. It is actually four
things. Arch the back, pull the belly button in and up and squeeze the ball and number four
is remember to breathe. As we are doing this it is going to be a 10 second hold, 10
times. This exercise is core isometric with Theraband,
a red piece of Theraband. You can also use Theratubing. Red is the lightest and you
can progress up through green, blue, black and there is a heavy grey band as well.
Just about anything will work. The idea is this: you are using this movement and the
band to challenge the pelvis and the low back. We want stability here as we are firing
the muscles down here. Slightly arch the back, pull the belly button in and up and
then spread the knees and then back together. In the clinic, we do 20 of those and you can
build up to 30 or you can do more than that. If it is too difficult in the beginning, back
it down to 10 or 15 times.

100 comments on “Top 3 Exercises for SI Joint Pain

  1. David Nicoletti Post author

    Which knee(s) should the first exercise be done with?  Is it the knee on the same side as the pain, the opposite side, or both?

    Reply
  2. FitnessUnchained Post author

    @Madden PT I have hypermobility in my left side. It will pop out of place at least once a day, sometimes 2-3 times a day. Chiropractor has made it much worse. I've figured out how to put it back in place myself which is the only way I can get relieve. I've been to six different PTs. Most don't believe the joint can come out even though I tell them it's currently in a downslip and show him the proof (poor posture, walking with a limp, left leg 1" longer than right). The best they can offer is strengthening exercises. Which I've done and it has not increased my stability at all. I feel like my right side is more stable, but not my left. What more can I do to keep my pelvis stable? I do wear an SI belt. That will help with pain but it doesn't keep the joint from popping out.

    Reply
  3. IshtarBellydancer Post author

    Thank you ! I will work on these exercises. After years of dancing extreme movements and my age catching up on me – I'm having some trouble unfortunately. I had an anterior lumbar sprain 3 years ago and since I have trouble off and on with the SI joints.

    Reply
  4. TheMats Post author

    Thanks for the video. Unfortunately, when I do the exercises or other similar exercises to strength the muscles around the SI joint, it seems to make the SI joint hurt even worse. So, it's a Catch-22 for me. Exercise and aggravate the SI joint or don't exercise and keep the SI joint pain. Any suggestions?

    Reply
  5. Ameer AlJobori Post author

    Thanks a lot for your kind and helpful videos. 
    I live in the Middle East and I don't believe that I can find such professionals to do the hands-on PT. 
    Can you please advise if it is OK for me to go ahead with these exercises without the PT?
    Knowing that I have hypermobility and I have the side hip-joint pain (instability as you previously described. 

    Reply
  6. Jen Postles Post author

    This is such a great video, thank you so much! Just wondering for the first exercise to rotate the pelvis, should I do that on both sides? Or only the stuck side? Thank you for such awesome videos 😀

    Reply
  7. fatfrabbit Post author

    somehow, your audio is not that clear about the knee to chest isomeric. Am I trying to push down the knee toward the hip area ? or am I trying to pull the knee toward my own chest. That part, I can't hear that well. Could you explain more to me? thanks a lot.

    Reply
  8. Corinna Silvers Post author

    When doing the first exercise does it matter which side your back hurts? Do I want to push on both sides or just the sore side?

    Reply
  9. Will1017 Post author

    I read online that stretching and exercises for SI joint simply increase the pain and inflammation. The day after I tried these excersises I was in a lot more pain than normal. I could barely press the gas pedal without feeling a hard pinch. I feel like if the SI joint is inflamed then stretching will only make it worse. I have been taking Aleve everyday for 2 weeks and feel as if the pain will come back after I stop taking the pills. 

    Reply
  10. Anita Myers Post author

    I have been a Nurse for 20 years and have been experiencing SI joint pain recently. I was diagnosed with herniated discs in L4-5, L5-S1 a few years back and would have flare ups about twice a year. I have been to ER twice this year with the newest symptom of groin and pelvic pain. Treatment is always the same with med, heat/ice, steroids, and rest. I have NEVER been advised of exercise that could help with pain relief. I am all about a treatment modality that avoids having to take pain medications, and those modalities that allow for strengthening and prevention of future episodes.  THANK YOU SO MUCH for this video.  I am a walking testimony that these Top 3 exercises have done more for pain relief than any oral pain medication I have taken.  I am still in shock at how quickly the relief came with just starting these exercise.  I have other colleagues that I am sharing this program with. Wow, Thanks again Chad Madden

    Reply
  11. shnglbot Post author

    Thanks for this great video. How many times a day should I do these exercises if I have SI joint pain?

    Reply
  12. Bullshit Proof Post author

    I'm a powerlifter. When I do squats and deadlifts i'm normally in pain from the left si joint. At the same time I do know that squats and dealifts strengthen legs, glutes, hips, abductors, adductors, back, core and just about anything that stabilizes you. Would these be recommended to stabilize? Also couldn't I replace the last two exercises with hip abductors and addcutors? thanks.

    Reply
  13. tracy williams Post author

    I found your video today and did the exercises.  I can't believe how much it has helped in one day!  Thank you so much!

    Reply
  14. Norman Witt Post author

    I was looking at an Instagram video of a young woman squatting with this type of SI joint problem. I'm almost 62 is she not thinking or not knowing yet how she will feel in 30 years . I learned the hard way plus how many individuals are still able to squat over 60

    Reply
  15. Ellen Townsend Post author

    After years of cortisone shots and physical therapy, these simple exercises have helped me overcome SI joint pain and cramping of the surrounding muscles.  I use a fitness ring instead of a flexible band and have stopped the knee to chest since it is somewhat painful on my replaced hip and could displace it.

    Reply
  16. Martha Capp Post author

    My L5 is fused to my sacrum causing my left SI to be stuck. I think my deadlifts or squats might have caused this since the pain started at age 60. I've been going to a chiropractor for 7 months with some relief but since this is congenital will I ever be completely pain free again? I still lift but not as heavy.

    Reply
  17. ViperPit Post author

    How much effort are you supposed to put into the knee to chest isometric and ball squeeze?  On a scale of 1 to 10, 1 being little effort and 10 being max effort…where should I be? Also, how many times per day should I be doing these?

    Reply
  18. Disha Sethi Post author

    Hi I'm having SI joint pain but there is also some infection(puss) on that area. It has been nearly 2 months I'm not able to walk as it pains too much. Medication is going on..should I go with these exercises?? Please help me with other suggestions too.

    Reply
  19. chele519 Post author

    My PT recommended these exercises to help maintain pelvic stability. I wasn't having any pain prior to doing them, she suggested them as maintenance but after the first one my tailbone hurts quite a bit.

    Reply
  20. DropShip Bob Post author

    Q: If there is any ball size suggested ? I am using 20cm/8'' ball and I feel a bit pain when doing this exercise. I don't feel the pain when I am not squeezing the ball. Thanks for your great vedio. Eric from China

    Reply
  21. S Hunt Post author

    Hi my 11 yr son has an S1 occulta, would these exercises be suitable for him? He plays tennis up to 10 hr per week and has some stretches and basic core exercises through his sports physiologist but am always on the look out for ways to strengthen this area.

    Reply
  22. Gökhan HEPŞEN Post author

    We do your excercises on a daily basis. Seems like it's helping a lot! Thanks 🙂
    Just a small question that we heard in India. We had this problem and diagnosed with SI Joint Dysfunction and we are told that this will repeat itself in your whole life if you push it hard. Problem is my girlfriend is a yoga teacher and the doctor said "then you'll have to quit your job because in yoga there are some moves that can create inflammation again. Is it true? I mean even we do these exercises all the time, she won't be able to do some specific moves again?

    Many many thanks!

    Reply
  23. Deneuve Bandoo Post author

    Good day, how often show one be doing these exercises? (daily, twice a week, weekly etc.)

    Reply
  24. Kelly Trueblood Post author

    I have been doing PT for 6 weeks. They have me doing deadlifts. they started me at 10lbs but have pushed me up 10 lbs a week. I am in so much pain during and after that I want to die. I feel that these exercises are causing more damage then good. please tell me, am I not getting accurate treatment?

    Reply
  25. Louise Voraujan Post author

    Many thanks for sharing. After suffering dibilitating S1 joint pain after a bad fall 8 years hope it's not too late to begin the healing process!

    Reply
  26. sylbert cheekan Post author

    thanks for the video in the last exercise when the band's hire far apart are your feet to be.

    Reply
  27. Chelsea Rebelo Post author

    Chad, I tried these awesome exercises for the first time yesterday. I have had S.I. joint disfunction on my RHS for over two years. However, I am experiencing more discomfort today. Of course I know these exercises need to be done consistently over time, but given the pain increase today, should I continue or find something else?

    Reply
  28. daisies.x Post author

    Should I keep running if I have SI? My chiro recommended not to but I did cross country and indoor track. I felt little to mostly no pain at all. It's temporary but when I run long distances it hurts again.

    Reply
  29. pyrotheevilplatypus Post author

    My chiro basically "prescribed" this video to me. I'm loving the resistance band – it makes my fidgeting feel productive!

    Reply
  30. pyrotheevilplatypus Post author

    Question – How do you feel about people doing this seated? I'd like to do it when I'm at work (since I have a desk job, it would just be convenient).

    Reply
  31. Renz Hernandez Post author

    Hello. I think I have a SI joint dysfunction. Due to bad form while weight lifting (dead lift, rounded back). I felt like some nerve move in my last rep. And I felt pain, it's almost a week now since then, most of the pain are gone but there's still this annoying pain whenever I deeply bend or when I'm sitting down and my back is slightly arching forward. It's a stubborn pain that I always felt whenever I'm in a wrong position. I've done this exercise w/o the ball I use my fist instead. Could you give my an advice? Thank you. God bless!

    Reply
  32. Rosemary Thomas Post author

    I have found the first one to be really helpful. In my (limited) experience, you might want to crack this one first before progressing to the other two depending on how serious the level of your complaint is. And may thanks for putting this video up.

    Reply
  33. Bobbi Savaliski Post author

    Thank you for the exercises. The first one, where you hold the knee, should that only be on the painful side or both sides? Also, how many times a day should these 3 exercises be done?

    Reply
  34. Tiffany Bush Post author

    I'm have went to doctors and they gave me meds they haven't touched the pain now it's going around my growing and down my leg. I can feel and see muscles in my leg jerking and I get vibrations like a cell phone in my pocket. do you think a ciropdacker would help

    Reply
  35. Antoinette Sachetta Post author

    I had this SI problem 10 years ago one shot of cortisone and 2 months of physical therapy and it went away. Last week while I was cleaning the house, lifting clothes baskets, putting clothes away, and getting ready for the holiday, I managed to re injure the same side. I am seeing an orthopedic doctor on Monday I am hoping she will send me for PT. I would rather skip the shot and just go for pt.

    Reply
  36. CA Goodwin Post author

    Dr Madden Thank You for The exercises.. ball, arch Back and pull belly Button to back, how may times can I do pure day. 10count x 3 daily. my lower back muscles are sore but I see improvement
    Thank You

    Reply
  37. Suzanne Vance Post author

    I have had two lumbar fusion surgeries in the past and am now fused from T10 down through S1. I am currently recovering from the most recent fusion T10 through L3. I am in TLSO brace,. I am having some S I joint pain on both sides but more prevalently the right. Would these exercises help me? Will the fusion make a difference in the effectiveness of the exercises? Could someone with a brace on in my condition do these exercises? Thanks if you can help!

    Reply
  38. Yelnik McGwawa Post author

    This worked for me immediately. Stretching was only giving me hours of relief. Tried this, heard some pops and the pain was gone. Thank you!

    Reply
  39. Cynthia Nero Post author

    In the first exercise which side do you pull the knee in in? The side with the pain? Or the side where the sacrum is going backward?

    Reply
  40. Marcelle Chamlee Post author

    Hi PT Madden,
    I am in constant pain and what you have described here is exactly what I have. I am practically ready to fly to you but before I seriously consider it I will follow your instruction here on youtube. Can you suggest a PT here in Los Angeles that can help! I did go to ucla but the PT wasn't able to help much. Desperate and in need of a fix!!!!

    Reply
  41. T Kevin Hetherington Post author

    Thanks for the information! I am certainly going to use your recommendations and see how I respond. One feature of my problem is an audible palpable "clunk" at the right SI joint when lying supine and extending my right lower extremity from a flexed position. Otherwise, the pain is located consistently in 1 spot and is especially noticeable when getting out of bed in the morning. Is the "clunk" simply an indicator of instability or something more?

    Reply
  42. Sharon Antony Post author

    thanks a lot sir……..i spent a lot of money to cure this but after practicing your suggested exercise the pain is gone ……now im able to do a lot of exercises related to abs …….thanks a lot …….keep coming up with such videos…..all the best

    Reply
  43. Lois Zaremba Post author

    Oh, the fusion caused radical gait change; causing extensive loss in cartilage in short period of time. Bone on bone plus back pain too much, also had bi lateral knee repl (+ 1 revision.)

    Reply
  44. Asad Al Mahrezi Post author

    Thanks a lot for the tips man. It was a life saver to me. With the first exercise I heard a knock in my joint and by time I started to recover.

    Reply
  45. TheFatKid128 Post author

    What would it mean if I just did these exercises but then my si pain increased to the point of not being able to stand up for a few minutes?

    Reply
  46. SURESH CH Post author

    Do si joint cause front of thigh burn? inner side of foot pain? Plz. Let me know…lba is common i know

    Reply
  47. D. DeBlois Post author

    I was watching more for a pelvic nerve than the sciatic. The first exercise was helpful. Thank you.

    Reply
  48. Mr Jake Post author

    Does SI dysfunction cause Glute medius pain? I have minor irritation in the SI area but most pain/discomfort is in the glute medius. This was caused by weight lifting.

    Reply
  49. lamfilipos Post author

    hey ,if anyone else trying to find out what to use for joint pain try Magonsi Pain Ease Expert (should be on google have a look ) ? Ive heard some unbelievable things about it and my buddy got amazing results with it.

    Reply
  50. H DLT Post author

    I have been dealing with an injury for 5 years but up until now it it was finally diagnosed…I was told piriformus, low back, gluteus mediums, tight hamstrings and quads…hope this turns my life around

    Reply
  51. Ann H Post author

    Hi, I have had an L5S1 fusion and am about a year out and had a recent revision of the fusion 4 months for removal of a bone spur that was pinching the L5 foramen. I am now having bad SI joint pain. I have worked with a PT for 8 weeks now and we have done a lot of nerve glides and performs stretching and my SI pain has gotten bad on the left side. She gave me a few pelvic stabilization exercises but I am not improving. How do I get the free offer for SI joint information? Please advise

    Reply
  52. Suellen Gumlich Post author

    On the knee to chest isometric should I do both sides or just the side I have pain? Thank you for sharing this 🙂 Greetings from Munich

    Reply
  53. Pure Precision Chiropractic Post author

    Here is the exercise protocol I used to fix my own SI joint issues: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TaObU4hRMqc

    Reply
  54. lewisrv1 Post author

    Been struggling with SIJ pain for over 6 months. Had physio treatment which helped until a reoccurrence caused from lifting suitcases! However, these exercises have almost completely sorted the pain and certainly helped prevent further reoccurrences since I've been doing them regularly. Great video thanks!

    Reply
  55. bammbamm12 Post author

    :35 :You're going to push your knee down into your hands"? What does that mean? I don't have any idea what she's doing.

    Reply
  56. Dayton Elseth Post author

    I had pelvic pain, low back and tailbone pain, feet and leg pain for two years, and nothing seemed to help. I have had innumerable chiropractic appointments, I went to two physical therapists, and I received treatment from a pain management specialist. Nothing helped. I tried every stretch in the book. I was ready to give up and accept that my life would be riddled with pain until it was over. Then, I stumbled upon Chad Madden's video clip "3 steps to permanent relief for SI joint and pelvic pain." My first thought was, "Yeah right. Nothing else has worked." But I said, "Okay, I'll bite." I watched the clip, and in it, Mr. Madden referenced these exercises. So, I continued to this video, and watched the exercises. I figured I'd give them a try since I had tried everything else. Oddly enough, no one had recommended these strengthening exercises before. In four days, I started to notice a difference. Now, it has been two weeks and two days, and my pain is basically gone. The difference is so dramatic, that I nearly broke down in tears yesterday. I still have some fits and starts, but for the most part, I'm pain free. Just to give everyone a quick summary of my pain before these exercises: It hurt to stand because of tightness in my legs and pain in my feet, it hurt to sit because of pelvic pain, it hurt to do most exercises. Basically, everything hurt besides lying down. Now, I can sit without pain, I can stand without pain, and exercising is getting easier and easier. Stumbling upon Mr. Madden's clips has been a godsend. It was the luckiest thing I ever did.

    Reply
  57. Daughter Of Zion Post author

    Hi pls help. I'm a dental hygienist with SI pain all the time. I have bulging discs L4-5 and L5-S1. It gets worse when I stretch is this normal? Also so much leg pain thighs so tight. Trying to figure out what to do I will try this what do you suggest I ultimately think my repetitive motion job keeps putting it out. Any advice would be so greatly appreciated

    Reply
  58. Cathy33 Rine Post author

    I have been suffering this pain for more than 3 years….I got injection many times….my leg is tightened so much for that I am limping…I'll try these exercises.

    Reply
  59. David Stojadinovic Post author

    I discovered an awesome collection of videos that will help on patella pain pundit

    Reply
  60. اسلام المصري Post author

    Hi there … I want to ask about problem I faced before and return after certain period…. Some times I have severe pain in middle part of thigh especially just above knee in front of thigh … The pain is relieved when I apply ice application on the site of SIJ of the same side of pain and return again if sit or stand for awhile …. What is your opinion about my condition and how to treat it … Thanks a lot

    Reply
  61. Piper Mccoy Post author

    I have read the only way to permanently stop the pain is the way this Good PT is telling it. Isometric pull the belly button in and up. to strengthen the muscle inside that crunches will not do. If a person stands and does this and feels pain in the butt and when pulls up feels like they are going to get a charlie horse in the muscles below the shoulder blades he/she has SI joint problems. I have done this test with many people and it seems the only ppl that go oww or grimace is the SI ones ha ha. Lower back they don't feel a thing in their hips at all ! Chad Madden has nailed it on the head with his videos on this. Have had the problem for years and his exercises are really making a huge difference ASAP. I have on both sides and dull pain down the front of my thighs and heavy weak legs. No more stretching for me looking forward to continuing with this new treatment. THANK YOU Mr Madden !!

    Reply
  62. Kathy Harvey Post author

    Hi I have been doing Pilates exercises every day now for a year I have suffered with SI joint problems for over 3 years it causes bursitis in both my hips double bursitis in my right side, I have had steroid injections but they don’t work, I wear an SI belt that gives me some support and a Tens machine on both hips as I can’t walk very far before the pain starts, these help a little some days a lot some days. Can you help me in any way with an exercise for this please, I am a young 61 year old who would love to start walking in the Welsh hills again.
    Kind regards
    Kathy Harvey UK

    Reply
  63. Eastern Post author

    What percentage of pressure are you applying in the single knee exercises? Also how often should you do these exercises? Once a day twice a day? Should you skip a day?

    Reply
  64. Rachel Pianogirl Post author

    Will these stop the sacroiliac joint from "popping" out of place? I've been getting chiropractic adjustments for decades to pop it back in for decades. I'd ather be able to fix it permanently by doing stretches. Is this possible?

    Reply
  65. 💕Presouz💕 Post author

    It’s really hard for me because I have two bad knees too really need to have some exercises that I can do that required no pressure on my knees I’ve only found one so far and it’s laying straight leg slow bicycle move

    Reply
  66. Vendi Vukelic Post author

    There are several things to lessen joint pain
    take Glucosamine
    research some easy exercises online
    (I learned these and why they work on Pabs pain pundit site )

    Reply
  67. Dan G Post author

    Do exercises/stretches on BOTH SIDES. It's best to balance out body.
    The first one is push KNEE INTO HANDS.
    If it hurts to do these, you ARE NOT READY You could have inflammation/restriction at your SI joint. Resolve that first with a good Physio/Massage therapist. Understand that NOT ALL Physio/Massage therapist understand the complexities of the hip. Do a search. GO TO A SPORTS CLINIC. There they understand better.
     Please pin this to top. The same questions keep coming up over and over and over and over again….lol

    Reply
  68. Tara St Croix Post author

    I have begun to suffer from si joint pain in the past year. It gets to the point where I can’t move. I try to take care of it at home but this time it’s been over a week and I’m still unable to return to work. I run a landscaping crew and as you know it’s ver physical. Is there a simple stretch routines could do each morning to maybe help prevent me from getting to this state again? I am a fan of your videos. They have actually been my first go to when I try to get mobile again! Thank you !

    Reply
  69. Leticia Bravo Post author

    please only I don't understand is the second exercise I have herniated discs and pelvic pain thank you for video

    Reply
  70. Dawn Gilbert Post author

    Can you tell me what it indicates if when doing band exercise your legs tremble ,like inward and outward involuntarly?

    Reply
  71. lazry Post author

    0:33 pushing leg in 5sx10 1:15 ball squeeze (arch, belly button in and up)10sx10 2:30 band on knees (arch, belly button) 10-30

    Reply
  72. Kurtis Tucker Post author

    I’ve been doing this for just 3 days and have noticed a difference at today’s gym session. Not lifting what I normally lift but it’s a step in the right direction. Hopefully this can bring permanent results

    Reply
  73. Giggle Train Post author

    Thank you so much for this video! I only wish I would’ve known about this a year ago when my pain started b/c these exercises literally worked immediately. Wow! ❤️

    Reply
  74. Carlie Shaughnessy Post author

    Just wanted to say THANK YOU!! I am a 27 year old runner and began experiencing lower back pain I went to a chiropractor and he told me it was SI issues he has helped me with adjustments but I really think doing your exercises along with your other self adjustment video has helped me the most. For the first time in months I don’t have a lingering pain in my back and I could honestly just cry tears of joy. Thank you so much. I’m going to continuing doing these and hope these help me recover and get on the running my next half marathon in March! Thank you a million times!

    Reply
  75. Debra Adair Post author

    I was diagnosed with arthritis in my back about 20 years ago. Nothing was offered to me as help. I have had some extremely bad flare ups. Staying home and resting my back is not an option for me. I MUST work. Yesterday I started having a bad flare up. I went to bed early and woke up 45 mins. Later in excruciating pain. I did what I could and slept the best I could. I’ve been up since 5:00 this morning. I have iced and heated alternately. I ordered a cane and another ice pack. I FOUND YOUR VIDEO! Other videos show moves I can’t possibly do. I just did these three the best I could. I didn’t have a ball or an elastic band. But I SWEAR they eased my pain some! I will give these a try. You have given me hope! THANK YOU!!!

    Reply
  76. Tor Hunemark Post author

    I noticed these exercises are FOR joint pain – do you have any AGAINST SI-joint pain? That will be more helpful. Thanks in advance!

    Reply
  77. Detroit Sparkle Post author

    Hi I suffer with severe hypermobile SI joint nearly always right side is out. For the first excercise do I just do my right side? I've used the other realignment video and it saves me some days – I just can't seem to get glutes strong n core – any advice?

    Reply

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