View Full Version : SI Joint Locked. Questions about it

Kyle St.Jean
08-30-2012, 09:22 AM
5 weeks ago I was going about my business as normal. My training partner (I'm a coach at a CF Box) and I were doing some decently heavy back squats, when I felt my left low back start to have "Bad pressure". I instantly bailed as I tell all my athletes to, and when I stood up, I had trouble bending over with my left leg baring weight. I went to a chiropractor and she told me very little about it. "Your SI Joint is locked.", she informs me. I tried asking for more information, but really didn't get what I was looking for. Anyways, she adjusted me and that was suppose to "Unlock" the SI joint. I took my time rehabbing it with pelvic tilt exercises for the first 4 weeks. I felt great, and made a terrible judgement call in trying to swing a kettlebell. This was last week.

I spent this weekend in pain and discomfort, and I've seen a different chiro twice since then (This chiro only wants to see me when I have problems, not get me on a massive year-long payment/adjustment plan), and things seem to be going in the right direction.

Excuse my long post, but I figure the more detail, the better...

Tuesday night I was cleaning the gym (Going really easy with my rotating while using a mop) and felt a slight pop somewhere in my low back. Later that night I felt weakness in my left calf (Inability to perform a calf raise with my bodyweight, which my right calf has no issue with). Walking around, the calf felt as if I had just cramped up after a long run or many box jumps.

Does anyone have any insight/experience with any of this? Any suggestions that can help me get back to things and help this injury heal?

As a coach and athlete, it's really crucial that I get this under wraps and get back to being able to at least show people movement with a PVC pipe.

Thank you for anyone who replies, and may you all achieve success with your endeavors.


Aaron Wayne Campbell
08-31-2012, 10:05 AM
I hate to tell you but I think you herniated a disc and need to be seen ASAP. Let me preface this by saying I'm a doctor, but a gynecologist - ha! I've also been through a personal journey of back problems that is similar to yours.

My original pain started with butterfly situps (repetative spinal flexion). I then felt a pop in my back during deadlifts, and began having pain and weakness in my left leg. I tried slowly going back to Crossfit b/c both a chiropracter and primary care doc told me it was my SI joint, or maybe pyriformis syndrome. They recommened stretches/adjustments and said it would be ok. Like you, KBS's were terrible, and I couldn't do them.

I initially started with a chiropracter as well. Some are good, some not so good. My chiro told the same thing about my SI joint. We did many adjustments but I wasn't getting better. My ortho/spine sugeon later told me that the SI joint is one of the most rigid/immobile joints in the body. It's supposed to be "locked."

Eventually I knew something else was wrong and supsected a herniated disc/ radiculopathy. I had an MRI, and it showed a herniated L4/L5 with impingment on the left L5 nerve root - which fit exactly with the distribution of my pain and weakness. I saw a well respected ortho/spine surgeon and he said I was close to needing surgery but wanted to give me a chance at physcial therapy. I immediately started aggressive physical therapy, including the McKenzie protocol (about a month ago) and stopped doing anything hard on the spine (jumping, running, moves that include spinal flexion). I'm now doing much better, and likely won't need surgery (this time anyway!)

So my advice is go see a specialist at least, and strongly consider an MRI. Check out all the other posts on low back injuries. Take it seriously now before you do more serious damage. Be careful!

And sense you're an instructor, tell your wodders to take back pain very seriously. And of course - tell them to slow down, focus on technique, and if your back hurts - stop! That's one flaw I now see in CF, the focus on speed/intensity can get the better of people and make them fail to heed serious warning signs.

Kyle St.Jean
08-31-2012, 06:02 PM
Problem with this is that I never felt a pop. I'm extremely aware of what happened during the moment. All I felt was bad pressure, like a pull (Most likely from my legs being unbalanced enough that day) and I bailed. No popping of any sort. No disrespect intended by my reply here, sir.

Regardless, I will be seeing my doc to see if I can get an MRI at the soonest availability (Unfortunately tuesday).

Aaron Wayne Campbell
09-04-2012, 09:47 AM
No problem! Just hope you're getting better and getting the care you need. I'm definitely not an expert.

You mentioned a slight pop when you were cleaning the gym (that's what I was referring to). My PT told me that a lot of times the popping is a tightened ligament from muscle spams rubbing over a bone or joint. Hopefully that's all it was.

Good luck!!! I hope you post a follow up down the road.

Frances Ballesteros
09-04-2012, 01:30 PM
I had SI joints issues as well and I did not feel any sort of weakness in any of my legs. It felt more like an unstable lower-back, but nothing in my legs.

Get the MRI done and hope you recover soon