I'm back again with an update, with a little more clarity than I had in my previous update. I'll first provide a brief overview of the situation, then a detailed timeline (more for my own sake to remember how this progressed) and then I will do a little rant about of navigating the healthcare system. Feel free to skim, as this is admittedly a boring post.
What I've learned since my last blog post:
- MRI showed healthy discs. I have minor bulging, but nothing that would cause this type of pain
- The root of the problem is very likely my SI joint
- That said, I do have some tendinitis around the left hip and a tight Piriformis, which are likely compensatory issues from bracing the SI Joint pain. It's one big chain reaction.
Progress since last blog post:
- Walking is now pain-free 75% of the time, and during the other 25% it's slightly noticeable
- I was prescribed a 6-day course of MethylPREDNISolone, and I have no idea if the improvement is from that or from my time off running. I finished it today.
- I took 9 complete rest days from running, but I did do PT exercises and foam rolling
- I didn't try to cross train because certain movements aggravate the area that aren't running, like leaning forward. Healing was my top priority; not maintaining fitness.
- I received a cortisone injection into the SI joint today
After seeing my doctor on Tuesday, March 29, I scheduled an MRI for the following Tuesday (which then I was able to bump up a day to Monday April 4). I wanted to rule out a bulging disc.
I had zero change, zero pain relief Wednesday-Saturday, which was discouraging as I had stopped running entirely. My doctor prescribed a prescription for 1000mg a day of Naproxen, but that didn't help at all.
Monday was the first day I noticed some relief. Finally it wasn't painful with each step, so I figured the rest + steroids were working. Monday was also the day of my MRI. I actually somewhat enjoy having MRIs. It requires you to be alone with your thoughts; no distractions. A great mental toughness practice.
I think I would be much better off if I had a cortisone shot last week; but my doctor didn't have any availability on the schedule until today. I tried to get one at my initial appointment on March 29, but she said that she didn't have time during that appointment. I wish I would have pushed harder to get the shot right then and there instead of waiting 9 more days. Then I wouldn't have had to mess with the medications or the MRI. SI Joint injections are used for diagnostic purposes because if the pain goes away, then it was definitely SI Joint.