Recently one of my referral patients from my yoga community came to me to be treated for her chronic left hip pain. She’s has chronic neck issues and had three different opinions about her left hip first from her primary physician, then from an orthopedic surgeon, and then finally the neurologist with recommendations for either pain medications or total hip replacements. She was cynical at our initial visit, and I could see that her trust in me was being tested and challenged me on multiple levels.
She clearly had her opinions about her OWN hip and I listened and she had a valid point. She felt the pain in the hip is rooting from the inner thigh region and the whole left limbo-pelvic region was “out of whack” in her exact words. She was very clear that she did not want the surgery and let me know that her years of doing yoga was doing her hip good, however, in the last 3 months or so, her yoga instructor who’s worked with her for the last few years let her know that the hip was losing motion and was getting worse.
After thorough functional evaluation of the hip, I targeted the pelvic floor, the limbo pelvic alignment, the hip flexors, and extensors as well as the lumbar region using various techniques. Within 4 visits, there was significant improvement. Currently we are working on getting her core to “fire” so that she can keep this alignment long term.
The take home message? Since going through the yoga certification recently, I’ve recognized a pattern with people. We move in the way that is most easy and convenient, which means, when we begin to have restrictions, we bypass that restriction to create more movement somewhere else in the body. We repeat this process until the body breaks down, ultimately ending up on heavy medications and/or on the surgical table.
Creating balance in the body is utmost important, especially for us women. I am seeing more and more diasti recti (separation of the abdominal muscles) from weight gain and/or from pregnancy. This prevents the “core” muscles from activating properly. It is astonishing how many people are walking around playing tennis, golf, and/or participating in yoga/pilates/zumba classes without awareness to this fundamental region of the body. The “core” muscles are not just the abdominal muscles, its the deeper layers both under the abdominal muscles and the back extensors that we barely pay any mind to. We’ve become a sedentary society with lack of movement. In order to move or exercise, we frequent a gym or a studio. My point is that our lives are not conducive to exercise or movement, and that when we do decide to move, we create movement with an assumption that our bodies are able to handle that movement.
Do me a favor and keep in mind the following, and it will save you your joints, distribute the fat in a nice shapely way rather that accumulating around the middle:
- When sitting, sit tall with shoulders down and back, core engaged and sitting on both sit bones evenly, avoid slouching or crossing you legs.
- Take frequent breaks during your work day by simply getting up and stretching so that your joints don’t get stiff and rusty.
- Learn to take deep full breaths in for 5 seconds and let the air out slowly, counting for 10. Repeat this cycle of breaths and it’ll help you bring mindfulness to your body.
- When beginning an exercise regimen, ease into it slowly, let your inner self be the guide, not the other people around you in a yoga class who’ve been at it a lot longer.
- Take small steps, but take a step toward the goal every day, understand that the results come with consistent efforts toward the goal, and enjoy the process.
- Smile more and take note of the people and the nature around you, learn to marvel at its beauty.
- Learn to want what you have rather than always seeking to go after what you don’t have. It’s only a matter of time until you get to what you want because you have everything that you need right where you are.
If you ever need a hand with rehab and physical therapy, I am happy to help, call me at 866-857-8826!
Have a great day!