January 24th, 2016 — Now 3 years since my Sacroiliac Joint Screw Fixation Surgery on 1-17-13, it is time to celebrate turning over a new leaf and seeing the greener side of life. In other words, get outside and walk to simply enjoy the gift and ability to walk. For me to walk upright, balanced and more correct than ever while feeling equal sides of my body engaging the correct muscles in each phase of a gait cycle is a dream come true. A few little details in precision regarding my left foot is what I pay a attention to along with reminders to keep left Adductors engaged and pushing through with my glutes of both butt cheeks. Here is an excellent article to read regarding pelvic posture and muscles entitled: The Plague of the Mediocre Athlete–“No Glutes Equals No Results” written by Higher-Faster-Athlete.com
My Postural Restoration Institute trained physical therapist, Mark Bengtson, MPT at Pinnacle Physical Therapy has been working hard to get my pelvis controlled by equal bi-lateral glute activation along with more activation of left Adductors and less activation of right Adductors to correct my postural lumbar/pelvic muscle asymmetry which was a part of my left anterior rotated ilium and right upslip posterior rotated ilium and left sacral torsion along with my anatomical shorter left leg with gastroc equinus. The ability to find these muscles started a year before my SI Surgery; however, the fruit of feeling muscles working correctly has just now started to fully come together. The main reason for 3 years of delays was due to all my other lower leg/ankle/foot surgeries and their post operative rehabilitation protocols putting my lumbar spine/pelvis rehab on the back burner since my SI surgery. I share all my various blogs under the medical journey tab on my homepage.
Regarding the Postural Restoration Institute, I am linking here a case report study entitled: Managing A Female Patient with Left Low Back Pain and Sacroiliac Joint Pain with Therapeutic Exercises
This report does have pictures of some of the basic exercises I’ve done along the way of my personal therapy regime. I sincerely want fellow patients to have success in conservative care for their SI joints and avoid surgery. However, in my case, I was already too hypermobile on my SI joints with burning nerve pain going down my legs and I was not able to overcome by exercise alone; therefore, I elected to have the surgery. Now I can do all exercise that is given to me without suffering consequences of SI joint pain and the torsion of my lumbar discs from pelvic rotations. I do not have any regrets whatsoever of my prior SI surgery. I only have thankfulness that stability of my SI joints gave me a wonderful platform to build upon in order to sort out the rest of my malalignment syndrome. Having stable si joints is one thing; however, re-patterning muscles does take a tremendous amount of work. One of my recent most favorite–a single leg standing–exercises is herein linked: PRI Exercise Sheet
Since my last SI blog done a year ago, it had been my goal to finish the details pertaining to my feet and I was walking very well by August 2015 as shared in this prior blog. However, I just needed to take a step back and have revision surgeries done on both of my feet by reducing the HyProCure Stents down one size. Those stories are the last blogs posted in my HyProCure Category of this website. What I learned was there is a very fine line between a supinated foot and an excessive pronating foot in mid-stance of gait before push off. My feet were staying a little too supinated and not allowing me to get over my arch enough to push off of my big toe. The stent reduction has worked so much better now in my ability to push off correctly in my gait. As I write this blog, I’m just 5 weeks since the last stent reduction; therefore, this last week really has been the first week of having the true ability to put the package together after so much surgery. My lower back is so much happier now with more flexibility back in my arches giving me the ability to get the right amount of internal rotation of my legs when pushing off. I am pictured here doing my favorite stretch; however, it is harder than it looks. When doing it, I pay very close attention to making sure my left femur is pulled deep into the hip joint. I make sure I’m standing evenly over both feet feeling my big toe and arch contact of both feet. I am breathing and activating my abdominal muscles up into my back and I am not failing over at the waist line. This is something I could not do before SI surgery as I had tightness and pulling up my entire spine back then. I really have gained back my natural flexibility and it feels just great!
I just cannot describe very well the exorbitant amount of enthusiasm I have for walking. When it is right, it is right and my entire body from head to toe knows it. The more I walk, the better I am connected with my entire spine. I’ve been able to figure out what causes the minor fixations of L3-L4 and/or thoracic fixations. My cervical spine has been doing fabulous through my Atlas and jaw. My L5-S1 spinal segment will always be a point of contention due to its very compromised state of being as a vacuum disc; however for 3 years now, the SI Joint surgery looking back was paramount to preventing or delaying any future needs for L5-S1. Thus far, I still have no nerve pain whatsoever. I work very closely with my chiropractors to learn as much as I can to help myself overcome all the prior spinal segment patterns of fixation. So far, my physical therapist with his regime of the PRI Exercises, keeps me orientating my muscles in lumbar/pelvic neutral as they should be to build upon my stable SI joints. I stand amazed, not only for myself but to my team of 3 different chiropractors and 2 physical therapists, that I am able to turn myself around at my age in my 50’s with better posture/flexibility and a profoundly improved correct walking gait with new muscle patterns transforming my prior malalignment syndrome. To understand more about PRI, here is a sampling power point PDF entitled: Principles of Postural Restoration for the Sports Clinician
January 29th, 2016 – A visit with my chiropractor, Dr. Scott Sheldon, as he just palpated my back and I only had a minor fixation at T5 today and my lumbar segments were all just fine. He and I proceeded to make the herein linked YouTube video with his discussion/objective review on how well I’m doing in putting the whole picture together post bi-lateral Sacroiliac Joint Screw Fixation Surgery. We will do another set of full spinal x-rays later this year for further objective comparisons to my prior x-rays and I’ll post a blog at that time.
I look back on this past year still we renewed hope for more learning adventures for this human body going forward. I simply never believed that I could feel as good as I do when I lived for sure 13 years of dysfunction of the SI joints and lower extremities. I also reflect on the wonderful patients I have met throughout the country that have shared their similar paths of dysfunction and pain. To those patients who have seen my website and to others still to come, I dedicate my writings to you in order that I can inspire help, hope and healing on the subjects contained in my medical journey thus posted. I especially think of a sweet lady in my region that found my website that was suffering from Piriformis Syndrome and nerve pain going down her leg who is now happily back to work and running after physical therapy sessions with my PRI Therapist Mark. Another example is an avid runner/athletic gentleman in California that is now going to a PRI trained therapist after contacting me since he had been suffering for almost a year after an SI joint injury. He called back and was thankful for the recommendation because prior therapy did not work for him and the PRI concepts/exercises brought his pain level way down. These examples among many are the reason I continue to work hard at finishing my own journey, document it and write about it in order to continually pay it forward. Helping others is my greatest passion!