Saturday, July 3, 2010

The Verdict

Brian convinced me to go to the doctor yesterday about my back pain. The verdict? I have a sacroiliac sprain.

In layman's terms - I sprained my butt.

Not really, but kind of. I sprained the joint that connects my sacrum (that wide, flat bone at the base of your spine) to the iliac (the pelvis):

The sacroiliac joints are among the strongest in the human body. These joints possess a synovial membrane, and they are joined by strong anterior and posterior ligaments. Furthermore, these joints are extremely stable and have very little motion. The joints are, however, susceptible to injuries similar to those incurred in other joints... Sacroiliac pain is experienced as a dull ache in the bones above the buttock on one side. [source]

This isn't a new injury for me; I had similar pain about 2 months ago and it faded within a few days. My guess is that all the extra running I have been doing has aggravated the sprain which is why the pain was so much more intense this time. I am super fortunate to have a doctor who specializes in sports medicine and totally understands that the last thing I can afford (or want) to do is sit around and wait for a butt sprain to heal. She said that although SI sprains are usually caused by trauma (falling, stepping of a step wrong, etc), the cause can also be biomechanical. In my case, my left leg is longer than my right leg. While this probably didn't cause my SI sprain, it didn't help it. Additionally, runners tend to experience SI pain because, surprise!, we have tight hamstrings! The hamstrings attach to the bottom of the pelvis underneath your butt muscles. If they are too tight, they can pull the pelvis down, putting extra pressure on the SI joints.

Here are some super easy ways to prevent SI pain:
  • Warm up properly! Warming up ensures adequate shock absorption and strong support for the joints.
  • Build your muscles! Exercises that help strengthen the muscles around the hips (your core muscles) will provide support for the SI joint. Stronger muscles help hold a joint together and also provide additional shock absorption.
  • Stretch! Stretching prevents uneven pulls on your joints. Stretching your hamstrings and your piriformis muscle (your butt) will help prevent SI pain and dysfunction.
Looking over those three prevention strategies, it's no wonder I hurt myself! I am often guilty of not doing a thorough warmup, being lazy about core strength, and not stretching properly. I was feeling so smug for training so far without an injury, but this was a bit of a wake-up call. Time to get serious!

I got the OK to run if it didn't hurt and to swim or bike on the days that I am hurting. I tried going for a quick run last night, but only made it about 1.3 miles before I said, Forget this and listened to my body saying, I'm not ready yet! It feels a lot better today, so hopefully I'll be good to go for a run tomorrow.

Hopefully we'll also be back to our regularly scheduled programming of good eats soon too! I made some fresh pesto last night in anticipation of some pizza grilling this evening! Brian is getting his fire extinguisher ready! :)

1 comment:

  1. OMG!!!! I hope that heals ASAP!!!!!!