How to Sit with SI Joint Pain? - Posture and Seated Exercises

Medically Reviewed by Dr. Aman Priya Khanna
Written by Hexahealth Care Team, last updated on 12 December 2023
How to Sit with SI Joint Pain? - Posture and Seated Exercises

Long hours of sitting can be troublesome for anyone, but knowing the proper method to sit might reduce your discomfort for the person suffering from SI joint pain. The two sacroiliac joints that connect the pelvis and lower spine can get inflamed and lead to a condition called sacroiliitis (SI). This dysfunction gives rise to stabbing pain in the buttock area. 

Adjusting the position can significantly impact a person having lower back issues or radiating ache from SI joint problems. Improper sitting postures and lack of exercise can cause immense discomfort in their SI joint or exacerbate already present pain. 

However, some postures are less prone than others to result in pain. Here is a closer look at how to sit with SI joint pain to help patients comprehend what exactly they must do. 

Sitting postures for SI joint pain

A few exercises at home can also be helpful when the pain in the SI joint flares up. Patients should be aware of how to sit with SI joint pain because sitting patterns can potentially aggravate the situation. Below are some of the most sought-after sitting positions for combating SI joint pains:

  1. Keep The Shoulders Relaxed And Your Chest Forward
    While sitting on a chair, one must keep the shoulders relaxed. It is important to have the chest forward to maintain the proper arch of the back. One can push forward and keep the head up to achieve the perfect position. 
  2. Knees Should Be Slightly Apart
    If the buttocks are very tight, they can pull on the SI joint and misalign the lower back. To prevent the spine from significantly bending, maintain a space between the back sides of the patient’s knees and the front of their chair in contrast to the space between the two knees.
  3. Maintain A Balanced Weight Distribution
    Patients with SI joint pain must avoid crossing their legs to ensure that the pelvis is not inclined further on one side. They can also assist their SI joints in sustaining and maintaining the upper body by properly dispersing the weight.
  4. Put A Pillow or Blanket Under The Lower Spine
    To help keep the normal curvature of the patient’s lower back, put a towel or pillow underneath it. This additional support helps bring relief to the SI joint and reduces the pain gradually.   
  5. When You’re Seated, Frequently Get Up And Stretch
    Lengthy periods of sitting has shown to increase back pain, which is one of the primary signs of SI joint problems. Even a brief break from sitting can assist with exhaustion and brain fog. It is advised to go for a 15-min jog and break the pattern of sitting at a stretch. 
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Top posture and seated exercises

Here are some excellent exercises that will answer the questions regarding how to sit with SI joint pain. Patients can get pain relief through chair stretching and other moderate activities. Strengthening the nerves around the SI joint also assists with the tightness in the area. 

  1. Seated Backbend
    People suffering from sacroiliitis might experience reduced lower back tightness by performing this easy seated backbend stretching. One should lean back on the chair, put their hands on the back and legs, and keep their feet flat on the ground. Slowly breathe in and breathe out while arching the spine and gazing upward, pushing the lower back.
  2. Torso Stretch
    It’s simple to mobilize one’s spine while seated by doing a torso stretch. Put the right hand on the chair’s back with the feet on the floor. Take a maximum of 30 seconds, and rotate your body in the direction of the arms. A similar process must be repeated in the opposite direction.
  3. Seated Leg Raise
    To complete this exercise, the patient must sit up straight on the front of their seat with their legs flat on the floor. A few inches from the surface, they must then lift their left foot and hold it there for ten seconds. After lowering the feet, this can be repeated on the opposite side.
  4. Seated Cat-Cow
    This is an effective seated chair exercise to strengthen the patient’s core. One has to sit with feet on the floor while the knees make a right angle with the ground. Keeping the palms on the thighs, one must inhale swiftly and look at the ceiling at the time of exhaling. This helps arch the spine and reduce the stress in the SI joints. 
  5. Seated Hamstring Stretch
    To perform this exercise, the patient has to sit on a chair and try to reach their toes by bending forward. The position where one feels some ache at the back of the legs must be held for close to 30 seconds. This stretching exercise is helpful in loosening the hamstrings and treating muscle imbalances.

Ways to sleep with SI joint pain

Maintaining a correct sleeping position is also vital when dealing with SI joint pains. Failing to sleep properly can increase pain in some cases. Below are some of the top ways to sleep with SI joint pain:

  1. Relaxing The Hip Flexors
    Effective muscle relaxing techniques can help reduce the tightness in your hip flexors (front of the hip), bringing down the overall sacroiliac joint pain. One must release the hip flexors and buttocks and spend some time performing the pelvis realignment exercises to improve the pain.
  2. Pain Relief for Side Sleepers
    While sleeping on the sides, the patient must always try to have the painful side facing up. One can keep a pillow between the ankles and knees to improve pain in the groin area. 
  3. SI Joint Pain Relief for Stomach Sleepers
    It is advised to place a pillow on the top of your pelvis and near the abdominals to reduce the arch in the back formed by sleeping in the stomach. This helps in bringing your spine to a neutral position. 
  4. Pain Relief for Back Sleepers
    If the patient prefers to sleep on the back, keeping a pillow under the hamstrings is vital. This keeps the pelvis in a neutral position and reduces the stress in SI joints. 

Wrapping up

Dealing with the excruciating pain of sacroiliitis can be challenging at times, but one must know how to sit with SI joint pain to adjust to the discomfort. Patients suffering from the inflammation of their sacroiliac joints can reduce the pain by adopting the above-mentioned seating postures. Exercises also play a vital role in bringing relief to the pain in the joints. 

If you wish to get top-notch consultation for SI joint pains, turn to HexaHealth today. Our dedicated team of seasoned industry experts helps navigate your issues and provides best-in-class treatments to reduce the pain. Contact our professionals and get started on your road to faster recovery!

Frequently Asked Questions

Does sitting aggravate the SI joint?

Sitting for a long time might cause SI joint pain or make current pain aggravated. This is due to the stress it adds to the sacroiliac joints.

What exercises aggravate the SI joint?

Core exercises, sit-ups, and lifting heavy objects, particularly when the lower back is involved, can worsen SI joint pain. You must be mindful of the exercise you choose while going through sacroiliitis.

Can poor posture cause SI joint pain?

The health of the SI joints can be ensured by keeping up a proper position. SI joint pain can result from strain on the muscles lining the spine caused by improper posture.

How do I put my sacroiliac back in place?

By releasing muscle tension that places additional strain on these bones, stretching may help relieve discomfort in the SI joints. SI joint soreness may be exacerbated by tensed muscles in your spine, hips, glutes, leg, and core.

How do you massage your SI joint?

Keeping some support on the back, you must lay down, fold a leg and try to raise it over the knees. Hold this position before bringing the leg down. Repeat the same exercise for the other leg.

Can I adjust my SI joint?

Yes, your fingertips should just touch your outer buttock muscles if you stand straight up and let your arms hang down by your sides. This muscle tissue can be stretched to achieve the same results as a range of motion.

Is SI joint pain permanent?

Not at all. According to the severity and origin of the damage, sacroiliac discomfort can be moderate to severe. SI joint pain appears out of nowhere and typically goes away within a few days to weeks.

How do you rest with SI joint pain?

You can get some relief from SI joint pain by laying back in a comfortable position with your legs spinning upright on the bed. To have a decent night’s sleep, it’s also critical to understand how to sleep with SI joint pain.

How do you get rid of inflammation in the SI joint?

You must consult with your doctor and get direct injections of corticosteroids to treat pain and inflammation in the affected joint.

Is SI joint pain permanent?

Not at all. According to the severity and origin of the damage, sacroiliac discomfort can be moderate to severe. SI joint pain appears out of nowhere and typically goes away within a few days to weeks.

What aggravates sacroiliitis?

Physical activities, such as prolonged sitting or standing, sprinting, or putting too much pressure on one leg, might exacerbate sacroiliitis that already exists.

Does SI joint dysfunction ever go away?

Similar to other bodily aches, this might eventually heal by itself. But if the discomfort lasts for more than three months, it could be time to get help.

Is chiropractic good for SI joints?

Yes, conservative chiropractic treatment can aid in your recovery of the lower spine and act as effective pain relief.

What does it feel like when your SI joint is out of place?

The lower back ache can be moderate to serious and seems numb or achy. Although lower back discomfort is often only experienced on one side, it occasionally affects both sides.

How do you know if your SI joint is aligned?

If you can sleep comfortably and carry out daily chores without discomfort in your hip area, your SI joint is likely to be aligned.

Updated on : 12 December 2023


Dr. Aman Priya Khanna

Dr. Aman Priya Khanna

MBBS, DNB General Surgery, Fellowship in Minimal Access Surgery, FIAGES

12 Years Experience

Dr Aman Priya Khanna is a well-known General Surgeon, Proctologist and Bariatric Surgeon currently associated with HealthFort Clinic, Health First Multispecialty Clinic in Delhi. He has 12 years of experience in General Surgery and worke...View More


About Authors

HexaHealth Care Team

HexaHealth Care Team brings you medical content covering many important conditions, procedures falling under different medical specialities. The content published is thoroughly reviewed by our panel of qualified doctors for its accuracy and relevance.

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