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Thread: Squats -- Significant Sacroiliac Pain!

  1. #11
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    Sorry i forgot to mention that if the pain is referring from your SI joint down the legs then it could of course be piriformis syndrome. There is a small muscle joining the top of the femur to the back of the hip bone. When it becomes tight it can nip the sciatic nerve. This can be due to adaptive shortening again or it could be a pathology. When you stand normally are your toes pointing outwards quite a lot? My wife gets a bit of piriformis related sciatica and she has chronically externally rotated hips.
    DO this test - jump up in the air 3 times. Stand still - dont adjust. Look down at your toes -do they point outwards a lot? You could have shortened piriformi. You can use the same techniques again - PNF it out (the stretch you should be doing is like when you try to stretch your butt muscles out - please look into PNF stretch techniques though they will hopefully lengthen your shortened muscles much better than regular stretch until it hurts techniques) Also the ART technique would be rolling your butt around on a tennis ball - be careful this can be VERY painful but effective.

    Again good luck

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    RI, USA
    Split squats take your back out of the equasion.

  3. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by arthurb999 View Post
    Split squats take your back out of the equasion.
    Do you mean split squats holding dumbells (or other weights) by the side or split squats in a normal back squat with a barbell?

    The first option would be not as bad as the second but i definitely wouldnt say that doing a split squat with bar on the shoulders would help. If anything it would cause rotational stresses through the back. Anything unilateral is going to require you to counter the rotational forces involved through the core.Split squats will not take the back out of the equasion(sic)
    Also this poster has SI dysfunction which is not just any old back problem. There are so many possible causes. I would compromise with you and say squats with limited ROM and loading below the waist (ie. holding the weights in the hands by your side)just to avoid the possible issues i alluded to in previous posts.

    Also, a split squat is very quad dominant whereas a normal squat is more of a quad/glute sharer. A minor point when considering everything else that could go wrong with a split squat/SI dysfunction combo.

  4. #14
    Thanks for all the feedback. I am a newbie so the squats I am doing are with no weights, no bar, just down and up. Pain is radiating down my thigh and sometimes into my calf. Last night I used the tennis ball to work on the piriformis muscle... it helped, but only briefly. I am going to schedule a myofascial release massage and see if I can get some relief.

    danandvicky - I will research the exercises you recommend.

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    You need to strengthen the lower abdominals. Do isometric transverse abdominus exercises as frequently as you can think to throughout the day. Getting that muscle strong will help stop the tension/pain cycle.

    This won't be the same as the typical core stabilaztion you normally do in physical therapy. While some of these 'look' the same, activating the transverse abdominus first changes the dynamics of the exercise.

    To find your TA, make your fingers into the 'heart' with thumbs together and finger spointing down. Place you thumbs on you belly button and your fingers at the edge of your pubic bone. Cough, or laugh. Feel that muscle pop up under your finger tips. That is the TA, concentrate on contracting it. It is a lazy muscle and likes to let the other muscles in the abs do all the work. If you have trouble focusing on it without recruiting the other abdominals, act as if you are trying to stop your self from peeing. That should get it. Onc eyou can engage it alone, then do it throughout the day. This will help stabilize you pelvis and significantly reduce the amount of movement in the SI joint.

    Stertching the hamstrings, hip flexors and piriformis will wlso help.

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
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    Quote Originally Posted by danandvicky View Post
    I know this may be sacrilege in the PB world but i come from a PT/ fitness background and i can never recommend doing leg press machines even though Art De Vany recommends them. I love his work but his recommendations on exercises are terrible. They are very 1980`s and are the exact kind of exercises that cause injury - lateral shoulder raise anyone !! - ouch. A great book Art but someone needs to call him out over the exercise selection - maybe he needs to spend a bit of time talking to Robb Wolfe. I bet he doesnt prescribe many of Arts staple exercises to his clients - injured or not.

    Okay - rant over.

    Leg Presses on machine - they will likely exacerbate your injury/pathology. It is obviously hard to comment on your individual case and would probably be negligent to do so without video of your squat etc. I can `suggest` something that may be going on as i have seen it a few times in the past. You could have shortened hamstrings like the majority of the population due to lots of time spent sat at desks at school/work and at the dinner table/couch at home. Anyway when hammys are adaptively shortened like almost everyones they can limit your form in the squat. Your form may be great for the 80% of the lowering part of the lift then as you get to the very bottom of the lift your short hamstrings pull your pelvis under. This brings your spine out of optimal alignment or its strongest position. Basically you could be curving your lumbar spine in the very opposite way it needs to be curved at the bottom of the squat. Obviously not good under load ( im assuming back squats - you didnt mention how you are loading the squats if at all).

    I would suggest working on lengthening your hamstrings through PNF techniques (google Leon Chaitow or just look up PNF stretching) and using foam roller techniques ( i think these come under Leon Chaitows ART - active release techniques but i could be wrong)

    I would suggest working on only squatting to 75-80% of your normal range which is still going to help you build up strength in squatting without aggravating the SI dysfunction. You could either judge the range to go yourself or use some kind of cue like a bench or box or preferably a partner.

    My reasoning for hating yes hating the leg press vs squattingis it is the equivalent of a bench press vs push up. It is a much inferior non functional equivalent isolating the muscles (chest, triceps, front shoulder for bench press - quads for leg press) whereas the squat requires sooo much more to perform correctly. It forces you to learn how to do something that you NEED to do in life. You will never find yourself in the position of a leg press machine in life - never never NEVER - so why do it in the gym?
    Also, the leg press lends itself well to further SI dysfunction and can even start it in people who dont have any beforehand. When you sit in the leg press machine you bring your knees right up to your chest almost at the start of the movement - guess what this does? - yes it brings your lumbar spine out of its normal alignment almost reversing the curve that it should be in - then what do you do ? - yes you load that spine up with hundreds of kilos of weight that your natural limitations would have stopped you from lifting if using the squat ( no one can squat anywhere near what they can leg press).

    I must say that as i dont know your exact problem then this is all hypothetical but i hope i have given more info than a simple `do leg presses ` answer.

    Good luck with it and please see a PT.

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