I just wrote this in response to a specific comment from a reader, however I thought it was so important, I wanted to put it in its own post.
As you may know, in the past year I have finally begun to understand a genetic condition I now know has affected me throughout much of my chronic pain journey– hypermobility.
However, part of the reason why I’m adamant about sharing my journey with hypermobility is not only to raise awareness about this one issue, although that’s part of it.
It’s also that I want to show you how much your life can change once you find the right people who really understand your issues.
In my case, I finally found a few medical professionals who had taken the time to understand hypermobility, and why this subset of their patients seemed to have such a different experience from all the rest.
For example, my physical therapist Kathleen at Muldowney Physical Therapy has helped me to understand the relationship between hypermobility and another medical condition I have, called mast cell activation syndrome.
She’s helped me understand the correlation between mast cell flare-ups and systemic inflammation, and how, in turn, that may impact my joints.
There are so many factors at play here– stress, nutrition, sleep– things I never really used to think about, in terms of musculoskeletal pain before.
I’ve heard from many of you who are wondering if you have some sort of underlying condition going on.
For example, I often end up doing coaching calls with a client who mentions the question of a potential auto-immune condition. Maybe one doctor had mentioned it to them, but they didn’t really pursue a diagnosis.
Or maybe they have chronic widespread joint pain, and one of their close family members has an autoimmune condition (making it way more likely that they have one, too).
What I always say in these cases is to really pursue this diagnosis.
Even if, at the end of the day, you end up ruling it out, it is so worth it just to know for sure.
And if it does turn out that you do have something else going on, once you know that, and work with someone who knows how to treat it, it can really make such a huge difference.
Sometimes the little things can add up:
In both cases, facing the question of whether or not I had it, in the beginning, was way scarier than actually dealing with it.
What I found is that, in addition to taking medications and doing some of the serious treatments, you can sometimes also make a huge difference just by understanding your condition and changing things about the way you live your life.
Of course, I am not saying to disregard the advice of your doctors– not at all! What I am saying is to find doctors who can look at the entire picture with you.
- Here is an interview that my mast-cell doctor, Dr. Castells, did with Yasmina of Healing Histamine, on the dramatic recoveries she’s seen some patients make with lifestyle changes.
- One reader of my blog, Helen Mawson, discover that her SI joint pain was actually being caused by an autoimmune condition called anklyosing spondylitis. She was able to drastically reduce her symptoms by using dietary interventions, which she explains on her website.
- And, of course, me! I am really just beginning to write about what I’ve learned about some of my various health conditions, but for more on hypermobility, you can check out these posts.
- I’ve also just started to write about mast cell issues in more detail. I couldn’t really write about it for a while because it was somewhat traumatic when I was first diagnosed, and I was trying to prioritize my mind-body connection. But I am doing a lot better now and am just starting to share this info too.
I know it can be a bit scary to contemplate whether you may have a more serious diagnosis or underlying condition affecting your SI joint issues.
But what I’ve found is that, once you find the right people who really understand, they can help you find all kinds of ways to make your life better.
Sometimes, that treatment may involve a serious medication or procedure, but with any chronic condition, a lot of it can come down to simply understanding it and structuring your life differently.
The right information can make all the difference in the world.
And I really believe that, when you know exactly what you’re dealing with, it will give you an edge, compared to working with people who take purely a musculoskeletal approach.
I have so much more info coming for you guys, including more on the potential causes of SI joint dysfunction and more.