Chiropractors/SI joint subluxation
I am female 55yrs old. For the past 3 months I could hardly move from the pain and didn't know what was wrong. I had sciatica symptoms because I had sciatica in 2006 and it felt just like it. Finally I could not take the pain and went to a chiropractor and he said my SI joint was way out of alignment. I had moved 2 dressers by myself 3+ months ago up and down some stairs. I have gone to him 3 times and am much improved. My right leg and hip has pain and restriction. Will it ever be normal again? What are good exercises to do to help? Is swimming good? What can I do to hurry along the healing process? I take vitamins and minerals. Will I ever be able to take a carefree walk or stand for hours cooking again? I long for my life back.
Beth in Denver
I personally am not a big fan of the SI joint subluxation diagnosis. Based on what you are telling me, you likely injured one or more lumbar discs, starting in 2006 or before. When a disc is injured, it will degenerate and bulge and herniate. When it does, it can place pressure upon the spinal cord, cauda equina, or nerve roots. The result is pain, numbness, tingling, or weakness in the legs.... sciatica.
When you did the heavy lifting recently, you likely caused an aggravation of the past injury, or even possibly new disc injuries (you have multiple discs in the lower back, between each and every vertebra.)
The bad news is that it has caused you increased pain recently. The good news is that many of us, with manipulation and exercise, can "get our lives back". The bad news, again, is that once a disc is injured, it always is injured and is prone to re-injury. The good news is that with time, even the most acute of injuries, if you are patient, can settle down. If it doesn't get better over the next few months, you might consider having a lumbar MRI, followed by possible epidrual injections or facet joint injections. If the facet injections deaden the pain, then a burning of the sensory nerve that goes to the facet joints might help ease your pain.
You have many options. Follow through with your local chiropractor. Ask him/her for exercises. If he/she doesnt teach you any, then it is time for a new chiropractor.
Odds are that a combination of chiropractic care and exercises will do you wonders. If it does, then CONTINUE your daily exercises, and make sure that you get adjustments at least once per month (once a bad back, always a bad back... just waiting to flair up again!)
If by chance the chiro/exercise method doesn't help, find a pain medicine specialist. If it were me, I would give the Chiro/Exercise a good 3-6 months... and if I re-injure it by lifting, the clock starts over.
On my website you can find spinal exercises http://www.eastmesachiropractor.com
Try some of them, if you wish, but discontinue any that cause you increased pain until you get clearance from you local doctor.
I hope that you heal quickly, and that you get better soon. Be careful. Learn to take care of your back by being pro-active and not reactive.
Keith Biggs, DC