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L5 to SI fusion? Is this Sacralization?

Hi - 38M here.

I have been experiencing lower back pain on the left side for the last few years on and off. I had X-rays in late 2017 which read as the following on my notes:

"XR Sacroiliac joints both normal. There is partially bony fusion of the left lateral aspect of L5 to the sacrum. This latter appearance may be the cause of the patient's AM stiffness and pain" - I think at this point I'd told the doc I was stiff on a morning, to be honest nowadays I am 'stiff' but the pain doesn't appear as much until later on.

I work an office job, 9-6, and am seated most of the day. The last couple of weeks I seem to have had a bit of an episode of increased pain, and the thing that is really bothering me more than anything is the pain on one side of my lower back when rising from a seated position. I do have stiffness across my lower back but the pain is concentrated on the left side which correlates with the X-ray results.  I do feel quite stiff, I can't touch my toes for instance, not that I attempt it too much!

Foam rolling gives me relief but only for a short time. Lacrosse ball massage is a no no I think, this left me in a lot of pain the last time I tried it. I'm confused as to the differing advice I have had and seen. I thought Yoga would be a good idea but again this seems to have made me worse lately the next day for instance despite giving me relief in the hours after it.

I've bought The Back Mechanic book by Stuart McGill and am reading through it, but will this help me? It seems to be very heavy on disc problems which I think is something I don't suffer with (yet, mercifully!). Will the Big 3 exercises from the book be useful for someone with SI joint problems? Is this the same as Sacrilization? I always assumed I'd injured myself and that had snowballed over the years but from what i can gather my issue with the natural fusion now may be congenital.

Any suggestions really welcome!



  • LizLiz Posts: 9,768

    Hello ajguk

    welcome to spine-health

    There are no medical professionals on this forum side of the site. Therefore, no one is capable or permitted to provide any type of medical advice. A medical professional is the only person who can make a diagnosis.

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    Veritas-Health Forum Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • ajguk

    To start with x-rays are not a very good indicator of what you have going on, secondly if you are not seeing a spine specialist, orthopedic or neurosurgeon that should be your next step, they will be able to get you the proper diagnostic testing and the proper examinations that will identify your source of pain and hopefully provide you with relief.

    Take care and keep us posted


    Veritas-Health Moderator

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  • memerainboltmemerainbolt IndianaPosts: 6,484


    Chip gave you some very good advice. X-rays will ony show the bones where a MRI will show everything plus the nerves. Sorry, but we cannot recommend any type of exercise routine. That will have to come from you doctor.

    Good luck and keep us posted.

    Veritas-Health Forum Moderator
    Please read my  Medical History
  • Hi

    Thank you for your prompt replies! In the UK I'll need a referral even if I go private, but I think that's the next thing to do and hopefully I can get on the right track again. Once again many thanks and I'll update you!

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