The more I experiment with movements and apply deep thought to my situation, the more I’m coming to believe that, above all, I have to take responsibility for the health of my hips. It’s up to me to fix me. Not doctors. Not physical therapists. Not Google.
It’s so easy to visit a medical professional and expect them to rain down magical healing to my situation. Don’t get me wrong, medical professionals have their place, especially where some testing is concerned, but ultimately I’m responsible for figuring out what’s going on with my body. For me, this means taking time to put down the computer, get up, explore movements, and take careful note of how these movements make me feel and what muscles might be dysfunctional. Afterwards, I’ll often jump back on the computer to look for specific muscle groups or answers, but I CAN’T let Google do the thinking for me. I need to be naturally curious. Gone are the days where I’d lay on the couch and Google medical possibilities for hours on end but end up discouraged because I found no answers – or worse, too many horrible possibilities. Little did I realize I needed to get my butt up and explore movements for myself.
It’s way to easy to expect doctors, physical therapists, and other medical professionals to do the thinking for us. That’s a trap, because the truth of the matter is we’re just one of many, many patients they see. I’ve had physical therapists recommend cookie cutter exercises/treatments for weeks before realizing they’d forgot the actual details of my situation. I’ve had doctors see me for 15 minutes tops and then recommend hip replacements. I’ve had docs say, “It doesn’t matter what the cause is, you need a hip replacement.”
Not only that, but the way many of them (not all) are educated about the human body is simply not adequate. Many standard doctors don’t know enough about nutrition, or the way the entire body works together. Many are trained to accept common “facts” about the human body that are not facts at all, such as the “fact” that hip surgery will fix all your problems, or that all the pain is coming solely from the joint, as opposed to the muscles. One physical therapist I visited with noticed my lack of internal rotation and immediately said, “Well, that may just be because of the joint.” What the heck does that mean? He clearly didn’t know (or have the time) to figure out what the root cause was and just used the nebulous, general term of “the joint” to diagnose (and discourage) me as unfixable unless I have surgery. I don’t think medical professionals realize how discouraging their words can be. It can shut people down from even trying to figure out the real cause and solution of an issue might be. Fast forward to today, and through trial, error, and experimentation I’m learning that I can see immediate improvements in my internal rotation by working on my internal rotator muscles through rotational lunges and reverse clams.
With all that said, I’ve had both physical therapists and doctors be very helpful in some ways. It was a different physical therapist that helped me learn that much of my pain was coming from my muscles, as opposed to the hip joint itself. And my stem cell doctor was great. Heck, we got cartilage growing back in my hip joint, which is too freakin’ cool.
All this to say, I’m learning I have to be curious about my body, because it’s up to me to fix it.