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

AvatarVirginie Lehmann

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)