Sunday, April 25, 2010

A Pain in the Butt (Literally)

For three years (actually 4), I have struggled with a pain in my "butt". It is actually my right lower back. I knew it was my sacroiliac joint, but never knew the exact cause. My first experience with this pain was during pregnancy with my second child. At the end of pregnancy, there were days it was so bad I couldn't bear weight on my right leg. Once I delivered and lost a bit of weight, there was no more pain. I assumed it was my sciatic nerve and swelling related to pregnancy.

Two years later, training for the Marine Corps Marathon, I got a similar discomfort. The more I trained, the more constant the pain was. I knew it wasn't a nerve problem because there wasn't numbness and tingling, but it hurt. Eventually, I changed my stride to compensate and ended up with a partially torn lateral ligament and sprained medial ligament in my right knee. After the MCM was when I decided to transition to triathlon in an attempt to cross train and relieve some of the discomfort.

The pain was back last season...worse with heavy training. By the Army Ten Miler in October, it was really intense and I definitely needed some time off.

This year I started training earlier than ever. That meant the pain was back sooner than ever. It is a dull ache, ranging from 3-4/10 (sorry...I work in healthcare...pain is rated on a 1-10 scale), to a 6-7/10 after intense running/cycling. I finally decided this season to get to the bottom of it. I saw the orthopedist (sports medicine specialist) on Friday. Apparently I have arthritis in my SI joint on the right. An MRI Tuesday will tell me more, with follow-up at the MDs on Friday. The upside of this- at least I know what the problem is (with more specifics to come soon), and if I can get it under control (at least a little), I will feel better than I ever have during the season. The downside- pain sucks when you are trying to train. I just remind myself that others have encountered and overcome much bigger challenges. I will figure out how to make this work!!!!!!


  1. Ughh...hang in there! I'm sure it's just a relief to know what it is. Hopefully, the good doctors will find a way to make it better.

  2. You are truly an inspiration Kier, just the way I remember you in school!