Key Point #6: When someone finally told me only one SI joint could lock up at a time

This is probably one of the most frustrating parts of this whole journey to look back on.

The first time one of my SI joints ever locked up, it was a terrifying experience.  All of a sudden, for no reason I could understand, I could barely lift one of my legs.  It was as though someone had tied a belt around my upper thighs, and I couldn’t move my legs far apart enough in order to take a normal step.

As I wrote in Turning Point #1, my chiropractor, Dr. K., was able to identify the problem as my sacroiliac joint.  He explained that my hip bone had become rotated backwards and was wedged against the sacrum, and that was why it was so hard to move my leg.

What Dr. K. didn’t tell me, and what I didn’t find out until years later, was that it is only possible for this to happen on one side of the pelvis at a time. 

When the hip bone on one side rotates backwards, the other rotates forwards.  That’s just the way it is– it’s how the body was made to move.

And since the SI joint only “locks” when the hip bone is rotated backwards, it’s only possible for it to lock on one side at once.  

But no one told me this– for years.

For about the first three years, I’d say, (2011-2014) my life was completely on hold because of how carefully I had to move. And it was really important that I did that– I could obviously get more done when my SI joints weren’t locked up.  It was part of my healing.

But I took it overboard, and was way more careful than I needed to be, because of an unnecessary fear: that both of my hips/legs could get stuck at one time.

It was only when I saw a second chiropractor, Dr. J., after my first chiropractor went on vacation and I didn’t feel like waiting around for him.

I happened to mention my fear in passing, and Dr. J. looked at me skeptically and said, “You know that can’t happen, right?”  Then he took out his model of the pelvis to show me why it was impossible.


Of all the things I’ve been through with this problem, this is one of the most frustrating things to look back on.

Dr. K. had been my chiropractor for a long time, and I considered him my friend.  I could tell he really felt bad for me, which is why he gave me a significant discount for my frequent visits.

But I could also tell that he had kind of written me off as someone who was always going to have problems.  I had seen him for a long time before developing my SI joint problems, back when I was going through the worst of my chronic whole-body pain.  He never seemed to understand when I explained to him that I already knew my nervous system was a bit wonky. I think he was just another person who figured I had some kind of emotional problem, and felt like he was somehow indulging me or making me worse if he answered too many questions.

So he never told me this, and I limped along for years, with my life way more on hold than it needed to be, because I was imagining a doomsday that would never come.

To continue on: Key Point #7: Learning to adjust my own SI joints

Published by Christy Collins

Hi, I'm Christy! I'm a health coach who helps people overcome SI joint dysfunction and chronic pain.

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