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Sacroiliac joint injury

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

I'm posting this for my girlfriend who isn't on EpicSki.

My girlfriend injured her sacroiliac joint (SI joint) in July of 2008 at work, while working with a violent special ed student.  It has since been a very long and painful road to recovery, with several different doctors and physical therapists all having various opinions on the specifics of the injury and how to treat her particular case.  One physical therapist said skiing will be fine and another said she would recommend against it (this was last fall, when the injury was relatively fresh).

She decided to sit the 08/09 ski season out to focus on the healing process.  Further her left leg was weaker as a result of the injury.

Just over a year from the incident, her back/SI joint has greatly improved.  She has full strength back in her leg, can go without taking any pain medication and is exercising pain free on a regular basis.

That said, we are both extremely excited about the opportunity to ski together this season.  She has decided to take a VERY calculated and cautious approach to the upcoming ski season.  She is begining to do light weight training and cardio, ensuring that she is not causing any aggrivation in her back.

I just wanted to reach out to EpicSki and see if anyone else here has had experience with this particular injury and its realtionship to skiing.  The injury is very mysterious to say the least, and she wants to do everything she can, training wise, to prepare herself to ski and reduce the chances of re-injuring her SI joint.


Any advice is greatly appreciated!

Kevin M

post #2 of 6
Thread Starter 
post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 


post #4 of 6
 kevin, was it a bony injury or a ligamentous injury? i.e what did the x-rays and/ or MRI say? and was there any talk by any of the docs about the injury affecting her sciatic n? 
post #5 of 6
I've had a lot of SI joint issues, but never an actual severe injury, so I'm not sure I'm qualified here ... however, what has helped me most is lots of core work. Nothing intense, but I'm sure the type of stuff she has done in p.t. Bridges and stuff on the swiss ball, or just doing any workout activities on a bosu, that sort of thing.

Also take a look at boots and stance and all that. My left leg is longer than my right, so my bootfitter has had to tweak some things to try and get things more even. I would think she would want to be extra careful that she is properly aligned before heading back out, as to not exacerbate any unevenness in strength or anything else.

Does she have an SI belt? I wore one of those for a while to encourage stability. Hopefully the core muscles will do that instead, but it might be nice the first couple of times out.

The good news is that skiing wasn't what hurt me. I think it was more sports where there is more lunging and twisting going on (tennis or soccer, mostly). Actually, I think it was pregnancy and my leg length issue that were the biggest problems, but add to that the sports where your legs are going every which way, and it was out of whack for a while. Much better now.

Good luck.
post #6 of 6
 More info about what the actual injury was would be helpful - unless you never got a decent answer!  

In general though, SI dysfunction is very common, and in my opinion avoiding skiing is not necessary (although of course that's an internet opinion!).  But to prepare, you definitely want to work posterior chain strength - particularly glutes, core - primarily obliques, and I'd work on hip mobility as well.  

SI tends to be something that affects one side, so you might also try to have her go see a physio or strength coach who can do a Functional Movement Screen (you can find a certified expert at www.functionalmovement.com) on her.  This is a great way to identify and correct movement asymmetries.  

Also having a good manual therapist - could be massage, chiro, athletic therapist or physio (whoever in your area is good) for "regular maintenance" would be a good idea.  

You also might want to find out if there's any underlying structural issue. 

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