Joint Pain Relief/Walking and SI joint
QUESTION: Hi Gary,
I've absorbed all the SI information on your website, which I think is excellent. My simple question is this:
I have an SI problem and I'm receiving manual physical therapy once a week. I have a large lordosis and a slight scoliosis. I've had back pain on one side in the SI region for 1 year, plus some numbness in my feet and some leg and buttock weakness. The leg problems have improved recently. I've had an X-ray and MRI scan, which showed age-related degeneration (I'm 65), but nothing likely to be causing the problems. So the SI joint seems to be the problem.
I do stretching, strengthening and 'adjustment' exercises, but my question is that I walk a lot - up to 2h per day. Is this likely to be helping or hindering? I Can find no consistent answer!
Many thanks in anticipation,
ANSWER: Hi Chris,
Good question, and I think the answer is "it depends."
But first, thanks for the kind words about my SI info on my website, but i just to make sure you're aware there are two SI pages.
There is the SI Joint Pain Relief page here:
And the SI "Exercises" here:
A lot of folks miss the second listed above. If you go through the exercises you may find one that really helps in a pinch,
then you can go back to the first page and release the tissue that is probably a deeper cause of the problem. I just wanted
to make sure you knew there where two pages.
Okay, so walking a bit, especially on flat services is probably a good thing. It will help keep things moving, functioning and free. But as we all
get older, we get tighter more easily from using our bodies. So walking for 2 hours today tightens your body's tissue more than it did when you did
the same thing 20 years ago, especially in those areas where your structure is already a bit compromised. So walking is "good" as long as you go the maintenance of releasing the areas that get tight from 2 hours a day of walking. If you investigate there are probably a couple tight areas at the end of each day that could use a little attention (maybe even in the middle of the day), and with a tennis ball or other techniques of mine you can set yourself free and be ready to go.
Short answer, I think you just need more maintenance to do the same things you used to do. If you can do the right maintenance then I think you can keep doing your same level of exercise. If you can't do enough maintenance you may have to cut back to a level where you can fix yourself every evening and be good to go the next day.
I do hope you found this helpful.
All the best,
---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------
QUESTION: Gary, many thanks for your prompt and detailed answer. I'll certainly follow your advice and let you know how it goes. I dont want to take up your time unduly, but could you clarify a few details about the releases and the exercises?
Is there a best time of day to do them?
Is there an optimum sequence?
Is there an optimum amount - e.g. Would 10 minutes releasing plus 5 minutes exercises, performed twice a day be anywhere near 'optimal'?
Once again many thanks for you expert help
There is no "best" time to do the exercises. I'd generally wait until I've been up in the morning for at least a little bit, so my body is warmed up, but if I woke up in pain I'd just start doing them right away in bed (I have a softball in my night stand), but you've got to ease into into a bit.
I'd generally do the SI Pain Relief page exercises first to release all the soft-tissue, and after a while you'll tend to know "your spots" for your body that generally get tight and need releasing. If you find 1 of two "SI Exercises" that seem to keep things balanced then you can do them, but don't over do it on the exercises. I might even only do them for a minute or two of the ones that seem to help. They're not strengthening exercises, they are meant to wake up all the supporting tissue for the joint that keep it balanced, not strengthen it, so you don't have to do too much, or any at all if you feel good.
Also, if you want to watch my Pelvic Girdle Pain Relief page videos,
I do a lot of the same things but talk about them a bit differently,
my "stretch and assess" approach seems to work for people when
using the balls to release your hips.
Hope this proves helpful.
All the best,