After the race last Sunday I had a very busy day. I rushed home, stuffed my face and took a quick shower. Then it was back in the car for my cousins Eagle scout ceremony and a family party. It was all a great time, but it didn’t leave me any time to stretch! Beginning on Monday after the race I noticed a dull pain in my back. This is not unusual for me, so I just assumed it was the onset of a backspasm or possibly even (sorry guys) just my period letting me know it was coming. Over the course of the next couple days my back pain got worse. It was a very odd pain. Very different than what I am used to having. I can walk, go upstairs, get out of bed and the car just fine. When I normally have backspasms these are things that are very difficult. After a while I started to feel the pain in my hips and radiating down my back. This made me very nervous! Did I have a pinched nerve? A slipped disc? I put off going to the doctor until yesterday (I figured putting it off over a long weekend was a bad idea).
After talking to my doctor briefly and going over what I had done over the past week he told me that my heal striking on the last downhill mile of the race and my lack of stretching had left me with a sore sacroiliac joint, leading to my hip joints and hamstrings to become very sore and developing into a one sided back spasm. So… what is your sacroiliac joint?
There are two purposes of the SI joint: shock absorption and pelvis stabilization. When we walk both SI joint pivot in the pattern of a figure eight. As our heel strikes the ground, the same side SI joint provides shock absorption for our pelvis, hip, and back. So my sprint and heal striking during the home stretch of the race left me with an irritated SI joint, which developed into something worse.
So how do I make my back pain go away? Because the lower back muscles and hamstrings connect to the pelvis and provide stabilization, I will be busy stretching and strengthening them. This has certainly been a reminder to me about how important it is to have proper form and to stretch well after a race.