Freedom of Motion

Moving freely7/1/10 - Nothing makes a body feel young like the ability to move through a full range of motion, smoothly, effortlessly, painlessly.

Nothing makes a body feel old like painful hips do. A childhood injury left one of my hips susceptible to periodic pain that is aggravated by changes in weather, eating too much in the way of refined carbohydrates, sitting for too long, and failing to stretch properly and frequently.

Last winter's hikes through deep snow put a hurtin' on my hip and had me moving like Amos McCoy, who walked like a chicken with a limp. The pain did not improve with my usual yoga and repertoire of lower-back-strengthening exercises.

Advil helped, but the problem seemed to be chronic and I didn't want to take Advil for the rest of my life. The pain was disturbing my sleep. We bought a new mattress. It didn't help. Sleeping on the floor helped a little, but not enough. Hiking helped too, but the pain seemed worse the day after a hike.

When the joint began to feel not only painful, but also weak--as though it wasn't going to support my weight much longer--I thought I'd better look into it. My hip didn't hurt severely enough to indicate a bone fracture, but it did deliver some clicking and thumping sensations, which often indicate the involvement of tendons. Maybe tendonitis? Before seeking advice from an orthopaedist, I conducted an Internet search on hip pain and by golly, there it was. Tendonitis, yes indeed, right down to clicking and thumping sensations and disturbed sleep.

The best part is that exercises exist to treat the condition by strengthening the abs and buttocks. You don't have to call me twice to take advantage of something like that.

I worked a simple program twice a day. Within three days I was moving easier. Within five days, strenuous hikes didn't cause trouble. Within seven days I noticed that my back is stronger when I'm breaking up the caliche that lies under a garden bed I'm building. I'm sleeping through the night. When I stand up, my hip does not complain.

Reversing that hip pain is almost miraculous and I'm thrilled about it. Here's the link to the set of exercises I'm doing. If you visit the site, scroll down to "Exercises for Hip Pain: Working Out at Home." The routine is insanely simple and it feels fabulous. Works for me. If you're having hip pain and you're sure it isn't something serious, maybe the routine will work for you.