Sunday, December 29, 2019

Healing Back Pain, Hopefully Healing My Body?


I share my accomplishments here, but sometimes I think it's also worthwhile for me to share my struggles, the things that don't go so well.

One thing that I don't really talk about here is how often I get injured or my other physical limitations.

Some of you may have heard of SPD, symphyisis pubis dysfunction, commonly occurring in pregnancy (1 in 50 to 1 in 300), when, because of pregnancy hormones, ligaments loosen, and a woman's pelvis gets out of alignment. This can cause tremendous pain, also in the front by the pubic bone, and in the lower back and in legs. Fortunately, for most people, it goes away as soon as they give birth. Other, less lucky people, have it continue throughout the duration of their nursing, but as soon as those hormones are no longer circulating in their body, it also goes away.

And then there's me.

Yup, I'm the extra extra lucky person who fits neither of those categories.

I discovered that I had this in my first or second pregnancy, when something would happen and all of a sudden I couldn't move without being in searing pain. I was diagnosed by my physical therapist mom as having SPD, and because of her physical therapy skill, whenever this would happen, she'd come over and "put me together again", move my pelvic bones back where they should be, and I'd be able to be pain free instantly.

I learned that if my pelvis was out of alignment just somewhat, I could get it fixed myself with just the help of another person, who didn't have to be skilled in physical therapy. I learned the shotgun technique whose video I am sharing below, though I didn't know its name.

However, even with that knowledge, I still sometimes managed to get my pelvis so badly out of alignment (I even got scoliosis from that, that was resolvable as soon as my pelvis was fixed) that that didn't work and I needed a professional to "put me back together again".

I learned that certain things that most people do actually can cause my pelvis to rotate- like sitting down and picking up something heavy from my side, sweeping or mopping in a side to side motion, carrying a heavy kid on one hip, or the killer- pushing anything, especially if its even remotely heavy, with my foot or leg. Or even things like sitting with one knee up, which is my favorite position to sit in.

I tried to avoid them but, you know, life... Those types of things are hard to always avoid, and sometimes I just couldn't function and needed a professional to fix me.

For various reasons I can't ask my mother to fix my pelvis when it's out of alignment anymore, so I went to a physical therapist who specializes in pelvic floor and core issues and she gave me an official name for my condition, sacroilliac joint dysfunction, and some exercises to do to strengthen the area so my muscles will hold my pelvis in place even if my joints won't.

And on top of that, I have a weak core, and I know that if I strengthen my core, it'll help with my pelvic issues among many others. Because of that, a gracious friend paid for and signed me up for this amazingly helpful core strengthening program online that many people swear by. (It goes hand in hand with a Facebook group run by the person whose program this is, so you can get personalized feedback.)

But for some reason, I have been unable to bring myself emotionally to even sign into this program on my computer/phone let alone start it. I don't know why, something about it is way too daunting.
In my last therapy session, my therapist had me open up the page and sign in, and just do that, to get over that hurdle in a safe space. She told me about a person who wanted to start going to the gym but couldn't get past the emotional barriers to go, so they were told by their therapist to just go into the gym and do one small thing, then go home. And to just do that. And with each time doing that, they'd build up more and more emotional fortitude to be able to actually go workout, without the pressure to actually do that.

So now I have homework to literally sign in to my account for this program, not to actually do any exercises or even watch any videos, but just to sign in. That's my homework, and I'll admit it, I haven't done it since being in my therapist's office, but I am giving myself the challenge to keep up at it, hence making this public, and I'll sign in as soon as I finish this post. Maybe, hopefully soon I'll be able to actually start doing the exercises...

Additionally, my therapist recommended that I read this book called "Healing Back Pain; The Mind-body Connection" by John Sarno. It talks about how dealing with emotional issues can help heal physical issues, and she wants me to read this as part of my healing. To be honest, this has been suggested to me before by other people before, but again, an emotional block there. Like my body is broken, I don't want people telling me that "it's all my fault" because of my emotional issues. However, I do know that stress does end up getting held in the body, like in the shoulders and neck, so it does make sense...

However, just as with the core strengthening program, I need some accountability to get myself to read the book by Doctor Sarno, so I want to offer anyone here who wants to be a reading buddy and read it together with me, and discuss it, I'd love that. So email me at if you're interested.

And I may, depending on how it goes and what I discover from the book, end up sharing about what I learned from that book with you readers.

Basically, what I'm up to now is realizing that there's probably a two pronged approach I need to be taking to make my body work better- deal with my core issues as well as try to work on the emotional issues that are causing my body to be in pain. Its not just muscular or just emotional, but an overlap of the two.
But even dealing with the physical aspect is also taking emotional work. In the meantime, though, I am doing the exercises that the physical therapists I saw gave me to try to strengthen the area.

Anyone else deal with these types of pelvic issues? What helped for you? Anyone read Sarno's books? What did you think of them? Anyone want to be my reading buddy?


  1. Emailed you - I'll read it with you.

  2. I hope you find a reading buddy. I just can't read/listen to anything that isn't fiction (my excuse anyway). I'm so sorry that you have to suffer from this pelvic issue. Please follow your therapists advice and please share your findings with us. I would greatly appreciate it. Perhaps through your achievements I might find the will to do the things I need to get done. Your our inspiration Penny, shine on!


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