Organic Runner Mom

Press pause . . . injured runner with SI Joint Dysfunction

Injury Update: SI Joint Dysfunction

Injured Runner Report SI Joint Dysfunction

Injured Runner Report SI Joint Dysfunction

If you read my previous Turkey Trot race recap you know that I am now nursing an injury. What type of injury? Good question, I am not a doctor so I don’t have an exact diagnosis but the guess is SI Joint (Sacroiliac Joint) dysfunction. Hopefully this is an injury that will be short lived if I am a smart runner and don’t get greedy too early and head out for some miles before my body is ready.

What is SI Joint Dysfunction?

Image from the Back Pain Advisor

Image from the Back Pain Advisor

If you are a runner you may be familiar with SI Joint Dysfunction. SI Joint Dysfunction is a common ailment for runners.  According to, “SI joints connect the spine to the pelvis. The sacrum and the iliac bones (ileum) are held together by a collection of strong ligaments. There is relatively little motion at the SI joints.” Prior to my back going completely out of whack landing me in the Urgent Care Center near my parents house I had been having mild discomfort in this area of my body. During and after runs I had been experiencing tightness in my right IT band and dull pain in the area of my SI joint.

During my visit to see my family I visited the Chiropractor twice to address this issue. While relieving some of the discomfort through adjustment, muscle stimulation,  and ultrasound my body being accustomed to being out of alignment from running fought against proper positioning. Although I had a blast racing the turkey trot that was enough to push my body into a place of total discomfort and racing was probably not the best plan. Lesson learned!!!!

Runners can be prone to this type of discomfort and injury because running is often done on uneven footing and uneven road surfaces put constant pressure on the SI Joint and surrounding ligaments. Like many runners too I often neglect proper stretching and have additional strain on this area do to tight hamstrings, hip flexors . . . (you get the point . . . I am not very flexible at all!). This injury is also probably due to overtraining without adequate stretching or strengthening of the proper areas.

Now what?  How to work through SI Joint Dysfunction.

*Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional, I have been seen by a Doctor but am not currently under the care of a physician. If you are experiencing similar problems please consult with your doctor.

I have been scouring the web, talking to my Chiropractor, and my coach to figure out my best plan of action for dealing with this problem. So far, here is my road to recovery plan.

  • Rest. No running at least for a little while longer
  • Establish a strengthening plan with my coach
  • Slowly return to exercise. Begin with low impact swimming with a pull buoy
  • Continue taking anti-inflammatory medication as directed
  • Get a massage (can’t wait for this!!!)
  • Foam Roll my It band, hamstrings,etc.
  • Alternate Ice and heat
  • Visit the chiropractor again
  • Should this problem persist I am going to schedule a visit with the Orthopedic Specialist at the Alpine Clinic for further evaluation.

I have learned my lesson from a previous injury so am going to be a smart runner this time and address the problem directly and not avoid it.  Thankfully I have plenty to keep me busy right now and I have been able to put all of my excess energy from no running to good with major house cleaning projects and holiday planning and playing with my kids.

Have you ever dealt with SI Joint Dysfunction? What was your plan for recovery?

Organic Runner Mom


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23 responses

23 responses

  1. I had an L5 and SI injury back in October before Baystate Marathon (in addition to my Achilles). It was not fun! I couldn’t even walk or daily activities without pain. It took 5 weeks of no running, chiropractor appts, stretching and laying low for it to go away completely. The SI is also very common injury site for women. Take care girl!
    Angela @ Happy Fit Mama recently posted…Gifts for An Active Girl {Giveaway!}My Profile

  2. So sorry. I really hope you recover quickly. I’ve been dealing with the same piriformis pain and pain that radiates around the SI area for years now. The PT was treating the glutes though with some low-back strengthening. I’ve been seeing/hearing a bit more about SI issues lately and it makes me wonder about my nagging pain.

  3. I’m having pain in that area…I think it is either arthritis or hip imbalance. it comes and goes. I hope mine doesn’t progress…

    Right now I’m just taking it easy (still running, just less) and stretching, icing, foam rolling, and cross training.
    Wendy@Taking the Long Way Home recently posted…Not fairMy Profile

  4. My background is in Athletic Therapy – you need to see someone who can do a functional assessment to identify the CAUSE of the injury (sounds like a muscle imbalance to me), and then work with you to treat the cause, otherwise you will keep having the injury come back. Treat the cause, not the symptoms. Strength training with a coach that does not fully understand the cause may actually lead to a further imbalance and more injuries. I hope that you heal quickly!
    Janice- The Fitness Cheerleader recently posted…FIT CHICKS Fierce in 8 DVD Box Set Review and Giveaway!My Profile

  5. I am so sorry this is bothering you! I have dealt with this a few times and find that chiropractic, specific targeted strength training and staying away from the edge of the road as much as possible can help. But one of the things that has made a huge difference for me is using essential oils. In particular lemon grass, frankincense and a blend called Deep Blue Rub! They have been amazing at relieving the pain, helping the inflammation and supporting my healing and work to improve! Great stuff!
    Hope you feel better soon and get back to the road!

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  8. Unlike you, I wasn’t an athlete when I developed si joint pain about 5 years ago. But I have reason to believe that my problem started when I carried two heavy jerricans of water a few rounds while watering the garden (my sprinkler wasn’t functioning at that time). Bending starting becoming a problem and would often hear a “pop” sound when getting up from a sitting position. Of course, after going for therapy and wearing regularly wearing a sacroiliac belt, my pain has greatly reduced. I also workout regularly and I am glad things are getting much better. One thing I know is that si joint pain is a serious condition that should be dealt with as soon as possible!

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