The sacral area, or sacrum, is at the bottom of the spine. It lies between the fifth segment of the lumbar spine and the tailbone. This triangular-shaped bone consists of five segments that are fused together. Pain in the sacral area, which can be debilitating, can have a number of causes. Commonly, sacrum pain is caused by rheumatoid arthritis or degenerative arthritis. Other causes are sports injuries or a car accident. The best way to relieve pain in the sacral area is to stretch out your back with exercises such as knees to chest, forward folds and the yoga stretch known as child's pose.
Standing Forward Fold
To do this stretch, stand with your hands on your hips. Slowly bend forward from the hips -- not from the waist -- and reach your fingertips to the floor. Bend your knees slightly for comfort if you have to. Hold that stretch for 30 to 60 seconds. To come up, bring your hands to your hips and lift your torso, trying to keep it long and straight. Repeat the stretch if necessary.
Seated Forward Fold
Start by sitting on the floor with your legs stretched straight in front of you. Keeping the front of your torso long, stretch forward from your hip joints, reaching for your toes. Grab your toes or the outside of your feet and take the stretch a little deeper. Hold this stretch for one to three minutes, then slowly and carefully lift your torso up to come out of the stretch.
Knees to Chest
Begin by lying flat on your back and pull your knees into your chest. Wrap your arms around your knees or shins; try to grab the right elbow with your left hand and your left elbow with your right hand. If this isn't possible, grab your wrists, or just hold your knees. Pull your knees into your chest to stretch your lower back. If you wish, you can slowly rock side to side or forward and backward, massaging your sacrum with the floor and stretching the muscles around it at the same time.
Child's pose, a yoga stretch, is a great way to stretch out the sacral area. Start by kneeling on the floor. Touch your big toes together and sit on your heels, then stretch your knees as wide as your hips. Lay your torso down between your thighs while broadening your sacrum and stretching your hips downward. Try to keep your seat toward your heels while gently resting your forehead on the floor. You can keep your arms on either side of your body, palms facing up, or extend them in front of you. Stay in this pose for one to three minutes, and then slowly lift yourself back up to a seated position.
Jenna Zizzo is a certified yoga instructor. Her articles on yoga and healthy living have been featured on websites such as Arizona Yoga Community, and Zizzo has also been published in magazines such as "944 Magazine," as well as other various online publications.