Daily Mobility Exercises by Dr. Kelly Starrett Forums Back Chronic Pain – Back, SI joint, Sciatica

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    • #71878
      AvatarJames Caplinger

      Hi all,

      I’m very excited to have started mobility WOD, hoping that this site can provide me with some more insight and some relief for chronic pain. I am a 30 year old female and have had chronic pain for over 8 years. I do crossfit 5-6 times per week, generally movement makes it feel better.

      My back pain is on the lower right side, erectors and QL. My sacrum or something around there aches and pops all of the time. I think it’s my si joint that feels out, sometimes it pops back in when I push my right heel into the ground when I’m laying down. Then everything feels better, but it goes right back out. A pt thought it might be related to my right labrum, so I had hip surgery (labral repair and bone shaved) two years ago. This made everything worse and now I have adductor pain as well. My right leg just feels disconnected from my body most of the time, doesn’t feel right. I also have severe sciatica down my left leg, where the hamstring meets the it band.

      Some history: It started with a fall I took snowboarding onto ice, my tailbone hurt for an entire year. Following that year, something near my sacrum pops when I squeezed my knees together. It didn’t hurt, but started to happen more and more frequently. At the time, I did yoga and was a climber. During yoga, I started to notice that when I’d go into up dog, the first time it would pop in my low back, then it would be fine. I started crossfit and noticed my right adductor or something within the inside of my hip would pop when I would squat for the first time as well.

      I’ve tried lots of chiropractic, PT, dry needling, massage, stretching, strengthening, steroid injection, prolotherapy injection, PRP injection. I just had PRP in my L4/L5 and L5/S1 joints and right si joint on Wednesday.

      My right quad is chronically tight. The mobility WOD episode for couch stretching and smashing helps a ton for it, but it gets tight again very quickly.

      Any advice anyone has would be greatly appreciated.


    • #77189
      AvatarPatrick Thomas

      Welcome to the M|WOD community!
      Great to hear your excitement with beginning to use M|WOD.
      Have you done search on the directory to see if there is an M|Wod provider in your area?

      Good to hear you are remaining active.
      First, pain can be processed a couple ways by the brain.
      You have pain to get you to do something.
      Determining where the problem originates and which movement(s) or position(s) are causing the flair up is key.  It could be something within the other 23 hours of the day.
      Do you sit alot at work?

      Taking ownership of your movement is what will give you the best long term results.
      Continue to workout in doses your body can handle. You may need to adjust some movements or positions used during your workouts as things are normalizing .

      Have you taken a look at Back to the Barbell?   
      This will help you rebuild some movement patterns.
      Are you seeing improvements in your sciatica?
      Are you seeing improvements following the PRP?

      If you are working on something and not seeing change you need to take another look at the situation.
      Pro Episode # 21 – Pro-User Request Friday: Not Seeing The Change? You Need a Systems Approach.
      Good to hear the couch episode is helping.
      This isn’t a new issue so it will take some time to work through it.
      Are you able to do 2 10:00 doses? One in the am and one in the pm?
      Breaking up into 2 doses resets things.
      Are you working up/down stream of where you are seeing the problem?
      One to start with there are many that address the quads.
      Episode 100: Quads or Spine? Quads!

    • #77190
      AvatarAhmad Elmoubayed

      Hi Allison,

      I have a fair amount of overlap with your problem.  Chronic mild-moderate lower back pain, 20 years or more, just put up with it; usually would feel better with weightlifting but occasionally worse, and standing for long periods would aggravate it.  Finally went to a PT (recommended to me but didn’t really cater to athletes) who diagnosed SI problem.  She could adjust it for temporary relief, but generally said to avoid activity that might aggravate it.  (She would describe my SI as “out”.)
      I tried lots of the self-adjustments for SI you’ve probably seen on youtube, like the knee push/pull/squeeze and others.  Got temporary relief from some of them, but nothing would last.
      I also had right adductor pain and often right TFL and hip flexor pain and tightness, especially after exercise, but my left SI was the problem.  I also discovered that my right knee was a bit valgus, and I’m still working on my right ankle mobility.
      Found a chiro through a crossfit affiliate who mostly solved the problem through regular adjustments (maybe 20-25).  He described it as “locked” = not moving properly.  I had 4 months with almost no pain, away from chiro, but have fallen back into the same symptoms, especially after my last 2 heavy back squat workouts.  So I’ve been back for a few adjustments and the pain has quickly lessened.
      Hope you get it solved.
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