T Nation

Sore SI Joint


#1
Unlike Bird's thread I did not have a single incident where I felt I injured myself, it just snuck up on me. I have a dull ache in my left SI joint and the bottom of my right spinal erector is bothering me, I'm assuming from bearing extra load. On the front of my body where my legs attach to my hips have constant low level soreness that I don't even notice unless I'm contracting the area, like doing an olympic squat or a knee to chest stretch. I have no pain walking around, I only hurt when doing excercise


Prior to injury I was olympic squatting three times a week and deadlifting once a week. I've completely dropped deadlifts and have have squatted lighter weights 2-3 times since I realized I was injured about a week and a half ago. My last three gym sessions I've been performing these excercises prior to lifting any actual weights:

Stretching:
Hip flexor stretch
standing hamstring stretch
pulling one foot into the glute while standing on the other
laying leg over SI joint stretch
toes elevated standing hamstring stretch

Excercises:
Bird dog
banded side laying clam
feet together glute bridge
single leg glute bridge
hollow hold, ab exercise
squeezing my fists between my knees, laying
pushing my knees against resistance, laying

I've also been using a tennis ball to roll my glute, mostly the upper glute and to the side and I've been rolling my upper/lower back with it against a wall.

Has anyone else dealt with this before? Is squatting going to help or hurt me? Different sources are giving me a different answer on single leg work, some say that they help stabilize the muscles around the SI joint and help the glutes to start firing again and other sources say that because of the large amount of force that goes through the SI joint when performing single leg exercises it's better to avoid them until you have healed.

My primary goal is to resume squatting and deadlifting again, and any help would be appreciated.


#2

Hi zephead,

I have actually read somewhere that SI joint pain often slowly creeps up on you.
How do you know its your SI joint? Have you had this issue before?
I can’t answer your question, but I will be watching to see if anyone else can.

Good luck on your return.

tweet


#3

roll the shit out of your piriformis with a lacrosse ball. It’ll hurt like hell but after a minute or two your lower back should relax a little.

Wait until after you’ve been pain free for a while before squatting again. Single leg work with dumbbells is all good.

Back issues suck big time. Take ages to fix


#4

Learn how to squat without overextending your lumbar. Reason being is that if you can initiate a squat with a neutral pelvis, you can really load your hips properly and keep a tight rigid core without really loading that low back up. I’m not sure if it’s SI related in your case, but whatever the pain is, you can expedite your return to heavy squatting by teaching that notion of sinking into your hips rather than sitting back with that hideous lumbar extension people do far too often.

If it’s not a form issue, keep doing the things you’re doing. The prehab stuff people are mentioning above is also really awesome.

*Also, BANDS are really great because they enable you into positions you can’t reach as easy, or at all without. I’ve had great success with them, although they’re definitely a bit costly. Definitely an investment to look into though.


#5

Learn how to squat without overextending your lumbar. Reason being is that if you can initiate a squat with a neutral pelvis, you can really load your hips properly and keep a tight rigid core without really loading that low back up. I’m not sure if it’s SI related in your case, but whatever the pain is, you can expedite your return to heavy squatting by teaching that notion of sinking into your hips rather than sitting back with that hideous lumbar extension people do far too often.

If it’s not a form issue, keep doing the things you’re doing. The prehab stuff people are mentioning above is also really awesome.

*Also, BANDS are really great because they enable you into positions you can’t reach as easy, or at all without. I’ve had great success with them, although they’re definitely a bit costly. Definitely an investment to look into though.


#6

[quote]theBird wrote:
Hi zephead,

I have actually read somewhere that SI joint pain often slowly creeps up on you.
How do you know its your SI joint? Have you had this issue before?
I can’t answer your question, but I will be watching to see if anyone else can.

Good luck on your return.

tweet[/quote]
I can’t say for sure it is the SI, but it definately feels like the area between the glute and low back, and I’m more conscious of my back to the left of center towards the bottom of my spine. It’s not painful, but I can “feel” it in a way I usually cannot. I can “Pop” where my left SI joint should be to my understanding if I hang from a pull up bar and relax my low back, which isn’t normal for me.

I have not had this issue in the past, I’m have back issues in the past, but they seemed quite different to this.


#7

[quote]Yogi wrote:
roll the shit out of your piriformis with a lacrosse ball. It’ll hurt like hell but after a minute or two your lower back should relax a little.

Wait until after you’ve been pain free for a while before squatting again. Single leg work with dumbbells is all good.

Back issues suck big time. Take ages to fix[/quote]

Thanks for the advice boss! I’ll start rolling that daily.


#8

[quote]strongmanvinny wrote:
Learn how to squat without overextending your lumbar. Reason being is that if you can initiate a squat with a neutral pelvis, you can really load your hips properly and keep a tight rigid core without really loading that low back up. I’m not sure if it’s SI related in your case, but whatever the pain is, you can expedite your return to heavy squatting by teaching that notion of sinking into your hips rather than sitting back with that hideous lumbar extension people do far too often.

If it’s not a form issue, keep doing the things you’re doing. The prehab stuff people are mentioning above is also really awesome.

*Also, BANDS are really great because they enable you into positions you can’t reach as easy, or at all without. I’ve had great success with them, although they’re definitely a bit costly. Definitely an investment to look into though. [/quote]

I have weak abs so over extending my lumbar is very likely. I feel like I probably walk around all day like that. I’ll maybe post a squat video in the next few days and see what you think.


#9

Also try rolling out your calves in addition to the piriformis. Tension on the pelvis or sacrum can stress the SI joint, so I’d address it from both angles. The calves can pull on the hamstrings which pull on the pelvis, and they can be more easily rolled out than the hamstrings. For the piriformis, just finding a tender spot with a lacrosse ball and sitting on it for a count of 20, a few times a day, worked well. Just try sitting on it if rolling is super painful.


#10

[quote]LoRez wrote:
Also try rolling out your calves in addition to the piriformis. Tension on the pelvis or sacrum can stress the SI joint, so I’d address it from both angles. The calves can pull on the hamstrings which pull on the pelvis, and they can be more easily rolled out than the hamstrings. For the piriformis, just finding a tender spot with a lacrosse ball and sitting on it for a count of 20, a few times a day, worked well. Just try sitting on it if rolling is super painful.[/quote]

I looked this up, and it’s good advice. I’ll add calves to my foam rolling routine. I’m already hitting my piriformis.

Possible squat video in the next few days.