I am definitely not new to chronic pain. When I was in my early 20’s obesity caused a lot of issues. I had low back and foot pain because of my weight. Once I lost the weight, I felt a lot better. A lot of the aches and pains and chronic issues I had disappeared. During the 12 years of my “peak” years, I was exercising a lot and had various knee issues. Mostly from running, sadly.
Now, in my 40’s, it seems as though my chronic pain is back. My body never really healed entirely from pregnancy. I’ve had a hip issue since and I did PT and have tried various things and it flares up and takes awhile to get better. The last few months has been one of those flares and it has rarely let up, unfortunately.
What sucks is how much chronic physical pain effects mental health: Chronic pain can lead to depression. But let’s discuss my particular issue, because I know I’m not alone!
The primary mechanisms of SI joint dysfunction include:
- Too much movement (hypermobility or instability) in the sacroiliac joint can cause the pelvis to feel unstable and lead to pain. Pain from too much motion is typically felt in the lower back and/or hip, and may radiate into the groin area.
- Too little movement (hypomobility or fixation) can cause muscle tension, pain, and may inhibit mobility. Pain is typically felt on one side of the low back or buttocks, and can radiate down the back of leg (similar to sciatica pain ).
My issue is the first one — instability. If I can EVER get the pain under control, I can work on strengthening the areas so that I can improve the issue. But I can never seem to get much relief for very long.
In early December I had a cortisone shot in my SI joint. Unfortunately, it did not work. I had a follow up call and then was referred to the Spine Clinic and evaluated again and referred again to someone and I finally got an appointment at the Spine Clinic for an X-ray guided cortisone injection.
I had to reschedule my appointment several times because I was ill but FINALLY, I was able to get my shot.
It was not pleasant! It was an X-Ray guided shot. So they gave me a shot of I think lidocaine, two shots in fact and the second one hit a nerve or something. They stung and hurt like hell! Then a shot of X-ray dye then the cortisone shot. I am very sore but hopefully will see some relief soon. 3-5 days is when you supposedly start to feel it work and 2 weeks for relief. Time will tell.
If can’t get a cortisone shot, or don’t want to do something like that…(and I am not a fan of pain medication other than Advil or Tylenol), you can try to do other things. I’ve tried almost everything.
Acupuncture – This is hit or miss for me. I’ve tried it for various injuries and ailments and sometimes it does something but mostly not. I know a lot of people love it and have success with it. So I think it’s worth a try.
Massage – This is my preferred method of relaxation and helping with injuries. There are a LOT of different kinds of massage. I don’t know what it is called but I’ve had a massage where the therapist used a plastic device to scrape areas of my body to get rid of scar tissue. That has been very helpful!
TENS – This is a weird thing to experience but don’t shy away from it. It can be helpful and feel really nice!
Chiropractor – This has been fairly helpful for my hip, low back issues. The only problem? It doesn’t last for long and you have to keep going back.
Exercise –walking, swimming, yoga, PT, stretching. These are all excellent ways to get physical activity without injuring yourself. Obviously talk to your doctor first. There are certain activities that can aggravate your injury so find out (my physical therapist determined that the elliptical has been irritating my SI issues, for example).
Herbal remedies – My doctor recommended this: Dona Crystalline Glucosamine Sulfate, 750 Mg, 60 Count. Also, curcumin is good for inflammation issues.
Trying New Things
Which leads me to this topic. I have recently started trying new things! I talked about how I started 2021 with doing a consistent yoga routine a few times a week. It has helped a lot. Especially when my hip was really bothering me and I was limited in the activities I could do.
Recently I tried two new exercises (I am very late to the game lol): Pilates and Barre. If you are new to these exercises, like me, pilates is low impact that works on flexibility, alignment, using your body weight to increase strength. So far the exercises I’ve tried have been a lot of core and lower body focus (which is what I need!!).
Barre is a hybrid of yoga, pilates, yoga, dance, ballet. It sometimes feels like aerobics to me with some yoga stretches and ballet built in. I like it because it’s a little bit faster than yoga.
A friend of mine recommended Bedford Barre workouts on Youtube. I liked it a lot! It was challenging but they showed modifications you can do it something doesn’t feel right or is too hard. It was fun and moved fast. I’ve tried half a dozen different videos now and this brand is by far my favorite. Another one I found was The Banks Method on Amazon Prime. I liked her a lot, too.
This is the Pilates video I like: Pilates Workout for Beginners. I really liked the way the video was done, the instructions were excellent and gave you a heads up before switching moves and had a clock count down for each move. I am still exploring other options. If you have Pilates video recommendations let me know!
Do you have any recommendations for favorite barre or pilates videos? Share them here!