February progress report

What’s Going On?

I had my two-week-after-the-epidural checkup with my doctor on Thursday and he seemed legitimately surprised that I was just getting back down to the pain level I’d had before getting the shots in the first place.  “That’s a very rare reaction!” he said. I’m not sure I believe that since it was pretty much exactly the reaction I had to the other steroid injection I had, too (in fact, this one was much less painful overall, or maybe I was just more prepared for it).  But, whatevs.

Anyway, I’d say there’s good and bad news.

The good news is that the pain at my disc seems to be much diminished.  When I pay attention to specifically where my pain is (as opposed to just “ow, dammit”), it’s very very infrequently at the disc.  So that’s very good news.

The bad news is that I appear to have picked up sacroiliac joint pain.  When I explained my pain to my doc, he turned me around, pressed on my SI joints, and said “is that where it hurts?” Indeed!

This isn’t too much of a surprise since I’ve been sitting a lot and haven’t been moving very much, which makes the SI joint hypomobile (that sounds nicer than “stuck”).

So, I’m to do some specific-to-SI-joint stretches in addition to my back stretches, keep a pain journal every day, and report back in two more weeks.  After that we may do another MRI or another epidural, this time in the SI joint.  Whee.

The SI issues could also explain the uptick in sciatic symptoms I’ve had lately.  My legs are pretty much constantly tingly, with cold feelings on the thighs.   I also have a lot of burning/pressure in various places on the butt, which sounds way more exciting than it is.

Otherwise, lots of muscular pain. I wake up incredibly stiff and sore and it only partially goes away throughout the day.  I’m managing  this with ibuprofen, Sombra gel, heatpacks, the Theracane, and weekly massage therapy.

Exercise.

  • Daily stretching for the back and now SI/hips.
  • I got an inversion table (fun!) and am doing that for 2 minutes, twice a day — slowly building up to about 10 minutes twice a day.
  • Still weekly training with Melinda.  I have flare ups after the workouts, but that usually goes away by the next day.

Motorcycling.

  • No riding at all so far this month.  The doc does want me to do a short ride within the next two weeks so that I can journal where the pain afterwards is (SI versus disc).
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6 Responses to February progress report

  1. Colleen says:

    Wow – you’re just full of surprises, aren’t you? Have the morning stretches been helping you? Any difference with Aleve vs ibuprofen? And I’m still waiting for pics of the inversion table (with you on it, of course!)

    Seriously, I admire your attitude and perseverance. I don’t know that I could be as patient as you’ve been! HUGS!

  2. Kim says:

    I remember you had hip pain back in the day before you became more active with riding, hockey, etc. Remember that year we did the AIDS Walk? (1999?)

  3. Mike says:

    Just wanted to say thanks for pointing out (well not literally, we’re quite a long way apart for that) that my SI joints were the real cause of my back/sciatic issues and not my spine. Found some stretches and other useful info, journeyed to see my most helpful medical professional and am back on the road to recovery with minimal outside help. Plus, I now know where to strengthen and work to keep from dealing with this stuff again. Yet another triumph for the power of the Bluepoof!

  4. carolyn says:

    Sweet! What stretches/exercises are you doing for the SI joints? I’ve got a couple but am looking for any and all I can find. 🙂

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