Good Stretch for back pain
Years ago I was in the middle of my yoga practice, legs wide apart, bending deeply down over my right leg in Upavistha Konasana (Wide-Angle Seated Forward Bend) when I heard it—a popping sound in my left lower back, like a wine bottle being opened. Alarmed, I came up but only noticed a dull ache over my sacrum. I shrugged it off and finished my session relatively unfazed.
But it didn't go away. In fact, I was plagued with recurring bouts of pain. At the time I was in physical therapy school and had easy access to an orthopedist. His examination revealed little, and
when I demonstrated the pose at his request, he smiled and expressed skepticism that I had lower back pain at all. Needless to say I felt somewhat hopeless about understanding what was causing this nagging pain. I continued to seek medical help over the next few years and even consulted with chiropractors and massage therapists. My chiropractor finally diagnosed my pain as being caused by my sacroiliac joint, but he had little success in treating it.
To my surprise, the pain was finally resolved at the place where it first occurred: my yoga mat. I noticed that when I began to take particular care with my pelvic alignment during yoga poses,
especially in twists and forward bends, the pain and discomfort went away. That extra care and attention were the final piece that helped me understand the puzzle of my sacroiliac joint. Although my practice caused my sacroiliac pain, it was also the best medicine when it came to not only healing it but also preventing any future problems.
Casing the Joint
Lower back pain has been around as long as men and women have walked upright. In fact, approximately 80 percent of people experience some form of lower back pain, including sacroiliac pain, during their lifetime—although there are no definitive statistics on how many experience sacroiliac pain specifically. Part of the difficulty is there is no way to objectively measure the degree to which the sacroiliac joint is "out." In fact, there are some health professionals—like my orthopedist—who debate whether the SI joint contributes significantly to lower back pain at all.