Our Sacrum, otherwise known as our tailbone, and all the connective tissue around it can hold a lot of stress and tension from sitting too long, misalignment in the spine, or even hormones. The sacrum is directly connected to the pelvis, which is the base for the entire spinal column. When we have pain in this area, it can radiate up the entire back, down our legs, or out to our hips. Inflammation of the sacroiliac joint can happen when the ligaments around the tailbone are tight. Stretching the surrounding muscles and performing sacrum stretches that create space in the vertebrae relieves pain. To properly locate your sacrum, find the two dimples on either side of the base of your spine. Those are at the top of your sacroiliac joints and your sacrum sits in between. Here are 4 moves you can do to relieve tension in your sacrum.
4 Essential Sacrum Stretches
1. The Sacrum Stretch
A popular stretch for the sacrum recommended by physical therapists. Squat down with your feet wide apart and lean forward dropping your chin to your chest. Lift your hips to get your arms underneath and around your ankles. Place your hands on the floor and reposition yourself so that your elbows are bent and your hamstrings are resting on your elbows and upper arms. Let your hips drop down and tailbone tuck under. Hold for 20-30 seconds and then release. Repeat 2-3 times.
2. Legs on a Chair
This is a simple yet extremely beneficial posture for relieving back pain that should be done every day. Lie down on the floor with your calves resting on the seat of a chair. You want to get a chair that will create a 90-degree angle with your legs from your hips. Completely relax in this position, allowing your spine and hips to sink into the ground and decompress. This position also increases circulation as gravity move fluids away from your legs. Hold this position for 1-2 minutes.
3. Figure 4 Stretch
Stretch your piriformis, the muscle that connects directly to your sacrum in the glute area. A tight piriformis can cause tension and pain in the sacroiliac joint and lower back. Lie on the ground with your legs bent. Cross one ankle over the other thigh and thread your arms through your legs to hold onto your shin. If your tailbone lifts off the ground, then grab underneath your thigh instead. Pull the leg into your chest to stretch the piriformis of the leg that’s crossed over. Keep your spine long in this position. Hold for 1 minute before switching to the other leg.
4. Sacrum Release Pose
Create space in the vertebrae of your sacrum with this feel-good posture. Lie on your back with your legs bent. Lift your hips up and place a yoga block or any sort of bolster that s several inches tall under your sacrum. Make sure it is comfortably under your tailbone and not your lower back. Straighten your legs, bring your arms above your head, and allow your body to completely relax. Let the weight of your legs pull your hips open as they drop to the sides. Stay in this position for 1 minute.
These easy sacrum release moves will provide relief for and prevent back pain. Be consistent and do them at least three times a week to treat chronic low back pain.
What are your favorite lower back stretches?
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This article was first published on February 27, 2017 and most recently updated on September 28, 2019.
Photo: Crystal Chin