SI joint Dysfunction

Anyone else ride on here with SI joint strain/dysfunction?
I’ve had it for two years roughly & currently seeing an osteopath to try & reduce the inflammation & pain I get with it.It flares up from time to time & put paid to my 2019 season.I follow the mid volume training programmes TrainerRoad has to offer.I get tight glutes/ piriformis & QL muscles on left side probably caused by sitting for prolonged periods at work.I do stretches & strength core exercises to remedy this.

It’s important to get your SI joint reset if out of alignment. There are some ways to do it on your own, but a good PT or some massage therapists can also do this effectively.

The tight glutes and piriformis is very common in cyclists and something that can lead to a lot of issues including IT band problems. A massage therapist will be able to dig in these areas and work on the muscles, painful but effective. However it requires ongoing maintenance. The stretches will help but foam rolling and getting a lacrosse ball and massaging into the tight spots will also help. A massage gun can be another pretty effective tool to get into the tight, sore knots.

Just a little extra info to consider, but look up anatomy slings. Far too many people stretch the area of pain, but fail to realize that the problem is likely elsewhere in the body. In your case, the left side may be tight and the muscles shortened, but that also means the right side could be overly stretched too. Not just that, you could have tight rhomboids or serratus muscles that are pulling on the contralateral side, causing the left to be tight as well.
Anyways, not to make this a long reply, but it’s always a good idea to look at the entire chain and not just the kink. Good luck!


I suffered from really painful and inflamed SI joints. I wasn’t cycling at the time. I went through weeks of PT and never could get relief.

After an MRI revealed inflammation in my SI joints I tested positive for HLA B27 and was diagnosed with Ankylosing Spondylitis.

Been on Enbrel for the last 8 or 9 years and have never felt better. I will occasionally get tightness in my piroformis.


Piggy backing on this old thread, after a particularly miserable 50 mile ride yesterday I identified this si joint thingy as my problem.

Anyone in the UK dealt with this issue?

Over the last 2 years I’ve tried ice packs, anti inflammatory gels and pills and stretches and not a thing has helped.

Don’t know where to go with this during the current Pandemic climate we are living in. Don’t even think a doctor would see see me if I wanted him to.

I am not in the UK but this SI joint release changed my life. I dealt with it for years including dozens of visits to the chiropractor, physical therapists, and injections. May not work for you but once I found a way to release the tension the laxity in the joint decreased and now I rarely have any issues. When it worked for me I had relief instantly but it took a few years to get to this stage. I haven’t felt better in 15 years but YMMV.

I also find the release at approximately 3:00 minutes in this video helpful.


I have had this issue for years. I saw a PT about it a few years ago and she helped me with some stretches and exercises that do help. I find that the more I work out, the less it happens but when it really locks out, the only solution is a chiro appt. The above videos are great too.

Thank you so much!

It’s holding me back as a cyclist.

I’m fine for almost exactly 45 minutes then the pain starts building and I need to stop around the 60 minute mark as it’s just too much. I stand and stretch for 2 or 3 minutes and it dissipates, then 20 minutes later it comes back.

Yesterday it was that bad I could have crawled into a bush and cried😅

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I am not from UK, make sure you do not have a leg length issue. It is important that when you sit on the saddle your pelvis is level. Make sure your saddle is wide enough to support your sit bones. I find gluteal stretches, and low back stretches helpful. If pain does not get better, and your MD feels your a candidate, injecting the SI Joint with cortisone can be beneficial. I hope this post is of help.

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Have you found anything that helped? I have exactly the same issue and it’s driving me nuts. Even 2 months off the bike did nothing… First ride, 50 minutes in and it started aching again, I stop for 2 minutes and it’s gone…

Hi, sorry to hear that.

No I never did manage to completely eliminate it unfortunately.

I get this same discomfort every now and then. What has helped me lots of core stabilization exercises (planks, v-ups, cobras, etc) , and heavy deadlifts also good mornings, Jefferson curls, bridges. Stretching helps relieve some discomfort but when I stop doing core and strength work it really flares up for me. I Bought a program from socalbikedepot that really helped also. It was a learning experience to figure out what works for me.

Not sure if it would alleviate everyone’s symptoms but it has helped myself.

Just been out on the road bike for the first time in 6 months and it’s starting to come back to me.

Obviously it’s an issue with our bodies but ultimately I identified certain things:

My position on the bike didn’t actually play that much into it, surprisingly. I had the same exact issue switching between a relaxed flat bar endurance bike and my tcr with an almost slammed stem. Didn’t matter which bike - after about 40 minutes it would flare up.

Heres the main thing I learned - cancelling out as much road buzz and clatter was key. The two things both my flat bar and drop bar bike had in common were tyre width (25) and the roads they were travelling on. Basically making the bike roll as smooth as possible was the biggest thing for me. I run tubeless at low pressures which really helps more than anything and I stepped up to a 30 tyre at one point as I tested my theory, which was proven right (I’ve since settled on 28).

Another thing that helps a lot (but is contrary to what you may or may not have been led to believe) is getting out the saddle as much as possible. I used to ride planted on that seat, now whenever theres the slightest bump in the road I take advantage of it to stand up and stretch out as I stomp on the pedals. I find this helps a lot, the more you can get up the better though obviously there’s a price to pay on your legs and heart rate but I’d argue it’ll make you a stronger athlete in the long run.

Anyway, hope this helps. You got this.

A couple of thoughts:

  1. Try a standing desk at work, vice sitting.

  2. Use a lacrosse ball to massage the area. My right glute and low back tighten up frequently and 30 seconds with a lacrosse ball against a wall or lying down with it (roll around a little) loosen it up immediately. I do this before and after every ride, and whenever it gets tight. I have lacrosse balls all over my house, work, and gym bag.

  3. Strengthen your flutes and stretch your IT bands.

So I’ve had lower back issues since about a 1.5 years into regular training/some racing. I won’t go through the years os diagnoses and treatmemt I tried but here are the things that helped a ton. Im currently completey pain free - even on my bike.

  1. Try shorter cranks. I’m 6’1” and have always ridden 172.5-175mm depending on the bike. Here’s the thing for those of us with back pain- long cranks close up your hip angle and distort your back 75-100 times per minute. Moving to 165’s and raising my saddle about 5-7mm opened up my hip angle and made a world of difference. I can ride comfortably all I want with no back pain during or after my ride.

  2. Get rid of any weight lifting exercise that loads your spine in an axial fashion (I’m looking at you squats!). I’m convinced that axial loads only serve to further flatten spinal discs causing more inflamation and pain. Squats and hip thrusts also help strengthen your back - you just have to get rid of the bar on your shoulders. I wear a belt with D rings on it and clip into a cable functional trainer for squats - no load on the spine! Also, hip thrusts are good for building posterior chain/back strength to keep everything in place.

  3. Lastly, I’ve got an exercise that I do on a stability ball every night that really help. I’ll find and post a link.

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