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Chair and Possible SI Joint Problem

I'm having pain in my lower back and it mostly feels like tight muscle pain. It's there nearly the entire day, from when I wake up to when I go to bed. It's a bit self-diagnosed until I can get in to see a doctor, but I believe it's something to do with the SI joint. I've had knee and ankle issues for about 6 years now, and I've completely adjusted how I go up and down stairs and how I life heavy items. I don't have any major pain in the SI joint, but I do feel a really great sensation, almost like pressure release, when lying on a tennis ball and rolling over that part of my glutes.

My back is often stiff and it cracks and pops with minimal twisting. My chiropractor told me that I have degenerative disc disease in 2 of my lower discs.
A deep back massage brings almost complete relief about 50% of the time (I've never had a consistent person do the massage, so it could just finding the right person).

One big thing I’m trying to assess is what kind of chair I should get for work. I purchased a Herman Miller Aeron Chair (size C) a few months ago and it seems to be making the problem worse. Is there a better chair (possibly cheaper!) that I can get to help with this problem?


  • Hi - I'm sorry I don't know much about chairs. I do know a lot about SI joint dysfunction (23 years - Ankylosing Spondylitis). The two things you mentioned (deep tissue massage and tennis ball massage) have caused incredible pain and damage to me in the past.  Adjustments, too, caused unbelievable pain. Usually you feel actual, palpable  pain in/around your SI joint (but we are all different). Is your pain going down your leg, through  your hip, into your groin? That is a telltale sign of SI. You will also find that MRIs, CTs and X-rays often turn up "perfect" even though your pain is very real. The best way to figure this out before it gets worse is to see a pain management doctor. Every adult has some type of DDD (your chiro's comment) from wear and tear on our spine over time - just depends on how bad it is and if there are nerve related injuries. Have you asked your work about getting a desk that alternates from sitting to standing? That didn't help me, but has helped many people where I work. Best of luck to you!

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