Three months have passed since my last post, and not that much has changed. The cortisone shot that I had didn't do anything. Bad News: I received no relief from the pain. Good News: That means the pain isn't coming from my hip joint. It was good to know that I could stop worrying about the actual hip joint and focus on the muscles around my hip. Through regular massage via the amazing Jessica (intuitivelotus.com) and tennis ball humping I was as close to pain-free as I've been since before the tear. A week or so before Thanksgiving I was feeling so much better that... I started running. Yes! Running! I ran a mile in 15 minutes or so, ok... that's not running that's "jogging" or whatever, but in any event I was going in a forward direction faster than walking. Muscle memory is incredible. Although I hadn't ran in a year I felt my body moving as though only a few weeks had passed. I had to keep slowing myself down. My whole body tingled with glee on that first "run". I ran again that week, two miles in one week after almost a year of zero.
On Thanksgiving, with my boyfriend's family acting supportive but worried, I went out into the freezing rain and ran a mile. It felt awesome although it was simultaneously freezing. Unfortunately the next day I went to the gym, and I pushed myself a little too far. I'm not mad at myself. I have to relearn my boundaries every day. Every day is a test of what I can and can't do. There is no clear forward/linear direction in this healing process. (I will get to more of that later.) So I overdid it at the gym not running (I stopped when I was starting to have the old shooting pains, my hip had had enough.) but with tiny stupid weights. I was trying to strengthen my back and triceps to prepare for swimming again. I am completely useless in the water unless I have built up my arms and back. I ended up pulling the muscle that runs along the bottom of the scapula; so badly in fact that I had to take muscle relaxers and sit with a heating pad on my back for a week. After several days of using the heating pad, then doing the yoga pose plow, my back returned to normal – but my hip returned to a near constant state of pain. I'm sure the fact that I pulled a muscle that is right next to where my psoas connects to my spine did not help my situation.
I went to a follow-up appointment with my orthopedic a few weeks ago. Luckily (or not so luckily) the pain in my groin was flaring pretty bad that morning. I made my doctor feel where I was experiencing the pain. The thing with orthos is, no matter how great they are, they are concerned with bones and joints, that's it. The surrounding muscle and fascia could be on the moon for all they care. Once he felt where the muscle was pulling he had a very surprised expression on his face. "It's... it's like a cord! That's... impressive!" "That's not impressive," I responded, "it f*cking hurts!" He decided to refer me to Dr.Orefice at Active Health. I went to my first appointment with Dr.Orefice last week. He decided that he will mostly be using ART or Active Release Techniques to help my psoas calm down and break up scar tissue. I really hope that this is finally the procedure I need to break up the sh*t residing in my hip. During the first visit, even though it was painful I felt that he was getting to the major sources of my pain. OK, so what is ART and how does it work?
From Active Health's website:
"ART providers utilize highly developed tactile skills and knowledge of physiological symptom patterns to locate scar tissue adhesions on and in between muscles and nerves. A precise hand or thumb contact is applied to the correct area (tension to the tissue) and the recipient is directed to move the effected region of the body through a specific range of motion (muscle is shortened then lengthened). This causes the muscles to slide under the ART providers contact. This technique has proven to rapidly break up scar tissue and yield recovery of many types of soft tissue pain conditions found in the work place and in sports."
2010 was a long and frustrating year. I've decided that this year, in order to better deal with my pain and anxiety issues I will try to be a more faithful yogi. I came across the book "A Year of Living Your Yoga: Daily Practices to Shape Your Life" by Judith Hanson. As I was searching to see if there were any blogs that reviewed 'A Year of Living Your Yoga', I came across a blog called Yoga Dork. Yoga Dork is just one of the blogs trying to practice yoga daily and put into practice Hanson's daily insights to approaching life and yoga. So I will be trying to do yoga every day, on days where my psoas/hips are really tight I will be practicing my new favorite type of yoga: yin yoga.
I've been doing home practice since most of the yoga classes in this area (at times I'm available) are vinyasa. Though every teacher is different, I've found that most vinyasa classes move too quickly. I've always preferred slower paced yoga, being able to stay in poses and really enjoy their full benefit. I've noticed great improvement in my flexibility since practicing yoga regularly a month or so after the surgery and now. Practicing has made me grateful for how far I've come. Even though I still experience pain, my hip has more flexibility and is able to do more poses without modifications.