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After seeing a local sports doc in town, I came to learn my SI (sacroilliac) joint is locked up, which seems to be a common issue with athletes. This can cause a chain reaction of issue. For me this made my pelivic bones one higher than the other, in turn bothered my IT band on the run. For some this seems to be an often overlooked issue, IT band pain, stregthen glutes and flexors and such. This helps but what about your SI joint. I have been working with a chirop. for a few months and he is working on getting my SI joint and surrounding muscles to when locked up to learn how to unlock. I believe things seems to be going well so far. After my joint being locked up for so long its taking my lower body a little while to get the hang of being NORMAL once again..
Great question about your sacroiliac joint. The SI joint as we like to call it for short is very important with respect to running and cycling. Chiropractors typically refer to it as "locked up," which means that we feel that its range of motion is restricted (this is usually a comparison to the other side, as we all have 2 SI joints). The important part is that your Chiropractor not only address the joint, but also the muscles that cross the joint. Without examining you myself, it's tough to know exactly which muscles are creating your issue, but the typical ones are your iliopsoas (the main hip flexor) and your piriformis (a main external rotator of the hip).
You are right when you say that your body may feel like it needs to get used to having the joint "unlocked" as this will have an effect on your running/walking gait, and anything that has compensated to accomodate for the joint dysfunction will take a little time to de-compensate.
All in all, it sounds like you are in good hands and on the road to a great recovery. Let me know if you have any other questions.
Dr. Ryan Iverach
is there anything I could do if my SI joint locks up other than going in for another visit? Sometimes its hard cause it could do this the following day or it stays locked in the session and gets $$
This really shouldn't be happening if the correct muscle work is being done. The effects of treatment should last longer than one day, unless you are going out and doing a hard workout soon after treatment. In this case, I would expect there to be some reactive hypertonicity of the surrounding muscles which would give the feeling that the joint is "locked up."
Gentle stretching would be the thing to do if you are having trouble with it the next day. I recommend to my patients that they stretch a maximum of 4 times/day. Once in the morning after a warm shower, once lightly prior to a workout (and AFTER a light warm up), once after the workout (not deep, just to a point where you feel a stretching feeling) and finally, once right before going to bed. This last session is immediately prior to getting into bed, so that your muscles can be relaxed for the night of sleep, instead of under tension from the day's activities and workouts.
Also, try to be in a non-gravity-dependent position to stretch a given muscle. For example, stretch the hamstrings and groin in a seated position instead of in a standing/bending over position (for the hamstrings) or doing the semi-splits (for the groin and adductors). Basically, you want to put the muscle in a position in which it can relax. If you are in a gravity-dependent position like bending over, then your hamstrings will have to actively fire to stabilize your lower back and hip as you lean forward.......but you're now asking the muscle to relax and allow for a stretch while you're asking it to contract!! This can sometimes lead to tendon irritation (in the long term) and/or muscle damage. That's why you see pro athletes having a trainer stretch them passively - to facilitate a deep relaxation of the muscle and increased flexibility, among other things.
Ok that's all for now. Stretch your hip flexors, hamstrings and external hip rotators (piriformis, gluteus maximus) to take care of your SI joint. Throw in a couple of lower back stretches too, like 1)being on your back and drawing one knee up to your chest, then 2)taking that knee across the body, then 3)bringing both knees up to the chest. Stay in any stretch for 45-60 seconds at a time to avoid reflexive contractions and shortening of the muscle.
Ok, that's all for now....for real!
Let me know if you have any other questions. Great post.
Dr. Ryan Iverach
For example, I went friday to my appointment , he said things were looking better. Then on my sunday run, it locked up and then I felt it in my IT bands. It still feels locked, is there a chance it will unlock without going back in?
Yes, it could unlock if you focus on some consistent stretching to maintain the mobility that is created by the treatment. You may also consider getting a second opinion from another chiropractor or physio who focuses on sports injuries and on soft tissue treatment. If you are continually experiencing a problem then either the doctor is missing something or you're participating in self-sabotaging behaviors (too much training too early, not focusing on rehab exercises and stretching, etc.) that limit the body's ability to repair itself.