Tension in the soft tissues of the pelvis, groin, lower back, and thighs can increase stresses on the sacroiliac (SI) joint, causing or exacerbating pain. Stretches targeted for specific muscles or muscle groups can help alleviate SI joint pain and restore some range of motion to the legs, pelvis, and lower back.

Effective stretches for SI joint pain relief are outlined below. If possible, engaging in a 5-10 minute low-impact cardiovascular warm-up, like walking, can help increase blood flow and prepare the body for SI joint stretching.

Sitting Hip Adductor Stretch

To perform the sitting hip adductor stretch, begin by sitting on a mat or chair with the legs extended straight out in front.

  • Spread the legs outward slightly and extend the feet straight out, with the toes pointing up towards the ceiling.
  • Lean forward slightly from the hips, keeping the spine straight. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds and then slowly return to the starting position.

Aim to complete one set of three stretches.


Seated Hamstring Stretch

To perform the seated hamstring stretch, begin by sitting on the edge of a chair.

  • Place the left leg on the ground for support and extend the right leg out in front of you.
  • Sit up tall and reach both arms towards the ceiling, lengthening the spine.
  • Exhale and hinge forward, reaching the right hand towards the right foot. A stretch should be felt at the back of your right thigh.

Hold the stretch for 10-15 seconds initially and work up to 30 seconds. Aim to complete one set of three stretches on each side.

Quadricep Stretch

To perform the standing quadricep stretch, begin by standing tall with the feet hip-width apart.

  • Shift the weight onto the left foot, and use the right hand to grab the right ankle, bringing the heel towards the buttocks.
  • Keep the knees together and maintain an upright posture, avoiding leaning forward or backward.
  • It may help to hold onto a chair or wall with the left hand to assist with balance. Hold the stretch for 20-30 seconds then slowly return to the starting position.

Aim to complete one set of three stretches on each side.



To perform the press-up exercise, begin by lying on your stomach.

  • Untuck your toes, bend your elbows, press your palms on the ground, and keep the body in a straight line from the head to the heels.
  • Gently push back by straightening your arms. Make sure the pelvis is in contact with the floor.
  • Hold this position for 3 to 5 seconds.

Repeat the movement for 8 to 12 repetitions, keeping your movements controlled and smooth. Aim to complete 3 sets of 8 to 12 repetitions.

A variation of this exercise is to keep the elbows slightly bent during the press-up if extending the arms fully causes discomfort.

Single knee-to-chest stretch

To perform the single knee-to-chest exercises. Begin by lying flat on your back with your legs straight.

  • Bend the right knee, pulling it up to the chest.
  • Hold the knee with both hands for 5 to 10 seconds.
  • Repeat the stretch on the opposite leg.

Hold the stretch for 5 to 10 seconds initially and work towards 20 to 30 seconds. Aim to complete one set of three stretches on each side.

Other stretches may be recommended by a doctor, physical therapist, or other health professional as part of an individualized exercise or physical therapy program.

Darren Riccio is a licensed physical therapist who has been working in the fields of physical therapy and rehabilitation and fitness since 1995. He is also certified in Maitland orthopedic manual therapy techniques, Olympic weight lifting, sports performance coaching, as a running coach, and fitness training.