My pain started over four years ago when I took up hot yoga. My health was trending upward, and I finally felt well enough to do more than walk to the end of the block. I loved the yoga. Then the pain started. Then it worsened, despite my using every modification in the book. Finally, I quit yoga.
And then I suffered and suffered and suffered. Nothing except ice and not moving seemed to help.
My low back pain (right sacro-iliac pain, to be specific) was moderately severe–not quite so bad I wanted to die, but severe enough to interfere with every part of my life. Work, play, hobbies, moving, sitting, sleeping, sex, you name it. I was deeply discouraged.
I have fantastic news, though: I only have 5% of that pain left. After trying all the conventional and typical options out there, I finally found three tools that worked wonders.
So what are they?
What Didn’t Work
First, let’s take a look at what didn’t work:
- Half a dozen chiropractors and their devices, like a sacro-iliac stabilizing belt (note: chiropractic did help occasional acute neck and back pain, but not my chronic SI pain)
- Weeks and weeks of physical therapy (including Feldenkrais), followed by months of continuing the training at home
- 10 sessions of Rolfing
- 20+ sessions of acupuncture (although acupuncture did help some other issues of mine)
- Exercise–personal training, Pilates, yoga (obviously), stretching, etc
- Anti-inflammatory diets–gluten free, dairy free, blah blah blah
- Anti-inflammatory supplements–fish oils, turmeric, etc
- Prednisone pack (2nd to last resort)
- Steroid injection (last resort)
- Pain relievers–ingested and topical (beyond last resort, and I only made it 3 days on them, ugh)
Yeah, I tried a lot over those years of distress. Some of these treatments are perfectly good; they might help others, just not me. Others were not good, not good at all.
Like the crazy side effects I got from the steroid injection–intense hot flashes and night sweats for 2 weeks. You know, typical stuff. (Did I mention the injection didn’t do a darn thing to relieve my pain?) The pain management specialist said my side effects would be expected for someone on their 4th or 5th round of injections, not their first. Steroids are no joke for those of us who are extremely sensitive.