HIP INJURIES IN WOMEN AND HOW TO OVERCOME THEM
A few years ago I injured my hip, it wasn’t a sudden thing, evidently the injury had been there a while and a few pushes this way and that exacerbated it and I found myself close to unable to walk without tears. I couldn’t sleep at night everything was so tight and rigid and the only way things felt comfortable was with a tennis ball wedged into my right glute to relieve the tension held there by my glute overcompensating. I’d never really experienced anything like it, and, being relatively fit and able it was a bit of a gnarly shock.
After a few sessions with the physio working on it, I was sent for an MRI and discovered that I had labral tears on both sides of my hips.
“A hip labral tear involves the ring of cartilage (labrum) that follows the outside rim of the socket of your hip joint. In addition to cushioning the hip joint, the labrum acts like a rubber seal or gasket to help hold the ball at the top of your thighbone securely within your hip socket.” (MayoClinic, 2016)
Labral tears are not uncommon for women who have been through labour / child birth or have put excessive strain on their hips through strenuous physical exercise. For me it was probably a combination of both. Just recently after a couple of years of no pain whatsoever, and with no sudden change in exercise patterns, my hips flared up again.
There is a lot I’ve had to learn and retrain my body to do with regard to movement but most importantly the way I think about the injury and what it means to me. Because, when the body injures it’s a sign of many things not just the physical, we need to consider the metaphysical relationship too. Our bodies respond to the way we think, it’s impossible for it not to. And, whilst it’s different for everyone, these were some of the key lessons I have had to learn and continue to practice.
- Because an injury makes you feel weak and can make you feel as though you haven’t done enough to support your body remember… You are not weak or a failure because the injury is inflamed. Maybe, just maybe you have become head and heart strong and your body is trying hard to keep up, but something needs to pull you back a moment and ground you again.
- It’s ok to slow down. Really, the power of stepping back means that when the time is right you can be 100% again, but there are lessons you need to learn in the meantime.
- Physios are incredible practitioners and will impart knowledge on you that you can carry with you for life, but the approach can’t be injure – resolve – leave – repeat. The approach needs to incorporate resolve – practice – maintenance – improvement. For me this has meant revisiting the tailored exercises to strengthen my lazy glutes (glutes without training peace out on the couch and that’s a true story!) going to the physio and starting pilates, something I’ve never really done enough of.
- Listen to the other areas of your body that might be crying out to you at the same time and tune in. When my hips flare up, I generally see a huge change in my digestive system and this happens overnight. It’s awful but it’s a great sign and I hone in on what I can do to get more support to my gut. If I attend to my gut, the way I think changes, the way my cells absorb nutrients to heal the body improves and so on… it all flows, our bodies are made to function and support each system this way.
- Let emotion go when these injuries surface, don’t bottle them up. It’s so easy to be sucked into the vacuum of emotion and keep it all to yourself. Really your body needs the release, just like the strain, tightness or injury to it does.
- Timely as it was my hip flared up again recently just after a monumental period of stress, a “shame shit storm” I have named it (read more on that experience here) and I remembered reading a list of what ailments meant in the metaphysical space in Louise Hay’s “You Can Heal Your Life”. Interestingly enough Louise identified the probable causes of problematic hips related to a ‘major thrust in moving forward’, having the capacity to ‘carry the body in perfect balance’, and a ‘fear of going forward in major decisions’. Which, if you wanted to put all my thoughts and emotions in a nut shell then that would most likely be the crux of it.
And, whilst I still evidently am learning and practicing every day with how I treat my body, I know each time I listen in it’s speaking to me. This time with all the above in mind, I know my body was trying to bring me back down to earth, to ground and secure me where perhaps I’ve haven’t felt as so for a couple of months. That in itself is the most powerful lesson for me right now. I don’t feel weak because of it, if anything taking these few steps back are exactly what I need to do to revisit the lessons and move further forward. All in time…and with baby steps too.