Monday, June 16, 2014

Hip Pain and Problems with an Easy Fix

Sometimes the most difficult health issues have the easiest fix that can't be seen. Simply because its too easy. We think it must be a bigger issue because the chiropractor or physical therapist is telling us one thing and our body's crying out in pain, while all along we only need a simple change. Here's a story about Karen and how a chain of events hurt her hips and how she remedied the problem after a few years of unnecessary appointments and many dollars later.

Karen was a healthy 50 year old woman who felt like she was 30. She was of average height and build and had no health issues. She ate right and walked daily and incorporated light excise into her life. One day while walking her dog through a tiered wooded park she an urge to run hard and fast through the empty area. She jumped and dodged through the woodsy park and hurled down to different levels and ended her run feeling good but wondering what on earth had come over her, perhaps she may pay for it later. The next day she felt a twinge in her groin area and it worsened over the next few weeks. It felt like a tendon or muscle was pulled very tight. Realizing this was not getting better she went to her chiropractor who said she had pulled a muscle and gave her some stretching exercises. Karen did them, but it took almost a year of stretches and chiropractic appointments before she felt good again. 

The next event in her life was a trip to Humboldt University, a school of outdoor stairs. You couldn't find more stairs in one place than this university. While visiting with her daughter they took a tour and spent the day climbing stairs, up and down they went all day. Karen had never had any issues with her knees before so when she woke up the next day with her knees aching she became very concerned. It progressively worsened throughout the next few days to the point she could barely get up and down her stairs at her home. She stopped walking the dog far, and hilly walks were cut back drastically. Karen had always been a crossed legged sitter, she would sit on the floor with projects and sit cross legged watching TV. She found she could no longer position herself like she had done since childhood. Crushed that it appeared age was setting in, Karen dealt with it as best she could and let time heal her pains. After year passed she had improved her knees (blog coming about how I fixed her knee problem). 

Now Karen's groin and knee problems were gone, but her hips were causing aching down one leg and sharp zings when she went up or down a step. Her lower back ached constantly and in the morning she could barely get out of bed, once she stood she felt much better. She began to go to the chiropractor regularly to have her hips adjusted. If she picked up anything heavy her hips was out again and back she went to have it adjusted. She spoke to the chiropractor about why the appointments and therapies weren't taking, and they kept suggesting exercising more as they noticed while stretching her legs they were very tight in the groin area and down her legs. They said exercise would tighten the muscles and hold her hip in place. 

Karen began to feel like age was really taking over body and decided gentle yoga would be best for her. From the first day she noticed her instructor stood a bit pigeon toed in front of the class. After weeks went by Karen realized that the teacher was drilling into the students to stand with their feet straight, and one day the instructor said you will look a bit pigeon toed if you truly stand with feet straight out in front of you. Karen lined up the outside of her feet in a straight line on her mat and felt very awkward, but made a conscious effort each class to line up her feet constantly.

Then the change came one night. While walking her dog up a slight slope Karen noticed she was teetering a bit in her gait. Like an overweight person who teeters from side to side. She even noticed that her knees where not bending very much. She tuned into her strange walk and how all the incidents in her past had created this new walk. The groin pull and the knee incident had put her in a protective mode while walking and she never noticed it. Her walks could only have continued if she has adjusted her walk to keep the pain away. These were not prominent movements an outside eye might see, but enough for Karen to take notice this particular night. She studied her walk the rest of the way home and remembered the yoga instructors mantra of straight feet! Karen began to pull in her feet from the slight outward stance to a straight foot stance and as importantly she began to bend her knees and ankles in a straight line forward as she walked. It felt like she was 20 years old again. She remembered how it felt to bend her joints and it gave her such a spring in her walk she knew immediately she had made an error in allowing her injuries to control her alignment. 

Karen walks everyday now and has to still think about aligning her walk, when she takes her mind off of it she wanders back to teetered walk slightly and open toed. Then she self corrects again. There were a few days that she had some foot cramps due to the new walking mode, but she called them happy cramps, since they were making such incredible changes in her life. She suddenly had a change in her hips, they were no longer aching and the chiropractic appointments stopped. She also laughingly mentioned her oncoming walks looks much more attractive than the old teetering Karen. The simple self correction fixed a problem that was controlling her life. Karen is back to long walks and feeling young again.

I just want to mention this story does not suggest chiropractors are not beneficial, they are very good at crisis situation and tune-ups. However, if you have to go regularly then the problem is not being addressed correctly. I try to tell my clients that if you continually work on a problem area and it does not get better, the problem is not coming from that area. Your organs and systems talk to your whole body and if they have a problem they very often voice there pain somewhere else. Look for story about Karen and her knees coming soon. It is a perfect example of the pain coming from somewhere else in the body. Also, Karen's hips problems were coming from her feet and knees.

If you suffer from hip problems perhaps this story can help heal your hip pain. Perhaps it will be a combination of this story and weight loss or a particular exercise that brings you back to a healthy place. Be opened minded and I hope this helps you.

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