The back pain I’ve been having for the past week has a name: Sacroiliac Joint (or SIJ) injury. Having a name for it doesn’t bring me any closer to knowing what caused the sudden onset of the worst pain I think I’ve ever felt but it does mean I know what I need to do to make the pain go away.
The pain I am experiencing is manifesting as lower back pain but is actually an inflamation or injury of the top of my glutes around where they join my hips. Apparently there are two big flat muscles that meet at the SIJ and it is the meeting of these muscles that is causing my pain. I suspect that the release of tension in my shins and calves is causing my whole body to realign after many years of compensating for my ultra short calves (have I mentioned yet that both my left and right calf have now passed the magic 10cm mark?). With this mindset, I’m not too concerned at the short-term pain I’m currently experiencing. I think it’s my body taking the opportunity to repair itself after all the abuse I’ve been dishing out.
The good news is that the SIJ pain should settle within 2-3 weeks and that I have a fantastic physiotherapist who is committed to fixing injuries. He was at a 40th birthday party on Saturday night when I messaged him to tell him I was in agony and still messaged back with advice, and then squeezed me in for an appointment today. He dug his elbows into my muscles, got his ultrasound machine working on me and then strapped my back to give it support.
I have to take it easy for the next 2-3 weeks. I’m only allowed to do gentle walking and cycling so long as it doesn’t cause pain during or after the exercise. While I won’t be able to participate in my first Audax Australia ride this Saturday, I’m not getting down about it. I’ll just restart my running and cycling training at the same time once this latest body adjustment has taken place.
At least if my body does all its adjusting and healing now I will be able to start the New Year fresh, fit and ready for action. I mean, I’ve had leg pain for 15 years so no doubt my body overcompensated in all sorts of strange ways. Now that the leg pain is healing, my whole body is going to have to learn to move properly the way it was originally designed to.