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Sacroiliac joint pain?

(54 Posts)
RadioDorothy Mon 11-Jun-18 20:51:15

20 years ago I developed inflammation of the left sacroiliac joint, after a few years in a manual job (working with horses) which meant endless standing, bending and lifting. It was misdiagnosed for a while, but an osteopath finally pinpointed this joint, I had some brief treatment, gave up the horses for an office job and recovered.

Over the years it has flared up occasionally, and I treat it with ice packs and rest. It rarely lasts long and just a bit tiresome, however...right now I'm stuck in a hotel in Norfolk and in pretty serious pain. sad

I think I "tweaked" it last week after some long periods of standing, carrying and bending (running a 2 day conference). I've done 5 hours of driving today and now the pain is going right through me and it hurts even to move slightly.

I doubt my GP can help, presumably it will be written off as generic back pain and they'll offer me ibuprofen. Is there any point trying a chiropractor or osteopath?

Or do I wait it out and let it fade away by itself?

Ypsilanti Mon 11-Jun-18 21:07:28

I’d go see an Osteopath. A good one will definitely help relieve the worst of the pain - if the joint is out of place then it’s unlikely to improve much without readjustment.

I speak as someone who has SI joint issues. It’s miserable, and extremely painful. You have my sympathy!

CantankerousCamel Mon 11-Jun-18 21:10:44

Osteo is the best idea.

I also recommend you do some work on developing your core muscles and the middle line of muscles in your legs.

The best way to protect your back is to do a pelvic floor before and during each movement, so from sitting to standing you will breath in, pull your pelvic floor tight, as you’re breathing out perform the movement. Do this for everything, turning over in bed, opening a heavy or, standing up, sitting down. It becomes second nature very quick.

For middle leg work hold a ball between your legs and do gentle hip bridges,

welshmist Mon 11-Jun-18 21:13:02

I have a sheet of exercises from my physio. when it starts twinging I do them. I actually needed the loo one morning, it took me so long to get to the loo step by step, screaming, I thought I was going to wet myself, what was worse we were in a rental waiting for a house to be ready and the bloody carpet was off white. blush

Sitting in a car for five hours will do it. Physio said take 2 paracetamol and two ibuprofen in combination. Up to eight of each a day.

RadioDorothy Mon 11-Jun-18 21:17:57

Thanks was an osteopath who originally treated me, although I've moved away from the area now. Plenty around near home though.

Thanks for the exercise ideas! I'll take some drugs and get on with it, but I keep yelping with pain to an unmoved and empty hotel room. Pathetic!

CantankerousCamel Mon 11-Jun-18 21:47:39

radio I find the best results are when you can add the exercises into your life.

That’s why the pelvic floor thing works so well, it’s part of every day life rather than just something you do for 10 mins in the evening.

Minnie747 Mon 11-Jun-18 22:00:20

Yes absolutely worth a visit to a chiro. Initially to help with this acute phase, but also in terms of ongoing care and strengthening. This is a chiro's 'bread and butter' and they see a lot of patients with similar issues.

May well become pain free on its own, but for the immediate assistance and future guidance it's worth seeing someone.

I also agree with the need for strengthening of core muscles in any person with excessive movements in the SIJ joints.

This coming from someone with a history of chronic SIJ joint instability and an education in functional health and musculoskeletal biomechanics.

Good luck op! X

SluttyButty Mon 11-Jun-18 22:08:45

See your Gp. They don't write it off. I have ddd in my spine along with osteo, I was not written off and had mris and X-rays.
My si joint frequently flares up and causes hideous pain. I'm being referred.

RadioDorothy Tue 12-Jun-18 21:23:26

Well, I've been in nauseating pain all day and then drove 4 hours back home. I can't make even a tiny move without a bolt of pain.

I've booked a chiropractor for tomorrow night but still hesitant about GP.

welshmist Tue 12-Jun-18 22:02:05

I never bother with the GP, my physio would send me there if he was concerned, he has done it with my OH with a shoulder injury.

Minnie747 Tue 12-Jun-18 22:11:22

Op sorry to hear you're in so much pain. I've found sleeping with a firm cushion/pillow between my knees (side sleeping) is helpful.

The Chiro will be able to do a full assessment and will absolutely refer if they feel it necessary (further investigation/imaging etc), so you can follow up with both.

RadioDorothy Wed 13-Jun-18 08:44:35

I've had kidney and gallbladder pain, and I seriously think this is worse! I've been creeping around trying to unpack a case, tidy up and put some washing long as I move very slowly and don't bend forward or backward from the waist, the pain remains at a dull 3-4 in between the jolts of 10.

Thanks for the support. I feel such an idiot waddling around like I've shit myself and yelping every few seconds like an attention seeking tool. And it's so irritating to not be able to just get on with stuff. But I'm usually fit and able so I mustn't complain, I know.

Wonder what the chiro can really do while it's this inflamed?

Thistledew Wed 13-Jun-18 09:19:15

I would see an Osteopath rather than a chiropractor if I were you. The latter tend to do more manipulation of the joints whereas the former will work more on soft tissue, which can be better if you are in an acute phase.

I get SI pain quite often. I find it helps if I lie on my back, bend one knee and bring it over the other leg and let the knee drop towards the floor. Keep your shoulders on the floor/bed so you create a twist in your spine. You can then gently rock and stretch the joint, and rub it at the same time, to try to get the muscle to stretch and the joint to realign.

Thistledew Wed 13-Jun-18 09:21:59

A bit like this stretch here, but don't force it that far.

Thistledew Wed 13-Jun-18 09:24:20

Sorry, link doesn't seem right. Try this:

RadioDorothy Wed 13-Jun-18 10:22:59

Thanks Thistle - I'll give the stretches a try once this acute stage is over, at the moment I can't imagine trying to get down on the floor! Or ever getting up again.

I grudgingly called my surgery but they told me I'd missed the window for morning appointments so I have to call back between 2 and 3. But then they'll probably offer an appointment with clashes with the chiro, so maybe I'll try again in the morning.

showerfire Wed 13-Jun-18 10:27:27

Left sacroiliac joint pain here on and off for years. Normally doesn't give me too much bother, just a dull ache. There was a time where I couldn't walk the length of my street without it starting to hurt but it's settled for now (touch wood). My GP isn't interested and just give me co codamol (which I can't take as they make me drowsy and I need to drive day to day) I'm going to look into seeing an osteopath and have bookmarked those exercises grin

Dontsayyouloveme Wed 13-Jun-18 19:28:55

I get twinges most days with right sided SI pain due to scoliosis. Had a really really bad flare up three weeks ago, muscles st the top of my b g and in my buttock totally spasmed abs couldn’t even lift leg to get upstairs. For immediate pain take the weight off the joint, so lie down and take pain killers. Got emergency appointment with my chiropractor the following day, bit sore after but I could walk. The day after that, it was like nothing had ever happened. Chiropractor gets my vote every time! Good luck and hope you get it sorted soon!

kelper Wed 13-Jun-18 19:36:00

I've had this sort of pain for YEARS and no-one has ever suggested this joint.
It flared up last week and I was in agony, I went to see a private physio and he massaged it but said it was muscular rather than joint.
I'm now wondering if it is my Sacroiliac joint (Its on the left too)
Its affecting the left side and front of my hip now as well.
I don't want to say Thank You for posting this OP, because you're in pain, but you know what I mean.
I hope the Osteopath helped you and you're more mobile now

RadioDorothy Wed 13-Jun-18 20:01:56

Glad to help Kelper - hope you get it sorted!

I saw a very lovely chiropractor who diagnosed acute sacroiliitis after a lot of very specific tests, including one which is the "defining" test (forget what it's called). He even took my blood pressure, which was unusually high due to pain.

I have to ice it for 20 minutes every couple of hours, every day until I see him again on Monday.

Notmyideamovingon Thu 14-Jun-18 11:32:37

Have none of you been referred to rheumatology for Anklosing spondylytis or non radiographic axial spondylytis? That's shocking

RadioDorothy Thu 14-Jun-18 12:05:43

I was just reading about that connection, Notmyidea.

Interestingly, my elderly mother was diagnosed with osteoarthritis of the spine when she wasn't much older than me - she also has hyperparathyroidism, another potential link with sacroiliitis.

Ankylosing spondylitis is a common connection, but evidently rarer in women and perhaps unlikely to have been asymptomatic for this long? I'm only guessing, obvs...

RadioDorothy Thu 14-Jun-18 12:09:02

Just to add, the thought of approaching my GP and saying any of this makes me shudder with horror.

I have insurance and could go private, but I still need a referral. Which I'm sure the GP would give me if I asked, but I can't bear the thought of them inwardly rolling their eyes and thinking "she's one of THOSE people who self diagnose from the internet and won't rest until someone proves them right..."

welshmist Thu 14-Jun-18 12:19:50

I have insurance and have gone private. My GP was happy to do it. When I went to the centre, it was rammed with people who were paying also interestingly, people who had been referred by the health board because waiting lists for are over two years in our area. I had a lump my gp referred me, was told at least six weeks, so went back and was seen within a week. A few gp friends have told me the Welsh NHS is fooked and we will be paying in some way in a few years. I had heart issues so again went private, brilliant consultant, had an echocardiogram that day, diagnosis and treatment began.

Please use your health insurance and go private. The NHS do.

RadioDorothy Thu 14-Jun-18 12:40:34

I have used previous insurance for an elusive and lengthy bowel issue, but when I went to use it for my gallbladder last year the insurer asked for 12 months of GP notes. I had left a work policy and started my own, so I was still within the 2 year moratorium. Perfectly fine and I did request the notes, but the surgery took so long to do it (and didn't tell me that they were ready) they I got my consultation with the surgeon and then a surgery date before they'd responded!

I had some tests recently for some bladder stuff and told the GP that I was insured, but she said, let's just do the basic tests first and if you're not happy with the outcome I'll refer you. Everything was inconclusive but I haven't the energy to pursue it, I'll just carry on leaking.

And now this. I'm just not sure it's worth the aggro, by the time I've asked three different departments for the notes and had a three lectures about the cost and been treated with disdain and disinterest and waited 2 months for them, the pain will have subsided and life will go on until the next time!

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