I wanted to share with you my experience going for a hike the other day, and why it was such a great feeling… even though I totally overdid it.
This is maybe something that people who’ve had SI joint dysfunction, or have been injured for a long period of time, will understand.
So Tuesday was my lower-body strength training day. I have been meaning to share more of my routine with you guys, and I definitely have more info about that coming up!
For now I’ll just explain that a big part of my lower-body workout days involves isometric glute squeezes, sometimes bridges, and a lot of core work involving the transverse abdominis muscle. I also do exercises to work the other muscles of the leg, such as the quads, hamstrings, and calf muscles.
So anyway, on Tuesday I did my regular lower-body routine, and then yesterday, on my way home from running an errand, I stopped to take a stroll through my favorite woods.
And you guys, I totally overdid it. But I’m still really happy about what happened.
I am a real nature lover… I feel totally at home in the woods. I got in there and the sun was shining, the breeze was blowing, and the birds were chirping… for a moment, I forgot about everything that’s going on in the world (minus, of course, the face mask I keep for those moments when the trail gets too narrow!).
I felt so strong, going up hills, down into the little valleys… like my old high school self who used to get lost in the woods for hours.
Everything was great until the moment when the major glute workout I’d done the day before hit me. Oh no, I thought. I didn’t really factor this in.
I was already about 30 minutes into the woods, of course, so I really had to pace myself for the walk back out.
By the end, my glutes were practically shaking– you know the way muscles tremble when they just have nothing else left to give?
So, of course… I shouldn’t write this without clarifying that I absolutely don’t recommend purposefully overdoing your workouts, or pushing your muscles to the point of complete exhaustion.
But you know what was so amazing about this experience for me?
It was because I felt like my old self. For once, I didn’t have to worry about going out of alignment… it was actually about my level of fitness, and what my actual muscles could do. This is something that happens to normal people… they do an intense workout and then realize it probably wasn’t the best idea to try to go hiking the next day.
For so long, I was completely unable to even take a chance of walking for too long in the woods… or really, to even walk in the woods at all. Some days it was painful even just to walk a few feet.
So to have this experience really felt like being me… old school Christy.
To be able to have that leeway and not have to be so cautious… to find my limits but have it actually be okay. No catastrophe. Yes, my legs were shaking by the time I got back to my car, but it was fine. I rested on the drive back and by the time I got home, I pretty much felt fine. I simply realized I would have to take it easy the next day or so.
And today I feel fine… I just know today had better be one of my rest days!
Does that make sense? I feel like you guys will get it.
After everything I’ve been through, it was a little “snapshot” of reality that made me realize just how far I’d come.
So much can become possible, when you learn to stabilize your SI joints and strengthen the muscles that support them.
I am really looking forward to sharing more of this with you, including future posts that explain my exercise routine in more detail, because I know so many of you are curious for more details
7 thoughts on “A “rough” workout that made me super happy”
Hi Christy, I’m glad to report that I’ve solved my SI joint pain. Now neck pain is my issue. Anyway, in my opinion a key to resolving SI joint pain is how you sleep. We spend eight or more hours in that position. What position do you sleep in? I sleep with a large rectangular yoga bolster under the bent knee of the upper leg. The bottom leg is straight. I’m going to give your contact info to someone I’ve met who recently developed SI joint pain.
ps. Have you seen this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xhFYE_8pV10 ? Warning: this guy is hard to listen to because he has some anger management issues. I had to skip over the section where he shouts, but this is best anatomy discussion of the SI joint that I’ve found.
Hi Christopher, that’s amazing that you’ve solved your SI joint pain! I personally have always slept on my side without a bolster or anything. I know that’s not really what’s advised but I’ve just gone with what is the most comfortable. For me, the firmness of the mattress I’m sleeping on has really been the bigger factor (https://sijointsaga.com/2017/06/05/sacroiliac-mattress/ ).
This video is definitely interesting! He makes some good point about how some of the tests and adjustments that practitioners use to treat the SI joint are not necessarily the most accurate– I do agree with this (unfortunately). However I really hope we’ll get more research so that these techniques are more reliable in the future. Thanks for sharing this!
And yes, please do pass my info on!
Have to agree with you 100%. I’ve found the best position for sleeping with lax SI issues is on your side with a pillow between your legs (pillow between hip and knees). So called “fetal position”. I would sleep on the side that has the stronger SI joint (less lax or painful one). Also sticking a small comfort pillow under your upper arm helps take pressure off the shoulder and scapula.
The next best position is on your back, but make sure you have a firm pillow under your legs (again between the hip and knees). This takes the pressure off your lower lumbar area.
The worst position to sleep with SI issues is on your stomach. This leads to your lumbar spine going into extension for long periods of time which irritates the SI joints. People who sleep on their stomachs often wake up with stiff low back pain not realizing it is their SI joints that are the issue.
I also find a firm mattress is important.
Soft or a pillow type mattresses seem to make it worse.
Hi Dr. Lawrence, please allow me to clarify slightly. My optimal sleeping position is on my side, but it isn’t a fetal position with a pillow between legs. Rather, I use a rectangular yoga bolster instead of a pillow, and the upper leg is on top of the bolster, while the lower leg is NOT under the pillow. The lower leg is actually straight, so my whole spine is quite straight. Now, the only way this works is with a rectangular yoga bolster. A rectangular yoga bolster is a solid six inches thick. This means that the thigh of the top leg is parallel to the floor. If you tried this position with a typical pillow, the thigh of the top leg would sink and your body will roll forwards. But a yoga bolster is thick enough and firm enough that you can rest the top leg on the bolster and you won’t roll forwards. Hope that makes sense. Give it a try. A rectangular yoga bolster is about $70. There seem to be cheap ones online, but I bought a good one.
Just found your blog! Beyond happy to go through everything you’ve experienced. I’ve had SI joint pain for about 12 years or so. Don’t know how it happened. I recently had a baby and let’s just say it breaks my heart when I can’t bend over to pick him up because my hips go crazy out of alignment. I’m ready to really tackle this after many PTs, exercise routines, MRI, etc. I had two questions: would a large backyard pool have the same affect? Do SI joints belts help?
I have used an SI belt in the past. My experience is that I would guess it stabilizes the joints by about 25%. It’s not a cure, but it is worth a try to help you get more mobile and decrease the pain. Make sure you apply it properly as per the instructions.
One thing I noticed is that we have a tendency to over-tighten the belt. Don’t! The SI joints are designed to have a very small amount of motion and this takes the pressure off the lower lumbar vertebrae. If it is too tight, you might start to notice more central pain over the lower lumbar vertebrae (especially L.4 and L.5) because they are now having additional movement thru them (this central disk pain referring down or in front of the leg is in contrast to the typical SI joint pain which spreads out over the upper pelvis and sometimes into the groin). SI joint pain does not refer below the knee so if it starts to hurt even lower in your leg with using the belt, you may be irritating a vertebral disk.
Good luck and hope you improve soon!
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Hi Maggie, so sorry to hear you’re going through this. Let me see if I can answer your questions.
Regarding a backyard pool– I’m not sure if, by this, you mean an above-ground pool? My answer is yes– it would at least let you get a workout in shallow water, where you can do a lot (although you might not be able to get the benefits of deep water running/walking, which include something called traction: https://sijointsaga.com/2017/06/07/traction-sacroiliac/ )
My only concern about this is that those pools may not always be the easiest to get in and out of. I would be really careful about using the right (very stable) ladder to get in and out, so you don’t throw yourself out of alignment.
And yes, SI joints help many people. They unfortunately did not help me personally, but many of the PT’s I know and respect do use them successfully with many of their clients. I touch upon the belts (and some other techniques such as taping) in this post: https://sijointsaga.com/2017/10/12/sacroiliac-belt-taping/
I hope this helps! Feel free to let me know if you have any more questions!