Sunday, October 19, 2008

In which I encourage you to consult a medical professional:

In early 2005, I injured my right hip during a vigourous cardio class. Ever since then, I've had a lot of problems with it. I feel pain deep in the hip joint after only a minute or two of walking. I never sought medical advice because I thought, what could be done about it? What would I be told? Just "rest it", probably, right? So, I put up with the pain whenever I walked anywhere. My philosophy was that everyone in the world has their aches and pains, there's nothing that can be done.

A couple of weeks ago, the day after a 9.5 km stroll along Bloor Street, I woke up to a numb right leg and sharp back pain. This was sudden and serious enough to force me into action. I found a sports medicine/physiotherapy/chiropractic clinic where I could get immediate attention. It was definitely embarrassing to explain that I had hurt myself three and a half years ago and that I was only then looking for treatment.

The physiotherapist made a discovery - I have something called 'anteverted hips' which means that my hips are too flexible in one direction with diminished flexibility in the other direction. This explains why I'm so good at certain leggy yoga moves while I'm incapable of others! This anterversion thing was not, however, the cause of my pain. At the clinic, I had four sessions of ART, "active release techniques", administered by a chiropractor. This involves very deep massaging while the muscle is in use. If I understand correctly, the goal is to break down scar tissue from the old injury which is causing other muscles or tendons to get 'caught' when I walk.

Here is the big surprise: after only four sessions of ART, my hip pain is almost completely gone. I now have to walk for an hour on concrete sidewalk before I feel what I used to feel after just three minutes. I can't believe that so little treatment could make such an improvement to an old injury. Most of all, I'm shocked that a chiropractor and a physiotherapist could actually help me because I never had much faith in or respect for their fields of expertise.

Here's what I'd like to pass on to you: if you've got an injury or illness that bothers you, get treatment. Do it now! Don't be foolish like me: I hobbled around for three and a half years for no reason. If you've been putting up with a chronic condition for a long time, do something about it.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for this. You've kick me in the proverbial tookus.

Anonymous said...

funnily enough, akw, i think the "intimate" physical therapy i'm about to embark on is based on those same scar-tissue principles. i will keep you and the rest of the bad girls posted, cause it's just too surreal not to.

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