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Old 04-09-2012, 01:12 PM   #1
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Sacroiliitis and Exercise

Hi,
I've been diagnosed with sacroilitis and have had it for many years. My pain varies from low back pain to joint pain to sore bone pain to pinching pain to shooting pain down the leg. My doctor told me to try and exercise every day, even if just 15 min a day, but in the past when I"ve tried, it always ultimately leads to a flare up (i.e. shooting pain down my leg)

Is anyone else able to exercise with sacroilitiis? And if so, what kind? I love the eliptical and have one, as well as an upright stationary bike in our basement. Swimming is not an option due to time (work full time and kids so only have a short time in the evenngs to exercise) plus I don't like it as I cant get lost in my music.

Any advice, and shared experience is appreciated.

 
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Old 04-10-2012, 04:03 PM   #2
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Re: Sacroiliitis and Exercise

Ask your doc for a script to PT. they can do specialized exercises that open up those joints while you are there (can give some good relief)and teach you the proper way to exercise the SI joints in such a way as to make them feel better and not worsen them. Most doc's haven't a clue as to how to exercise those joints for pain relief so see someone who does know...a good physical therapist.

And if all else fails, ask to be referred to a pain management doc who can give you cortisone injections in the joints for some more permanent type of pain relief. A good spine doc can help too but pain management really is the goal.

hugs...........Jenny(just had my 3rd spine surgery 15 days ago...I know how you feel!)

 
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Old 04-11-2012, 06:27 AM   #3
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Re: Sacroiliitis and Exercise

Hi jennybyc, thanks for your response. I actually did PT for about 6 months (every other week) by suggestion of my rheumatologist. They did give me both stretching and abdominal muscle building exercises. Before trying the eliptical, I sit with a heat pack, and afterwards, I make sure to do the stretching exercises.

But these aren't endurance exercises (i.e. cardio). I would love to be able to do real exercises for my heart and to give me energy. My favourite is the eliptical. I've been trying it this past week, doing it almost day, or every other day, and my lower back is really sore...like a burning pain....although my SI joints feel ok...at the moment.

I assume though that this burning pain is not normal and am so scared of a flare up with shooting pain.

 
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Old 04-11-2012, 08:09 AM   #4
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Re: Sacroiliitis and Exercise

You may be experiencing 2 different problems. Shooting pain tends more to be low back related with pressure being put on a spinal nerve somewhere. The burning pain is more of the SI joint problems. It is very rare to have SI joint problems without some low back problems with it.

Have you ever had an MRI done on both your lumbar spine and your SI joints? Thje reason I ask is that there is a group of arthritic diseases called "sero-negative spondyloarthropathies"....big word for a group of disorder that all feature low spine and SI joint arthritis along with no positive blood work to pin point that you have it. But under an MRI, they can see the type of arthritis that is developing and distinguish these forms from plain old osteoarthritis. One type is called Ankylosing Spondylitis and they can see the spondylitis as it makes a particular form of bone spur called a syndesmophyte. Another one is Reactive Arthritis(used to be called Reiter's Syndrome) that can follow a minor infection or an STD and it does the same thing but causes problems with the eyes and GI or genital area. A 3rd form is called Psoriatic Arthritis and it accompanies psoriasis but cam=n actually show up before you ever get the rash. So it's important to know if this is just OA or something else.

For most, it's just OA. I had severe OA since my teens and then got RA 7 years ago and the secondary Sjogrens just 2 years after that....so it can add up. Luckily, the RA and Sjogrens have good treatments....OA is is the worst as there is not much you can do.

What I would suggest for a good cardio workout(as I actually do workout 3-4 days a week myself)is to find a pool program that does the it. You exercise in the water so it takes the weight and pressure off of the low back. Great for any kind of back problems. I was working out right up until surgery16 days ago so I'd be in good shape after ward and I can't wait to get back in the water...but I can't for another month. At that point I'll start water PT and learn more exercises specifically for my low back. By July, I should be able to go back to my water cardio workouts. If you think doing cardio on the "land" is hard...wait until you try water! That slight added resistance of the water really gets the heart going and you get a much better workout in less time. And it's far easier on your back and you'll have much less pain after.

So having already had 3 major back surgeries myself, I now have to exercise for life....try the water. I now go to a facility that does it in 93* water so it's like exercising in a bath tub...heavenly for us older folks(I'm almost 61).

That is about the best thing that I can suggest. I know it has turned my life around a full 180* since I started doing water exercises.

take care..................Jenny

 
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Old 04-11-2012, 11:43 AM   #5
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Re: Sacroiliitis and Exercise

Thanks so much for taking the time to write a long informative post.

AS for the MRI, I had one a little over a year and my dr was looking for Ankylosing Spondylitis. I had ulcerative colitis as a kid and with my SI joint problems, they are related. At the time he didnt' see any deterioation of the joint (but a bone scan years ago + symptoms gave me the sacroilitiis diagnosis). He has since ordered another MRI to check for nerve compression, which I'm waiting for the apopintment.

WIth my physiotherapy, they suggested I try hydrotherapy, which is therapy in the water (also very warm). I found it ok...didn't hurt but didn't love it. Then I had a substitute (who I think was a high school kid) and had a bery bad session where I was in lots of pain the next day, so didn't go back. I think I should try swimming again, but it's also a matter of finding time as I work full time and don't have any me time until my kids go to bed at 8pm. Am glad you've found something that has helped you.

I'm so sorry ou've had to suffer through 3 surgeries. Hope that with the swimming and recovery you've found balance in your life (of being able to do things) and pain is much less.

 
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Old 04-12-2012, 07:26 AM   #6
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Re: Sacroiliitis and Exercise

Glad to hear they are doing the lumbar MRI. It was an SI joint MRI that ruled out AS for me too and a wrist MRI that confirmed Ra with both RA and OA of the spine.

Actually, this last spine surgery was my 23rd for arthritis. I've had surgery on both wrists, both shoulders, a finger, 3 spine and 14 on my knees including replacements. Arthritis is one serious disease, no matter what kind you have. I've even had to have cataract surgery on both eyes for something called "steroid cataracts" that develop from way too many steroid injections.

Don't ever let anyone tell you...it's just some arthritis!

hugs...........Jenny

 
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Old 04-13-2012, 06:08 AM   #7
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Re: Sacroiliitis and Exercise

You poor thing....23 surgeries??? Sounds like you have a real awful case affecting all over. Didn't know that the steroid injections could cause cateracts. How scary. (Knew they should be limited but didn't know why). Am so sorry you've had to go through all of this.

 
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