Full Fusion Training

Even if your sacroiliac joint and lumbar vertebrae are fused, there's so much that you can do to relieve pain and change your quality of life. Get your training gear on and let's start!

We all know there's not a lot of movement in an SI joint, but the small degree of movement allows the muscles and structures surrounding it to relax during inactivity and when you sleep at night. If your SI joint is fully fused, you are may be experiencing a lot of pain such as sciatica or muscle stiffness in that area. The first step is to calm these muscles down.

Integrate the exercises one at a time. It may take you one or two days to become comfortable with a new exercise and sometimes it may take you a week or two. Go at your own pace and be sure to move towards the full workout progressively.

1) Auto-trigger point massage with tennis ball. Explore the area and try to release the tights spots with patient, slow pressure and small movements of your hip and leg. Spend 90% of your time and effort in the gluteal area and 10% in your SI region. Be careful to respect a 7/10 pain level when using this technique. If a spot is sore from a previous session, don't panic! Post trigger-point soreness is normal and it’s not a reason to stop, just go easy on the sessions for a few days after - always respecting your 7/10 pain threshold. You will find that within a few days, you will pass your old limitations and have more relaxed muscles. Start with 5 minutes working on the muscles of your hips and lower back. If you don’t have any flare-ups, increase the work time progressively (add 5 minutes per workout) until you reach 20 minutes. 

2) The first core exercise we will look at today is the static Pallof press.

This is a bracingexercise — you will use trunk strength to resist against an external rotational force without moving your spine. Attach an elastic band to a chest-height structure on your right hand side - this can be a machine at the gym or a piece of heavy furniture or a doorframe. Stand perpendicular to the elastic, and hold it with your two hands. Pull your hands to your chest and brace your core all the way down into your feet. Be sure to keep your knees slightly bent to create more force from your legs and hips. Now, press your arms out straight in front of your chest and hold them at shoulder level. You will feel your obliques, abdominals and lower back muscles. Depending on your level of strength, you may even feel this in your shoulders and arms. Hold this position for 20seconds. If you cannot hold the position for the full 20 seconds, start again and hold for the remaining time in a separate repetition. Repeat this exercise 3 to 4 times on each side.

3) Mobility of the hip-joint proper. This is the joint between your leg (head of the femur) and your pelvis (acetabulum). Think of flexibility training as sculpting new range around a given joint. You want to go slowly into a range and work for 1 degree improvements at a time.

Supine hip stretch

90-90 hip opener

*Repeat the contract/relax cycle as many times as you can progress. 

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