“My SI joint is inflamed. Do you have any suggestions for me?”

This was said to me recently by a woman after finishing teaching a fitness class with squats, lunges, and other movements. My internal voice wanted to yell, “Why did you come? This was not the class for you! When you are in pain, you need self-care.” But of course, I couldn’t do that.

I am not a physical therapist or doctor, so I can only give limited advice and a referral to another professional who can diagnose the cause and problem. As a fitness professional with extensive knowledge on movement, I tend to get a lot of questions, along the idea of “This hurts. What can I do?” By asking questions back, I may be able to use my toolbox of self-care to reduce the pain or refer someone to the right professional.

Instead I nicely asked if there were any movements that seemed to irritate it more? Not really. Did it feel more muscular or joint? Muscular.

My suggestion: Take a few days to rest and see what happens. Get a massage. Maybe take some ibuprofen or arnica to reduce inflammation. And if it continues, I’d suggest seeing a physical therapist.

Her reaction: I can’t take time off. (Said as if I asked her for her first born.)

My inner voice: Why the f$ck not?! You are in pain! Stop doing sh$t to irritate it!

My response: If your SI is inflamed, it means that something is going on. Giving yourself a few days of rest can help reduce the risk that what is happening won’t put you out for several weeks due to a greater injury. You can do light exercise, such as walking, but I’d say to stay away from classes for a few days to let yourself heal.

Her: Nodding. That makes sense.

Later: Just noticed that she was in an intense movement class the next day.

Me: Banging head on wall.

When we are in pain, especially if it’s not a big one, why do we ignore it?

We only have this one body. Taking care of it by acknowledging when we are doing to much, giving it rest when needed, and seeking appropriate help, can vastly improve our lives. We can replace knees, shoulders, and hips, but prevention takes up less time.

If something comes up in a class or you aren’t feeling great that day when you walk in, speak up. Don’t push yourself to do an exercise that doesn’t feel right. Take a break instead. A quality instructor can give you alternatives, tell you when to take a break, and recognize when you need a referral to someone with more credentials. 

Pain should not be endured.

Kate Hamm combines her 15+ years of experience in the fitness industry and high-end resort program development into sought after wellness adventures at AnamBliss. Visit www.anambliss.com for future retreat dates and locations.

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