As you may have noticed from my lack of running posts and tweets as of late, I have been sidelined since running the Superhero Half a few weeks ago. The culprit? Lower back pain, and lots of it. Lower back pain that radiates down my butt and shoots into my legs. Really fun stuff. Despite several attempts, my body told me no more running; and so, I conceded and have sidelined myself.
After heating and icing and stretching over and over again, I decided it was finally time to head to a chiropractor. I gave him a quick run-down of my symptoms, he did an examination, and thankfully it was determined it was not a disc problem. What it is, however, is an inflammation of my sacroiliac joints, otherwise known as Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction.
What exactly are your sacroiliac joints? Glad you asked, because I had to research it myself (from Wikipedia):
The sacroiliac joint or SI joint is the joint in the bony pelvis between the sacrum and the ilium of the pelvis, which are joined by strong ligaments. In humans, the sacrum supports the spine and is supported in turn by an ilium on each side. The joint is a strong, weight-bearing synovial joint with irregular elevations and depressions that produce interlocking of the two bones. The human body has two sacroiliac joints, one on the left and one on the right, that often match each other but are highly variable from person to person.
When these joints become inflamed, they can cause pain in your lower back, your buttocks, and your legs.
The treatment consists basically of what I have been doing. Ice, heat, stretching and rest. While you can take anti-inflammatory medicines, long-term use can actually have a negative effect. Chiropractic manipulation can help (which is where I am at right now treatment wise), though results can vary. Another option, which I do not personally recommend due to my issues last year, would be cortisone or steroid injections at the site.
Needless to say, running with this pain is not only unbearable for me but would simply make the problem worse. So, sadly, for now, I will be taking a break from running. I will, however, continue my treatment and will soon start taking a core exercise class to strengthen the supporting area. You know me, though, I am the comeback kid…I will be back to running in no time!