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  • AvatarEsther Stelwagen

    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!
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