I am a Lieutenant in the US Army and have been injured for 13 months. Here is my story:
In SEP of 2008, I started a vigorous training routine in preparation for Ranger School. My training was pretty hard on my body. We did such things as 3 mile buddy carries where if you were not carrying someone you were being carried. We also did a lot of walking with 50+ lbs packs. There were other fun things but the point is the training was extremely hard on my back. I pulled my hamstring on a 8 mile march and had to pull out of training for Ranger School. The injury was not serious and I recovered in a month. In early FEB 09, I was walking my dog , got up from sitting in a twisting motion, and was in terrible pain.
I managed to walk back to my car, pick up my wife and go to the ER on Fort Campbell. The doctor gave me an injection to relieve the pain, declared I had pulled my back and was given muscle relaxants and Motrin. At this point the pain was all over my lower back to include my spine. The pain slowly receded over 2 months but remained in my spine and left lower back. Once I was well enough, I began walking and a yoga routine. Both helped my back out a good deal. I would visit the Army doctors once a month to be told I still had a pulled back. They really did not examine me to come to that conclusion. The Fort Campbell pool opened up in May so I hit the water since I was swimmer. Within 2 months the pain in my spine was completely gone and has never come back .
In July I transferred units which means I got a new doctor to look at me. He sent me to the physical therapy and the chiropractor. Physical therapy was disappointing; I was shown some stretches that I already knew to help my back and that was that. The chiropractor declared I had a "stuck SI joint" and adjusted me. For the 1st time, I was pain free. However, the relief was short lived and I was in pain within a day. I could only be seen once every 10-14 days by the Army's chiropractor so I decided to pay out of pocket for a civilian chiropractor. I have been receiving adjustments, muscle stim and ultrasound treatments ever since. I see a chiropractor around 2 times a week.
During this time, I have scoured the internet looking for all info on SI Joint injuries. I discovered a brace that stabilizes the SI Joint and requested I get one. It helped for a while but then started to hurt more as I wore it. You can imagine my frustration when the orthopedic doctor at Fort Campbell did not know what an SI Joint brace was. The civilian chiropractor showed me stretches to aid my SI Joint. I also bought an exercise ball to sit on to relive by lower back from the stress of sitting down for long periods.
In DEC I practically begged for an MRI and finally got one 10 months after my injury. The MRI results showed I had a herniated L5/S1 disk, a bulging L4/L5 disk, and a loss of spacing in both disks. There was nothing about my SI joint in the MRI. I continue to swim, use an exercise bike , walk and stretch to remain in shape. All my current pain stems from my SI joint being out of place. I can tell when it slips out of place. It has never remained in place for more than 3 days.
Things are very critical for me. The Army could kick me out because I cannot do most of the physical things required of me. The treatment I have received thru the Army has been more than disappointing. Next week I am going to ask for a second opinion from a civilian doctor. If that request is denied I will pay out of pocket and go to the orthopedic clinic at Vanderbilt in Nashville.
Thank you for everyone who takes the time to read this and feel free to ask questions.