I've had a lot of soreness in my SI joint (sacral-illial area) and I've been seeing a massage therapist for this for quite some time. My workplace aggravates it like you wouldn't believe (I'm a nurse).
I found that massage really is the ONLY way I've had some relief of the discomfort I've had. The only other thing that helps (which I've been told by both my RMT and my chiropractor) is actually strengthening the body, which means:
- more abdominal strength (specifically lower abs)
- more lateral strength (forget the name, but the ones that let your body rotate and bend-- these are the most important!!!
The exercises I've been given are these (but please speak to a professional to know what is right for you before trying). If you do have herniation, your doctor may restrict some exercises that may aggrivate your problem. I would recommend seing a Chiropractor as they are the experts when it comes to back problems, and are able to isolate issues regarding muscles/bones. If you do not already have one, I would suggest a Chiropractor that also can do a technique called "ART" or Active Release Technique, which I like to describe as an intense massage in a problematic area. I have a very good Chiro doctor, and they are more likely to give you tools to improve and prevent a problem, whereas MD's are more likely to push medications, and possibly physiotherapy.
- go on all fours and lift left arm and right leg as if pointing in opposing directions, simultaneously, then bring to the floor and do the same with opposite arm and leg. Main point is to keep back flat, keep abdominals tucked in (also keeps back flat)
- squeeze abdominal muscles until you can feel the lateral muscles on the 'edges' of your belly (think close to your love handles, above your bony hip). When you can feel them tense, hold it for ten seconds, and leg go when you cannot hold it tight, as you are not supposed to practice poor flexion. You can do this same exercise for your lower abdominals
-pelvic tilts: when you are standing, sitting, walking-- anytime (in line for groceries is when i remember to do it) tuck your abdomen in like above, rotating your pelvis forward (like a bum tuck), your hips will feel tight to your abs. This supports your lower back and hip region, and forces your legs and abdominals to do the work, as it puts your lower spine in a neutral position, taking the pressure off of them. Lower back pain (sacral area) often comes from overuse and strain, when its used when other muscles are not used. The best muscles to use are your legs (calves, thighs, buttocks--strongest muscles in the body!!), abdominals, and when the upper body is only concerned, use the biceps as they are the strongest muscles in your arms. When lifting, bend your legs and use your lower body and core. Another tip, THINK GOOD POSTURE!!! KEEP YOUR SHOULDERS BACK, CHEST FORWARD, HIPS TILTED--- it will feel like you are walking funny, but it takes the pressure off of all the spots that get sore. Isn't it ironic that when your muscles are sore, we want to sit and slouch forward? Its from our muscles being WEAK.
Hope that helps!! I would also do some research online on how to improve core body strength, and would start stretching daily!
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