A while back I was playing in a local recreation league soccer game. The game was really fun and really intense. I juked past a couple of players, then halfway down the field, I wound up a full swing to kick the ball, then I suddenly collapsed. I scored! But I had to leave the game immediately afterwards due to a dislocated sacroiliac joint. My left hip was literally 2 inches higher than my right and it was excruciatingly painful. I could barely sit or stand because of the pain. Eventually, I was able to nurse it back and slowly get back into shape. Over the next 4 years, the pain would come and go. I would see chiropractors to fix the acute pain I experienced. The times it hurt the most were the times I stopped working out for a bit (it also didn’t help that I had bulged discs in my lower back from previous injuries). Finally, I was fed up after reinjuring it, again, during a basketball game. I went to see chiropractors who temporarily relieved the pain, but never fixed the issue. I couldn’t even sit in a chair for more than a minute it was so bad. I iced it, used anti-inflammatories to reduce swelling, and took it easy. The same old methods helped, but only temporarily.
This time I was determined to fix this on my own. After all, I had a certification in corrective exercise, how could I not fix this? At that point, I realized the only person that can help me was me. I was sick of paying chiropractors and doctors to temporarily ease the pain, but never giving me a path forward so that I could enjoy aggressive sports, lifting heavy, snowboarding, or whatever I felt like doing. I thought to myself, shouldn’t these professionals know how to fix this? Well yeah, but their answer was surgery. Not mine. By the way, I realize that sometimes the only answer is surgery in certain cases. And that’s okay. But I wanted to give my body a chance to see if I could figure this one out on my own. Feeling frustrated, but hopeful, I started to study every article about sacroiliac joint pain related to exercise and nursing it back to full strength, if it was even possible. There was a lot of trial and error, stumbling along the way, and figuring out which exercises were doable and which ones I needed to avoid. I slept different. I changed my posture. Patience was needed because this was a slow process. I slowly began building up my joint strength, my core strength, hip mobility, working in different planes of motion, and finally lifting heavier and heavier weight. I succeeded. I felt as if I had never experienced this injury because I was pain-free and felt strong enough that I could do anything. This was probably one of the most satisfying experiences of overcoming something that seemed impossible to do.
I feel like we all have something like this, whether it is losing fat, getting stronger, eating healthier and living a healthy lifestyle, training for a difficult event, overcoming an injury, getting over an addiction, succeeding at a business or career, and so on and so forth. My challenge to you is to be patient and be hopeful. Don’t give up. If it’s worth it to you, then give it all that you can whether that be physically, mentally, emotionally, or spiritually. Be your best self. You have the potential and you are well worth it!
Travis Lott is a certified personal trainer, corrective exercise specialist, certified nutritionist, and certified weight-loss specialist at Leantrition. He has trained many diverse individuals and groups over the years including people of all ages, weight classes, and medical histories. Many of his clients have seen very successful results that have changed their lives. Travis is passionate about the health industry and takes pride in helping others achieve a new, healthy way of living.