This week I had a pretty big decision to make…
If you’ve ever been in a PT with me in the gym you might have heard me blab on about my hips at some point. Let me explain.
I first started experiencing hip/groin pain around about the age of 14/15, mainly when playing football or after playing football. It was around about this time I started trying the physio available at my football club which didn’t give me much relief. What started as a small niggle gradually got worse and worse probably as a result of just continually playing through pain, I think I thought pain was part and parcel of playing football.
As a few years passed, the pain got worse to the point it was beginning to hurt getting in and out of bed or the shower, simple daily life tasks. Around about 2016 I visited the GP and was referred for physio, after about 10 weekly visits I was referred to a specialist then to the orthopaedics, I should express these referrals were not quick.
I’d had X-rays done, bloods taken and various other tests, before eventually being referred for an MRI. After months of waiting I decided to visit Spire hospital and (my dad) decided to take the financial hit of getting an MRI done privately.
This was roughly the same time when I hit the deck during a football game as the pain was unbearable.
I had the MRI done and the diagnosis was labral tears and early onset of osteoarthritis in the hip region. The consultant advised being put on the waitlist for hip arthroscopy treatment. At this time I felt I’d tried all avenues and this was the only way out to try live an active lifestyle pain free.
This diagnostic was early 2020, at the time I’d completely stopped football (with no idea if I’d ever try playing again) and about the same time I decided to stop kidding on I knew what I was doing in the gym and began receiving coaching from Sean.
As lockdown 1.0 came I realised hip treatment was nowhere near close so I began doing some of my own research on hip treatment, physios, injuries, function and people with similar problems.
This brought to my attention a fair amount of negative reviews towards hip resurfacing treatment and should only be used as a very last resort. My big take aways doing research was with a proper strength and mobility plan you can reduce pain symptoms of hip labral tears.
So this is what I began doing, concentrating on strength and mobility. Lockdown helped as it gave me time to concentrate on these things and there was no football to tempt me back and make these things worse.
In between both lockdowns I met with an orthopaedic surgeon who advised surgery and put me on the waiting list. With lockdowns and covid I predicted this was not going to be a quick process so I continued concentrating on strength and mobility, and now had gyms back open to assist me.
Fast forward to last week. I received a letter with a date for hip surgery. Thankfully I am now in a position where the pain has severely reduced and is a lot less frequent. The hardest part when it was at its worst was I could go 2/3 weeks in severe pain, and 2/3 weeks pain free. Now it’s lot more consistent in that the pain is a lot less than it was back then.
I don’t believe it’s coincidental that pain has reduced since I began strength training.
Occasionally now I am sometimes sore after football, but because I only play once a week I can kind of get away with it. The pain probably impacted me mentally back then in terms of I became sick fed up of football when I was playing at a semi decent level. And I now know my trump card to be completely pain free would be calling it a day on football. Which would be a kick in the guts but one I’d accept.
Now I guess my message in all of this is if ever you experience some kind of injury, get 2nd, 3rd and 4th opinions. Do your research around this injury as I guarantee you won’t be the first to have it. And finally, another strong argument for proper strength training in a gym environment as benefits are endless.
Learn about your body and its capabilities before giving up on it.