T Nation

Pain In The Sacroiliac Region?

Well Ive done numerous searches on this injury, and haven’t really found a great solution to the problem.

Last year in january, i fell on my left side on the gym floor after i overstretcthed a kick from doing a gymnastics movement. I had xrays done, saying there was no disc herniation or any disc injury, but that I had a muscle pulling on my spine on my left side, while my right was trying to stabilize. The doc gave me two choices, physical therapy and chiropractor. I chose physical therapy first.

I went to physical therapy then, didnt help much except for when doing the exercises and stretching(still do them today, but my flexibility is lacking). They used ultrasound on me, but it only temporarily helped.

When my insurance was good again, I went to a chiropractor about 4 months later, and hoping to get the pain reduced. After the 6 weeks he told me for treatment and layoff from working out legs or not stretching, I felt no different if not worse than I did before.

I did 8 more sessions with him doing my assigned exercises and stretches(mainly the piriformis stretch that is in magnificient mobility), but he never gave me and end date. All he would do is put me on the mechanical table, stretch my lower body out in different directions, then adjust me in the sacro region. The pain went away for 10 min, but then it resurfaced.

So, now im trying to stay active and stretch a lot, with getting a massage once a month from now on. The pain only really bothers me when im bent over staight legged or sitting for an extended period of time.

I know most of you aren’t doctors and this isn’t probably the best place to ask it, but what exercises/stretches can I do to keep my limber? Or has anyone had an injury like this before?

Thanks,

Aaron

Sounds like I have a similar problem. My pain is in my right lower back/upper hip region. As with your case, sitting for extended periods of time annoys the piss out of the region, as does any type of trunk flexion.

Most mornings I can’t put on my right sock without really straining and lifting my lower body really fires it up (but, of course, I still keep hacking away on the legs like a dumbass). I’ve had this going on for about 3 years and it’s gotten bad in the last year or so. Unfortunately, with graduate school comes crap insurance coverage and I have not been able to have the area checked out.

However, I recently started using a foam roller on the region and it seems to be helping. Wish I had a cure for you…get a roller, they kick ass!

Actually been using the foam roller a couple times a week(im going to start bumping that back up to every day especially in the left gluteal region. One thing I do notice is my quadratus loboratorum contracts faster than my right side.

I also failed to mention I do have a bit of a leg length discrepency, but its so slight(less than a quarter inch) they told me I really dont need a lift in my shoe.

How was the leg length difference established? x-rays? If it is just by sight, then it may be just an appearnce of a difference. If you foam roll the stuff, all that may change. Foam rolling will change a lot. Have you done the bottom of your feet with a tennis ball? do each for around a minute. Find those knots and roll them out. Amazing what you can do.

Wow! I thought I was the only person suffering from this same problem. About three years ago I was doing isolated, single-leg hamstring curls on a Bodymaster (the one where you are bent over holding onto bars with both hands and your elbows on a pad) and while curling the right hamstring, I felt a sensation in my sacroiliac area. I stopped and kinda twisted from side to side. I finally grabbed the bars in front of me and pulled myself forward pretty hard in an attempt to stretch the area. I felt a pop. Not something tearing, but it felt like a joint popped. I really didn’t notice any pain the next day or so, but it then became noticeable.

My right leg is about 5/8 inch longer than my left now. The right hip, hamstring, and sacroiliac area is always tight. If I go more than two days without stretching, I’m in a lot of pain.

I’ve about given up on doctors, chiropractors, etc. I haven’t found anyone to successfully treat the condition. I’m looking to go to a deep tissue masseuse to see if that will help. If anyone has done anything to correct the problem or at least alleviate it quite a bit, I’d be incredibly grateful for advice.

I still deadlift, squat, do bent-over rows, and good mornings. But, I really have to warm-up and loosen the area as much as possible. It will only get so loose.

sounds like a lot of us have similar problems.

I have been told swimming is really good for the condition we supposively have(which i do 1-2 days a week now), and stretching the area along with the foam roller.

Anyone else have any other suggestions?

Thanks,

Aaron

Wow, great timing for this thread as I am about to book an appointment with a chiropractor for what my doctor thinks is an SI joint problem.

Mine (left hip) has got worse over the past 2 months. Before that it used to be just an occasional niggle that would flare up. Now it happens all the time. Whenever I do deep squatting exercises the front of my hip would feel very tight as soon as I went past parallel.

After I cool down the pain is more to the side of the hip and sometimes in my glute. In the morning I feel it in my left lower back.

I haven’t squatted for about 2-3 weeks and this has helped. I’m doing some PC exercises like RDLs that don’t require excessive hip flexion, the rest is just bodyweight single leg stuff. Until I get it checked out I’m doing an arms specialisation program for a change.

Before I go to the chiro I’m also getting a full length spine X-ray done to see if I have any posture issues as I do sit a lot at work. Another possible factor is that over 10 years ago I had two major knee operations on my right knee. Since then I think my left leg has taken the brunt of any jumping or pushing. Also, it is possible that as I squat I slightly lean towards the left to favour this leg, putting more pressure on the hip joint.

I hope to get to the chiro within 3 weeks. I’ll keep you posted on what happens. I’ll be interested to hear what others are going through as well.

Cheers,

Ben

Hey there,

I had a SI joint go terribly wrong just before christmas last year. By terribly wrong, I mean I couldn’t move for 3 days (merry christmas to me…). The next few weeks were constant pain, the few weeks after that I still had trouble getting pants on. Shoes and socks were more of a challenge than I can to admit.

<Medical attention was a problem. It happened at work and I had to go through the nominated doctor, who didn’t really know much about anything related to the type of injury I had. He just dosed me up on antio inflammatories and told me to minimise movement, which I am sure was the worst thing to do, everything just got tighter and tighter.

I did see a chiro, but that didn’t help much, the joint was pushed in, the joint popped out within an hour after I left. I had some massage aftera few weeks had passed and that helped considerably to free up the muscles around the joint.
Then I saw a physio, who gave me some exercises to help mobilise the joint that got it going again, but once I was at the level of basic functionality without pain, I was on my own.

I started doing full overhead squats with a broomstick every day, a few sets of a few, if that is vague enough for you. I added a couple more every week or so when I felt ok. When I was comfortable with that, I started on single leg Deadlifts, no weight.

That eventually got easy and I started deadlifting the empty bar and progressed from there. I am still weaker han I was at the end of last year, but I have full mobility back and my strength is improving.

Other than that, I did a lot of mobility exercises adn stretching for the hip: hip flexors, abductors, hamstrings, glutes, the works.

Just take it easy and gradually increase range of motion, focus on that more than any weight you might be thinking about lifting.

good luck

Hi

I’ve just found this. I hurt my SI joint about 2 1/2 years ago and it was a nightmare trying to get someone who knew what to do about it. I’ve learned a hell of a lot in the last few months and am making good progress with it.

For the people who’ve said about the leg length discrepancy - this is usually because one of the illiums (pelvis) has rotated forward and has made the leg APPEAR a different length. If you rotate the pelvis back the legs will be the same length. Heal lifts will just re enforce the problem.

The problem is caused by the pelvis rotating up at the back and down in the front. Where it rides up at the back it jams up against the sacrum and the SI joint won’t work properly.

If the ligaments have been stretched for long they might not heal so you’ll need to have strong gluteus and hamstrings and abbs to hold the pelvis up at the front and down at the back.

Also try to stretch the adductor muscles and quads as these can pull the pelvis down at the front if they’re tight.

If you do these exercises (links at bottom of post) for a couple of months and your pelvis won’t stay put you might need to consider prolotherapy which will ‘repair’ the ligament that’s not holding you in place anymore.

Before you do this try wearing a sacroiliac belt during the day and while exercising, this will stop the pelvis rotating forward if yopu put it on correctly.

If the belt doesn’t work along with the exercises, try the prolotherepy, if that doesn’t work there’s always fusion but you should be able to stabilize the pelvis with your muscles.

One last thing. A lot of physios recommend stretching the psoas. The reason the psoas is tight is because you pelvis (and therefore trochantor) has moved and it’s at full stretch. Stretching it is not the answer, moving the pelvis back to where it’s supposed to be will take the tension off the muscle.

If you can find an osteopath who practices ART or MET, they would be able to help too

Good luck, I know this condition is a bitch to shake off.

These exercises done 3 X day have corrected my problem: http://kalindra.com/rounds.pdf

There is also an indepth paper on the condition
http://www.kalindra.com/critical.pdf

Wow. Good post funk. I too have had some SI problems that have caused me to cautiously back off of squats and dls for about a week now. Interestingly, stretching my psoas never helped the problem before, that seems like it may be correct. I’m gonna check out those links now.