So in my last post, I discussed how gardening set me back into a sacroiliac joint dysfunction pain flare. This time, physical therapy wasn’t helping so I got some radiology scans. The MRI of the lumbar spine was normal (for the most part), but the MRI of the pelvis showed bilateral sacroiliitis. Both of my sacroiliac joints were inflamed and then I wound up having to meet a new orthopedic doctor, who gave me a recommendation that changed things 360 degrees at the time!
This new ortho doc recommended a sacroiliac brace! Now, I had a sacroiliac belt at the time, but the doc was adamant that I use a sacroiliac brace. I think his exact words were that the brace was like the belt on steroids! His general recommendation was that I try physical therapy for 8 weeks and wear the brace for 8 weeks and then come back! Okay, I thought. Let’s give this a try.
Like I said, I had an SI belt at home and tried it a few times. However, I never really knew how to wear it – specifically all day every day. I just put on the belt and wore it around the house for 30 minutes and didn’t feel any difference. So I took it off. Obviously, now I look back on that and realize how foolish I was with wearing the SI belt.
So I left the ortho doc and put the brace on. I wore it all day, except at night. When I say I wore it all day, I mean if I was sitting on the couch and had to walk 10 feet to the kitchen to get a snack, I would put the brace on. If I was sitting on the bed and had to walk 5 feet to get my robe, I put the brace on. All day every day!
Within 2-3 days, my pain level plummeted. It went from a 6-7 to a 0-1. It was a miracle. That’s what it felt like at the time, for sure! For the record, I never went back to physical therapy for 8 weeks. I think I made a few more visits there, but once I felt so great, I just gave up on physical therapy!
I continued to wear the sacroiliac brace all day for 3-4 months. It was a lifesaver for me. Again, I got my life back. I could do things again. The only thing I couldn’t do was exercise. That was fine for a long time, but it bothered me. All this sacroiliac pain kept me out of the gym for months and months. I had gained weight. My BMI was higher than I’d like. However, I was nervous to start exercising again, but eventually I tried.
I purchased an air glider. It’s similar to an elliptical in that you take long strides. It’s almost like you’re skiing. The result was not good. Not good at all. Tune in next time for an update on what happened next.
To see the next post in this series, and to see all posts in this category, please click here. If you’re dealing with SIJD, please share your experiences in the Comments section below.
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