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SI Joint/L1 L4 L5 Problems for the past 8 years! Please Help Me!

edited October 2013 in General
Hi Everybody!

So I'm brand new to the community and just found Mobility WOD in a desperate search to solve issues I have had for the past 8 years and I am only 26 years old.  It has run my life and I'm tired of it affecting my mood, relationships, athletic ability, balance, coordination, and work.  

When I am feeling my symptoms:
  • I lose almost half the strength in my L glutes and supporting myself becomes a chore
  • My L foot feels weak and the arch drops, and sometimes cramps.  My foot will spay outwards too.
  • My hips, hamstrings, glutes, low back and core get really effin' tight (More so than usual)
  • My trigger points are on the top left of what I assume the QL is, all the muscle surrounding my illiac crest, the front of my hip, and my TFL
  • I suffer from a drastic loss of balance and mobility on the left side.  
  • If I sit with my feet straight out or spread, and try to maintain an upward seated posture, my TFL on L side will cramp hard
  • I am really weak in a staggered position where my L foot is in front of my R.
  • The mechanics of my L leg are WAY out of whack, and when severe, it feels like the ball of my femur is not sitting in the socket correctly.  There can even be sharp pain in the groin where the femur fells like its pinching something.  When I feel this, I will squeeze a yoga block between my knees and feel a "pop" on the L side of my groin which will relieve some pressure.
The SI Joint on the L side feels like the golden triangle of where the majority of my issues come from.  Sometimes I can get it to mobilize, and my strength and balance return, the arch of my L foot will pop back up, the general achey-ness of my Low Back/Hip/Knee/Foot will fade, but all will soon return if I sit or do anything besides stand perfectly.  Nothing is a sharp debilitating pain.  Just a generic "ache" and horrible tightness down the entire left side of my body starting at the upper-portion of my low back.

My past that seems to have negatively affected my posture includes Soccer, TONS of Mountain Biking (Right foot forward),  and Snowboarding/Skateboarding (Left foot forward).  Chiropractic used to help, but my adjustments go right back out after I sit down in the car.  I am generally REALLY tight, but have obviously been stretching wrong, because I see no progress.  I don't know if I need to rip a bunch of facia apart, or even how to do something like that.  

I pray someone on here has a basic understanding of what I am going through and any advice on how to effectively use this website.  There are SOOO many videos, and I don't know where to even begin.  Anyways, I will be eternally grateful for any insight you might have.

Be Well

Comments

  • Have you seen a doctor about your hip joint?
    What are you doing to start
    Sounds like you have a lot going on.
    Spine first.
    The spine is the carriage or chasse for the primary engines of the shoulder and hip.
    Disorganized at the pelvis hip function is decreased.
    Changing the position is the way to improve the function.
    Some of the things you are experiencing are downstream issues of the hip.
    When you are in a good position your body turns on.
    When your body is in a poor position it does not turn on.
    This is some of what you are experiencing when things go away and come back.
    Standing perfectly and your experience is improved.
    You are not holding adjustments because they are not hitting the cause of the problem.
    Sounds like you need to re construct your sitting position if this is the trigger.

    A good place to start is episode 1.
    You have several things going on and going through episode by episode gives you exposure to the videos as they were added and each concept as it was added during the Year of Mobility Project. Piece by piece start chipping away at.
    Getting started is key.
  • I have not seen a doctor about this.  I don't even know what kind of doctor I would need to see, and I don't have health insurance yet.  What I have done to start is see 2 different PT's as well as have a corrective exercise coach prescribe me a plan to get back to neutral posture.  I have just done soo many effing exercises and haven't had a pain free day since I started.  I started with the first video and have done 10 minutes for the past 3 days.  Going to keep doing that with others that come up.  All this information just piles up so much that I end up doing a million exercises with the hopes of getting out of pain, and end up losing my entire day.  I am a slave to all of this stuff.  One person says one thing, then another says another.  I have been told that I have an anterior pelvic tilt, but also my pelvis is twisted.  I think I remember my chiro saying it is more anterior on the right.
  • How long did you remain consistent with the exercises you were given?
    It may take a couple exposures before you start to see improvement because you are unlearning on thing and learning something new. You said you are "really effing tight" and this is another impacting factor.
    You may not be pain free, but are you experiencing improvements with your situation?
    DO the 10 minute squat on the episodes that it appears through out the project.
    Watch 1 episode a day.
    It would be very beneficial to attend a Movement & Mobility Seminar when you are able to.
    I recommend purchasing the webinars to build a base and foundation with a clearer understanding of focus for each webinar.
    Simplify your approach. Each day spend 15 -20 minutes with 3 items max.




  • I think we're in the same boat lol - and it's definitely frustrating! I'm currently dealing with issues in my right leg, feels like the leg is only at 50% power. My problem started with my knee and basically triggered a chain of events.. right hip pain (small tender spot above the glute, feels like a bunch of small different knots when i touch it) right buttocks pain, trouble stretching my hamstrings because it hurts, knee pain and painful heel pain. I feel like i'm having trouble walking straight and now i've been getting upper pain in the neck,spine,shoulders region.

    Have you had a blood test? My rheumatoid factor was at 35, it necessarily doesn't mean anything but it's an invitation to see a rheumatologist (which i'm still waiting on) for more tests just to make sure and rule out possible autoimmune diseases.

    My guess is that ever since I initially injured my knee (deep patella bone bruise) playing softball, i've been limping and it's triggered other pains throughout my body because of my altered gait and a lot of it is in my lower back and hips causing sciatic issues throughout my leg. The limping has also created a muscle imbalance, my left leg and glutes are stronger than my right leg at the moment.

    I started getting deep tissue massage in my hips and glutes which are really helping. I'm also doing acupuncture. The one thing I think that's helping out of all of this is seeing a naturopathic doctor. I'm week 2 into his treatment and i'm feeling a whole lot better and the biggest reason I think is the vitamin D3 dosage he's prescribed me. He also told me that stress makes it worst and gave me stuff to reduce stress and anxiety. Basically I need to clear my head in order to let my mind focus on healing my injuries.

    Your body is pretty incredible in fixing itself, sometimes you just need someone to help you speed it up. Go see a naturopath, he'll tell you what's wrong with you and he'll put you on the right road to recovery.
  • Dovey,
     
    This is a problem I had and thanks to KStar and others, have not had any real problems with since.  My SI issues started 4+yrs ago and I also saw different professionals with zero results.  Eventually with all of KStar's videos, my PT friends, and my background, I put together a plan that worked for me and have had nearly 0 issues the past 2-3yrs.  I will lay it out for you in hopes that it will help.

    In May of this year (2013) I asked Kelly at his seminar how often he sees SI problems and he said all the time.  He also said it is almost always over extension/tight anterior hip.  Every time I have checked anterior hip flexibility in someone with SI pain they are missing most of their ROM.  The QL is also a known cause of SI pain due to up slipping the ilium.  I would look at these 2 areas as your main cause of trouble, the QL (quadratus lumborum) and anterior hip.  So here goes.

    1.  If the joint is out of place it needs to be put back in place first.  You are already doing this with your yoga block and squeezing it between your knees.  I know KStar has a video on this but I can't find it.  This video shows the exact same movements that we were shown during his seminar for the reset.  If I can't get it back into place myself I will go to my chiropractor and then attack the tightness when I get home.



    2. Attack the anterior hip!  I did the couch stretch and banded couch stretch up to 5 times a day, 2 minutes per side until I was finally out of anterior pelvic tilt.  If you are getting adjusted by a chiropractor and having it go back out as soon as you sit, it tells me your anterior hip is short. 

    http://www.mobilitywod.com/2010/09/episode-29-use-your-tv-to-time-your-pain-hips-and-lower-leg/

    and

    http://www.mobilitywod.com/2011/04/episode-235-recover-your-anterior-with-the-super-couch/

    3.  Attack your QL!  Again this is the exact same movement we were shown at the seminar.  If your QL is too tight it will eventually pull your hip upward (this is an up-slipped ilium).  I eventually realized that a spasming QL was the driver of my SI problems almost every time.  Throw an extremely tight anterior hip into it and I ended up with an up-slipped ilium with anterior tilt.  My up-slip was severe enough that it was super easy to see in the mirror.  If you feel out of place but aren't sure, look up how to palpate the Anterior Superior Iliac Spine and place a dot on each spot.  You should be able to see the difference in height from side to side if you are out of place.

    http://www.mobilitywod.com/2013/02/the-ql-is-not-a-boneeven-in-the-matt-chan/

    To sum it all up: 1. If it's out of place put it back in place.  2. Tight anterior hip causes SI pain  3. Tight QL drives the up slip.  Be diligent with your treatment.  The old KStar prescription was 5x/day, 2min/side.  Also, look at your sleeping posture.  If I sleep on my left side, it cause my right QL to spasm.

    I know this is daunting, but there is hope.  This was the majority of my lower body mobility and still is.  I hope this helps.
  • I am overwhelmed by the amount of correlative information here.  Thank you guys sooooo much!  I am going to ATTACK this thing.  I'm motivated and have the energy to be diligent with this.  I'll let y'all know how it goes.  I am forever grateful!
  • Hey Cody,

    When you say 5x/day, 2min/side which are you talking about?  The anterior hip stretch?  Did you stretch your QL at all, or just do the ball routine you posted on it?  Thanks for all the quality info!
  • edited October 2013
    Dovey,

    5x/day, 2min/side is for the anterior hip stretch.  Yes, I also stretch the QL when it is flaring up.  I essentially do this stretch but instead of using a wall I reach my arm overhead grabbing my power rack.  Essentially you want your body to form a bow shape with this one.  You can also do the same thing on the floor.  Sue Falcone, a great PT and AT, has some great instruction for this, but I cannot find it online.  It is part of her Thoracic Spine lecture on Movementlectures.com.  What you do is lay on the floor in the same position as the video (the bow position) and block your feet to create as much stretch as you can.  Reach as far overhead as you can.  This might not make sense in writing, but experiment with it and I think you will find the positions.  Here's the video I am referencing:



    Kelly has a stretch like this using a Dynamax med ball that works really well too.

    4. Quadratus lumborum stretch

    Experiment with it and see what works.  Stretching and smashing both sides for the QL may make it worse or feel the same.  If so try doing just the affected side and see how that feels.  There is a lot of trial and error with this stuff.  Good luck. 
  • I've noticed that glute stuff comes up quite a bit with this issue.  Were you strengthening anything while doing your therapy, or just stretching and smashing?
  • Also, core strengthening?  How important was that?
  • I'm glad you asked these questions.  I forgot to add that I smashed the glutes (everywhere it felt gnarly) and smashed the quads (rollers, barbell, partner) anytime this flairs up and for the most part every time I mobilize the lower body.

    So glute stuff.  Smash the heck out of them.  As for training them, I have tried more direct training (glute bridges, scorpions, etc) but have better results with sumo stance work.  Sumo deadlifts and sumo stance 2 kettlebell swings work wonders for my glutes.  If you were dominant on one side for a long time there is a good chance the glutes on the opposite side fell behind.  I played competitive basketball for close to a decade and was left leg dominant for jumping so the right glute fell behind.

    The core will help keep the pelvis stable too.  I lean towards Dr.Stuart McGill's philosophy on low back health/core strength so I focus on plank variations.  I also throw in anti-extension movements like the ab wheel, and anti-rotation movements like Gray Cook's lift and chop.  The big one here is to avoid any type of traditional side bend movements.  The QL's primary role is hip hiking and this can cause complications.

    If you have any more questions please keep asking.  I will check back here every day or too.
  • edited November 2013
    Hi guys! I'm brand new to this forum and as I'm reading through thread titles I see this one and can immediately connect with what Dovey 13 is dealing with. If you'll indulge me,I'd love to share a bit of my humbling experience, as I have been dancing with this littoral "pain in the ass" for 30 yrs. I will endeavor to keep my short story from become long :o).

    Just for a little background, I have been a Farrier for 28 yrs. That is, I'm a professional horseshoer/blacksmith. I am also a LMT,CST,CKTP. My delving into a side career as a bodyworker stemmed directly from my quest to better understand how to keep myself put together and in the game. It has been quite the journey of discovery.

    At 6'3" 195#, I'm built more like a 440 hurdler than for being under a horse so, one can imagine the horrible body mechanics that ensued. In my 20's and early 30's I met it head on, much as you are doing. I was young, strong and hard headed. Pain is weakness leaving the body…right? So, I gutted it out. Eventually, it took me down…hard. 

    Everyone has a bit of advice. Docs offer cocktails of pain killers and muscle relaxers, bed rest or maybe a bit of traction/decompression. These tactics may temporarily get one out of the woods but they don't attack the source. When, sooner or later, these things fail, then comes the steroid injections and or surgical intervention. Thankfully, I never opted for the latter. The same basic theme continued for me through other, alternative practitioners and disciplines. Found help here and there but never cracked it and got to the source.

    Without digressing further into other therapies and approaches that we're all familiar with, let me just say that, in my experience and humble opinion, the information/advise given previously on this thread and that is taught throughout this website is absolutely spot on.  It is awesome too find the tools along with sound, thoughtful advice to help answer the questions - What? Where? Why? and How?. Priceless.

    The only thing I would add is to expand on a piece offered earlier in this thread by Marc Hansen. Stress. For me it was the lynchpin. My achilles heel, so to speak. Took me years and a lot of pain to finally come to terms with it. Early in my dance with this particular malady my body could find "work arounds" to physically compensate for the lacks. The whole time I was non-consciencously building "disconnects" and mental walls around my left SI joint. As you stated in your original post, "It is running my life…". When I came to that realization, I understood that I had embraced this as a problem and thus it ran it's tentacles into every decision I made and every corner of my life. What I couldn't understand was how , as an athletic, fit, healthy male, I could be so limited and unable to fully function. The harder I fought it, the more deeply ingrained it became in my psyche…thus, the more it controlled my every decision. Stress. I did not know how to undo it…

    While there have been several "Aha" moments for me where I thought I'd found the solution, I look back now and realize that most were just pieces to the puzzle…tools to add to my personal toolbox. One of the larger of those pieces for me and what I would call a game changer was a book a friend gave me titled 'Healing Back Pain' by Dr. John Sarno. I would heartily recommend it to you. I laugh as I remember the friend who recommended it to me. Super guy but a little off the chart into metaphysics. I thought, "Oh God, this is going to be some treatise on how to channel alien life forms and chant bizarre mantras"…lol. Turns out it is a practical study (loaded with scientific blind studies) by a top spinal surgeon, on how the spine functions and specifically, how stress manifests physiologically around the spine. Inexpensive book, easy read, written in layman's terms. You won't find a better bargain.

    I apologize for running on and in closing I would reiterate a resounding yes to the above comments on meeting and dealing with the physical aspects of your challenge. Try all of them. Some will work better that others for you and some will work at different time and stages of your progression. Tools for your tool box. Consider as well the mind-body connection. I'm reasonably sure you will find it to be a critical piece in your journey to full function and wellness. One last bit of advise…don't stress over finding the source of your stress :o). Don't ask how I know about this…lol. Best of luck to you!




  • Great post.  I am glad you touched on this.  Yup, stress is definitely tied into back pain.  I train a woman who owns a large business where the end of every month is a stress nightmare.  Sure enough at the end of every month her SI/Low back issues flair up.  I will pass on your words and advice for her.  Especially the book recommendation. 

    Welcome aboard Mark!
  • Wow guys!  I haven't been on here for a bit because I moved to Asheville, North Carolina, but I really love all of this pertinent information.  I am going to attack this head on, and not continue to stress about why I hurt.  I am sincerely forever grateful for these insights.  Thank you
  • edited December 2013

  • edited December 2013
    Dovey - sounds like we have very similar situations (symptoms, many years of pain, no success with other practitioners). 

    Here's my story:  For 10 years I've struggled with back and hip pain that I believe is the result of SI joint issues, muscle imbalances and years of poor posture.  The pain initially started after a fall while playing baseball and then several weeks of sharp pain in my Right SI Joint ensued.  Instead of properly rehabbing my SI joint injury I began working a desk job with long hours. Over time here are the symptoms that developed:

    Lower back pain (including SI joint) and hip pain - pain and discomfort oscillates between left and right side from day to day.    Hip pain includes soreness around the joint, hip flexor tightness/pain and TFL tightness.  Additional tightness/pain in the glutes.  Like Dovey I also get some relief when I do a pubis reset. 
    Right shoulder sag (and maybe right hip hike).  While standing there is a noticeable downward tilt on my right shoulder compared to my left.

    Tight psoas and QL on my right side. I've had some terrible bouts with QL spasms.
    Knots down both TFL's, and on the inside of my right thigh near my groin and just above the knee.  Foam rolling helps a little.

    In addition to SI pain/instability I think I have glute activation issues – probably not surprising since I work in front of a computer all day.

    As I mentioned believe my original injury was a tear or strain of the ligaments (?) around my SI joint. It occurred when I slid across a wet base playing baseball and my right leg locked up when I hit the dry turf. A couple days later I sat down and felt a sharp pain on the right side of my tailbone.  I didn't properly rehab the injury and then began a period of inactivity and working long hours in a seated position. The last decade has been fairly sedentary aside from the occasional after-work soccer league. At its worst I'm unable to run more than a couple hundred yards before my right side tenses up completely. I tried lifting regurlaly last winter but had to stop due to SI pain (right side) and QL/psoas pain.

    Over the years I've tried numerous Chiros, PT's and even injections. The only protocol that worked reasonably well was a mobility and strength regimen that I did in 2006 that got me back to 85-90%.  At the same time I was also doing Active Release Therapy to supplement my workouts and I experienced some success. However, between '06 and '12 my symptoms returned and last year I decided to try traditional PT again, including PRI (Postural Restoration). Unfortunately I have not seen much progress over the last year despite seeing a therapist once or twice a week and diligently performing home exercises.  I switched to a new PT recently that does dry needling and i've noticed some release in the trigger points following the sessions but I think I need to layer in more mobility and stability work to reinforce good movement patterns and strengthen atrophied muscles (glutes & core primarily).


    Thank you in advance for any advice you can provide! I'm looking forward to getting back to a pain free life.  References to mwod videos would be great. I enjoy following a prescriptive workout so to the extent you can recommend a series of mobility and stability exercises, I would greatly appreciate it.
  • I would like Mark to comment a bit more about a successful attack plan including the book he referenced, as well as other things that helped him!  More Mark!  Please?
  • edited December 2013
    Wow Dovey, I'm truly flattered but I wouldn't presume to know enough about you to recommend any plan or protocol for "attack".  For me, there are more than a few pieces to consider.  Reading your posts I can get a slight feel for some but, would still just be guess work on my part. I'm not a fan of guessing when it comes to another person's health.  For instance, what is your body type?, what is your temperament type?, what is your emotional state?, what is your activity level?, what are your diet and sleep habits?, what is your work environment?, what is your relationship status?, what is your financial status?, and the list goes on… These are all important parts to understanding what makes a person tick and assessing probable reasons for why they are struggling with chronic injury(s) of this type.  Acute injury is far more easy to deal with from this perspective. There is damaged tissue, treat it to facilitate healing in those tissues and get them on their feet and going again. No big.

    There have been more than enough suggestions posted on this string and a myriad of videos on this site offering sound advise and pertinent information for you to build your own protocol. Honestly, I would not add anything to the list as these guys are pros and I think they are very good at what they do. No need for me to toot my horn in this crowd :o).

    That said, I feel you brother… If you are anything like I was, you want answers, you want a program, you need something to do!  "Somebody please tell me what to do to fix this damn thing so I can get on with my life. I've got things to do!". That was me. Well, in my case (and I'm sure yours  too.), the answers were within me. I just had to find them…and I did it the hard way. I don't recommend it but now that I look back I wouldn't trade the experience and enlightenment for anything.  I had many helpers along the way but in the end no one could do it for me…it was my path.  Read the book bro. I won't spoil it for you but, I will say that the concept is so disgustingly simple that it will blow your mind. The difficulty lies within the journey to the embodiment of said concept. Embrace the journey my friend… The message you come away with may be different from mine but I guarantee you will learn something useful about yourself.

    From tactical point of view I would suggest finding a coach or trainer. One who has some experience and that you can sync with. Get some help with your body mechanics and ROM issues. Don't get in a rush to "fix" yourself. These issues have been in development with you for a long time. It's gonna take some time to retrain yourself. Accept it. It'll make the journey much more fun.  Don't see this thing as your nemesis, your enemy. Don't train with the idea of making it your "bitch"…that "bitch" will bite you. Learn to see it as your teacher. Your body is trying to teach you something…listen. Do your due diligence for sure but remember to look for the deeper lessons as well.

    Sorry for the existentialism. I doubt that is what you wanted to hear but from my experience these are a few of the things that helped me get through the worst of my bouts.  I've by no means conquered this but I am managing it and probably in the best shape I've been in 10 years. I very seldom tweak the SI doing physical stuff anymore but I can tell you for sure that if I let myself get upset and stress over something, within short order my left QL will start to twitch and seize. After that, if I don't rein in that source of stress I'll be "Crooked as a dog's hind leg" (as my dad would say…lol). From there, it's a short hop to making that "just right" movement and screwing the pooch. For me, recognizing the warning signals in time to head off the pain/inflammation cycle is key. Once I've entered the "pain cave" and everything gets stirred up, well, I just have to ride it out and wait for it to calm down before I can begin to treat it. Sucks. Here's the catch, at least for me. Took me a long time to figure this out. I think most of my bouts were about the SI giving out under pressure. Well, Duh, right?  I reasoned that I "did" something mechanically to cause it. Sometimes I did, sometimes not so much.  I talk to people all the time that say the same thing. Makes sense, right? Well, why was I continuing to have the same problem even when I wasn't doing the things that aggravated it? Then comes the excuse, Well, I just have a bad back… When you embrace that statement, which, BTW most medical professionals will support and reinforce, guess what? You have a bad back!!  Your body responds to your thoughts and comments…and those that others make in reference to you as well.

    The body has an amazing capacity to heal itself, phenomenal. I threw out the "bad back" scenario from my lexicon. I know longer have a "bad back" nor will I allow anyone to speak that to me. I have a strong back! I sometimes use poor body mechanics and am lazy with my posture which sometimes causes problems but, these are things I can correct. So I do. Thus creating new neural pathways and regenerating positive mental and physical inertia. Your body is using the famous line from Jerry Macguire, "Help me help you!"

    So, what do I do fitness wise? I lift heavy weights, compound exercises, powerlifting stuff. I paddle board, cycle (a little), walk with a 20 to 30 Lb backpack, do a combination of yoga, active isolated stretching, and the mobiltyWOD stuff found here. I focus more on technique than lbs added and am able to squat a fair amount of weight for an old guy who never thought he'd be able to do weighted squats again. I don't max on my squat because I work out alone and don't want to get in a bind and hurt myself.  According to my working weight I should be able to max in the 240 to 250lb range. Small potatoes in this crowd but I'm pleased.  At 51, I don't produce the hormones that I once did so, sometimes recovery is an issue. I give myself plenty of time before I push hard again, trying to catch the right spot in the recovery curve. I listen to my body and trust it to know when, where and how much. So my regimen tends to be more fluid than linear. It's what works for me.

    I hope this helps you some. Sorry for sermonizing… :o)


  • I have "seen the light" and come to the understanding that the existentialism parts are just as important as the routine physical maintenance parts.  This might of slowed me down physically, but as you said, the journey has lead me to discover that I want to be a healer, and help others.  I have never been so academically on top of my game.  I devour reading now, and have a thirst for knowledge that is almost insatiable.  I am actually using my brain these days instead of damaging it, neglecting it, and under-appreciating it.  I have a new found spirituality and confidence in my body and humanity.  I would've never reached these heights of clarity without my "pain in the ass".  Don't get me wrong…it still sucks….but I am slowly learning the management of it.  My new routines have been trigger point therapy on myself, working my psoas and QL, and not limiting my physical activity.  I have been getting back into soccer, and the SIJ was not too happy after the first day!  Kind of a 0 to 60 really fast unhappiness.  I have enrolled in Paul Chek's program to become a Holistic Lifestyle Coach, and Corrective Exercise Coach, which is a trusted program that I have faith in.  I have become scientifically inclined performing my own experiments on myself involving my diet, movement patterns, and daily routine.  I will admit that when I am in the "pain cave" my relationship becomes less important, and I can still be an asshole, but luckily I have an amazing woman that has her own problems, and fully understands when I am in that headspace and does what she can to help me out.  It all boils down to a diet that correctly balances and optimizes my hormone function and creates a positive energy level, correcting super whacky muscle imbalances I created from side-dominant sports and lazy posture (I am the son of a chiropractor ;) )), and negative thoughts putting me in a high-stress lifestyle that I never even realized.  I am overwhelmingly grateful for the amount of FREE information I receive from experts/fellow sufferers here, and I want to pay it forward in the future.  I am infinitely grateful to you all for taking time out of your days to help a fellow human in need.  It keeps my hopes high for the overall goodness that still exists in humanity.  The journey continues!  
  • An orthopedist should have a look at you to rule out other conditions. I'm not a physician and cannot diagnose. I am a massage therapist and an advanced myoskeletal therapist in New Hampshire.
    I haven't read the comments. Only the original post. Short on time, here, this morning. Anyway, sounds like you have some pelvic torsion problems going on. The pelvis can articulate in six directions between the innominates and sacrum, and more between innominates and lumbar spine. You also describe soft tissue dysfunction of facilitated and inhibited muscles. Lastly, you describe symptoms of lumbar neuralgia, and there can be many causes of that. If you're near Bedford, NH, I'd suggest making an appointment with me. If not, I'd suggest seeing an NKT practitioner and/or Myoskeletal Alignment Technique practitioner. We can all assess and treat what we find. Otherwise, find a DO, DC, or MD of orthopedics, and get assessed.
  • Hi Dovey, hello Guys!

    I basically signed up to this website because of this discussion. Dovey, you posted in here really a long time ago, so my hopes for your reply are thin, but i have to try anyway - maybe you or one of the people participating in this discussion will still be there. Since a year now i'm struggling with exactly same issues as Dovey described, and as much as i managed to work around the pain somehow and i have really good days sometimes, psychologically it's been a year of deep anxiety and weird medical check ups and doctors appointments until i finally found a PT who put my SI in place. It felt marvellous! for an hour..  and then it went out. As yours, it just doesnt want to keep in place, goes out all the time. I also hear a lot of noises in the si joint area when im getting up from a chair, plus i have some painful points on my GQ (when you press them, the pain goes all the way down on the outer side of the leg). I try to relieve them with a tennis ball, they never disappear completely though. I've been trying some of the stretches that you guys have recommended, they are helping a lil bit. I'm writing you to ask whether you found something that helped permanently/ how do you feel nowadays? I will appreciate every little piece of advice you could give me. If you ever read it of course :)

    warm regards from Poland,

    Klaudyna
  • Wow...haven't been on here is some time.  Klaudyna....I sincerely sympathize with you.  This had been the focus of my life for almost 14 years.  I was an athlete and very active, yet this thorn in my side has kept me from being fully present in almost anything in my entire life.  

    I have sobbed, screamed, and gone through severe periods of depression from what I described in my original post.  Today I am feeling better after working regularly on my deficits with a PT who has a large toolbox of PRI exercises, dry needling, bodywork, and more.  My body didn't seem to want to go into flexion at all, and my lumbar erectors (especially on my left side) were almost permanently on and overworking.  My anterior slings were very week comparative to my posterior.  

    I have since chilled out from my exercises and actually feel better than ever for some reason.  I can't tell you why.  Maybe the exercises started working?  Maybe I stopped giving the problem so much power in my life?  Maybe it just worked its course?  I ask myself these questions daily.  I still have flair ups that seem to be structurally and mechanically driven, like if I am sitting in a certain position for too long.  I went mountain biking on vacation (I used to race in college) and it flared up a bit.  The things I did that I have never done and didn't believe in are when I started getting some relief.  I started taking internal Arnica twice a day, and was regularly taking CBD oil from my Mother-In-Law's company which is pure hemp flower extract with no THC.  I also had some sessions with a spiritual healer over the phone.  A lot of PT's/medical professionals/bodywork/trainers on this site will probably want to tell me that what I just mentioned is nonsense and that the placebo effect is what I am experiencing.  My response to that is that "it is working for me". 

    I cannot give you a specific exercise that I did nor tell you some sort of "aha" moment I had that cured me.  I still have a long way to go, but I am going about it differently.  I am not obsessing over my "problem" and I am trying not to give it any more power than it deserves.  I am trying to focus on the present and know that it won't last forever, even though I wanted to think it would be with me until the day I die.  I tell myself daily that I am strong and that there is nothing "wrong" with me daily.  I bought a "Muse" device to help me start a regular meditation routine.  I have read so many books that told me that my spine is strong and that there have been numerous studies showing weak correlations with disc bulldogs and physical pain.  

    Chronic pain has drained my relationships with others and myself and caused some really intense mental/emotional dysfunctions that I am working on reversing.  It got me to where I am today though, and I must say that pain is the greatest teacher you will ever have.  You will want to punch your teacher in the fucking face sometimes, but I believe it is here to teach you and I lessons that we would not have learned without it.  YOU ARE NOT ALONE KLAUDYNA, and I would be more than happy to keep talking to you if you need me.  

    Dane
  • I wouldn't say your experience with the spiritual healer is nonsense.
    It gave attention to an aspect which needed attention and was impacting other areas within your life.
    Different things work for different people to start getting the ship turned around.
    This worked for you which is great.
    As one aspect starts to resolve other aspects can see improvement as well.
    Taking another look and starting to chip away at the situation.
    Consistent work is key.

  • Hey guys and greetings from Finland! New user on the board here, although I have been following Kelly's work for some years already. Big fan of his and the Mwod team!

    I wanted to join this discussion because I have had the same problem with my left SI for some years now. It all started somewhere in 2010 during my military service. I was on an anti-tank unit and therefore the loads we carried were humongous at times, and definitely - as you would guess - not optimized in any way. I cannot say an exact time when the problem started, but the first time I remember that I noticed something was "off", was when I was driving to a city close by, the distance being only 80 kilometers. At halfway, I noticed the left side of my back was totally numb and stiff as a rock. I had to jump out for a moment to move. Some months from that on, I started in marketing school and started having problems when I had to sit down and be still. 30 minutes or so, and my back was stiff and I was feeling uncomfortable.

    I started Brazilian jiu jitsu in 2011 and to this day it is one of the main things I look forward to in a typical day (if I am not on a vacation, then I am probably in the nature fishing/hunting/doing things). I remember during the first year I didn't have problems with this thing, probably because I was so excited all the time. But in 2012 I really started to wonder what is happening. In a year and a half I probably visited 2 physios, 2 osteopaths and a couple massage therapists, trying to solve this problem. Now, luckily for me, but unluckily for the research of the problem, I never had exact pain in the SI region, or the back. Only the feeling of "unevenness" and my back getting stiff and tied up. Therefore I think I wasn't taken seriously always, but I also remember at least 1 physio doing the SI checks on me, and I never felt pain in those. Then I of course got the green light that I was okay with it. But I still wondered and sometimes had sleepless nights searching the internet for answers.

    In the spring of 2013, one of my training partners who had a similar problem pointed me to a special therapist that we have (to my knowledge) only here in Finland. The treatments are physio, massaging and osteopath -like, but with much less force than usual. I tried to search for the name for this but couldn't find a translation. But I think you get the point. The first time I went to him and he checked me, he said that my left SI was 2,5 centimeters off. He then did the treatment and when it was over and I jumped up from the table, I couldnt believe the feeling I had. The feeling of being "even" on the hips was one of the best things, honestly! He said that it would take at least a couple of times to get the problem sorted.

    Jumping to this day, I visit the guy probably twice in a month, which of course costs money. He always says that because of the sport I do, BJJ, I will always have the problem. But I have noticed that even on weeks I dont train that much BJJ, it can get off, so it must be something else. I know I train a lot and I am a really active person, and sometimes I feel like this is a curse of some sort holding me down. People saying here that the problem can get its tentacles to your every decision is really on point. Sometimes I also feel like that the majority of my thoughts relate to this. So a positive mindset really matters.

    Talking about what I have noticed on the SI joint problem, is quite the same as people talked here before. In some way, the problem seems to "live its own life" at times. Sometimes I have a really hard training session and the positions I am in (in BJJ the positions are sometimes really weird and not that healthy for the body probaly) make me think that I can't possibly survive this. Then I walk off totally fine and can do another one like that. Then sometimes, when I am doing low intensity stuff for some days, like hiking or other regular stuff, the problem can flare up. My symptoms usually are my left side flaring up, the tingling on the erector section, and the feeling of "unevenness" I notice quite fast. Like many here on this discussion, the cause of the SI joint problem is irritating to me as you think you know what is behind it but in reality you don't know. The only thing I can say for sure that is not good for it, is if my hip runs into flexion when I have not warmed up. Also the hip external rotation (Pigeon stretch movement) is not good for it. My conclusion here is that it causes a lot of pulling forces to the SI region.

    I am happy nowadays that I have found help for my problem, but I understand that as you guys said, my body has the ability to heal itself and the normal state for me is when my SIs are on place. Therefore I try to aim my thinking more into what I am doing wrong to cause the problem (mechanics in my movement) and what I need to do in order to prevent it (mobility work etc). It is really easy to succumb into self-pity and make the problem cause more misery than necessary. Also I draw strength from the fact that I have been healthy for the most part of my life (before getting this problem in the army), so there must be a way for me to teach my body the right "path" again. 

    I must say a huge thank you to everyone on this thread for the help and advice you have shared. It motivates me a lot. When I first read all the comments, I almost laughed because the sensations, feelings and thoughts are exactly the same as you guys have had (the Aha-moments, the SI affecting your every decision etc). I learned a lot in here and feel really motivated to attack the problem and on the same time teach my body the right mechanics. It will be a struggle as it has been already, but I got time and good information around me, using this site and people more wise than me :)

    Looking forward to sharing thoughts with you guys!

    -Aleksi
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