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Very large reduction in pain supposedly from hip osteoarthritis

Discussion in 'Success Stories Subforum' started by Summer breeze, Sep 20, 2015.

  1. Summer breeze

    Summer breeze New Member

    Around November 2014 my right hip area started hurting a fair amount. I don’t know what caused it, though I did remember feeling a slight muscle tweak as I was bounding up the stairs. After a while, I was limping about painfully. I remember doing a food run for our Christmas get-together, having to park far from the store, and having real trouble moving as fast as I wanted to. I normally walk around briskly, but my hip hurt quite a bit. In early January I saw my family doctor who sent me for an X-ray of my right hip joint. The X-ray showed very mild to mild degeneration in the right hip joint, and some joint space narrowing. So my family doctor recommended a sports medicine clinic that she referred patients to.

    My first appointment at the sports medicine clinic was in mid-January 2015. At the sports medicine clinic one of the doctors looked at my report from the X-ray clinic, examined me and diagnosed two things: a strained hip flexor, and osteoarthritis of the right hip joint. He thought it was likely more the hip flexor strain that was causing the pain. After that I started twice a week sessions with one of the physiotherapists on staff. She used hands-on physical therapy and acupuncture, and assigned me daily home exercises. She felt that the main cause of the pain was the hip osteoarthritis rather than the strained hip flexor. Her treatments fixed up the hip flexor strain within about a month, but the pain remained. I had pain in the hip joint as well as radiating pain down my leg. Both were awful in their own way. I always had a limp and there were many motions that hurt. The radiating pain usually occurred when I was still and it could be anywhere in my leg – front, back, side. It could go all the way to my foot, or just partway down, like say to the knee. It disturbed my sleep as I tossed and turned to try to make it go away. My physiotherapist felt that the radiating pain was due to a pinched or damaged nerve caused by the joint space narrowing. Her treatments did give some relief, but the problem was still there. The pain would intensify again later. I dropped or curtailed most exercise, including my rowing machine which was the main way I was planning on getting cardio exercise that winter.

    In mid-May 2015, since things weren’t improving the physiotherapist said I should see the clinic’s founder, the main doctor there. He examined me and informed me that I would eventually need hip replacement surgery due to the osteoarthritis, no question about it. It could be now, or in 5 years, 10 years or more, but it was a certainty I would need hip replacment. This was obviously a depressing diagnosis. I was surprised that this kind of problem could come out of the blue like this. And I kicked myself for not starting a regular practice of yoga years earlier, which I felt may have prevented this. I felt I had blown it for my health and fitness goals. I’m ambitious in this regard but have not been consistent or followed through. I had only recently found a yoga teacher who’s style worked for me and I was excited about pursuing that path to greater flexibility and strength. I had recently gotten the rowing machine, and also recently started exercising with kettlebells, which really felt great. I wasn’t sure now what I would do. I resigned myself to working within this new limitation. But I’m also optimistic, so was determined to continue with yoga, kettlebells, bodyweight exercises and so on to see where it would take me. I was sad to think I wouldn’t run/jog again or skip rope, both of which I enjoy, but thought I could get cardio exercise on my mountain bike instead.

    In my sessions at the clinic, the doctors and physiotherapist would move my legs around, assessing hip joint mobility, and would always tell me that the restriction to my movement was caused by the osteoarthritis. I found that a tough diagnosis to take, because I had always assumed it was just because I was stiff, and that I could correct it with yoga. I’m 50 years old and have always had a desk job, and haven’t had a regular program of exercise or stretching since I was in my teens, and I’ve long been pretty stiff in my hamstrings and hips. My wife wasn’t sure whether she believed what they were saying because she knew me to be pretty stiff. She asked me whether I had informed them of that. I don’t remember mentioning it to them because they seemed pretty knowledgeable.

    Anyway, once I received the hip-replacement diagnosis, I decided to do everything in my power to delay getting an artificial hip. I researched herbs and supplements and figure I’d start on a regimen of chondroitin, glucosamine and Longvida activated curcumin. These are good for joints, including anti-inflammatory effects. I even started cod liver oil. In February I had received a yoga routine from my teacher that could help my hip, and I resolved to practice it regularly. I also decided I should try out Scott Sonnon’s Ageless Mobility joint health DVD, as his story and experience and discoveries were compelling. As it turned out, aside from doing yoga occasionally, I didn’t end up doing any of these things because of what I did next.

    It occurred to me to call a friend who is a skilled healer. I related my great concern about the hip replacement diagnosis. He said I was too young to be having this problem and recommended a book, The Divided Mind, by John Sarno. He told me that he felt a lot of my stiffness was held in my mind. He was familiar with me that way because years earlier he had cured painfully spasmed muscles in my neck/jaw/collarbone/shoulder area (which was brought on by work stress). I right away went back to my desk and Googled the book and Dr Sarno. I was impressed and excited and recognized this may very well be what was going on with me—and I sure hoped it was because it was much more hopeful than my diagnosis from the sports medicine clinic. I ordered The Divided Mind from Amazon and had it in my hands the next day. I also watched the 20/20 show about Dr Sarno on YouTube, read through the Thank You Dr Sarno website, and read through this forum. Right away I started feeling better. Within a few days to a week I was mostly pain-free.

    This was at the end of May 2015. Most of my hip joint pain and radiating leg pain went away then and hasn’t returned. The limp has gone away and walking is again pleasurable and life-affirming. I do occasionally get radiating pain down my leg. This sometimes happens when I’m still, but that lasts just a few minutes and goes away as soon as I get up. My sleep is now undisturbed – no pain. But I don’t feel I’m out of the woods yet. I still need to confirm how the hip is when I’m running, rowing or skipping rope, etc. It’s been a busy summer and I haven’t exercised. Also, this summer I didn’t spend any time looking into this further. I didn’t read Dr Sarno’s book further (I had only gotten about halfway through), or get on this TMS forum or anything else. I’m just starting again now, which is why I’m typing my story now though I had wanted to back in early June. Also, though most of the hip joint pain is gone, it can still be sore in certain movements and I’m aware of it as a sensitive area that way. For instance deep knee bends at the fridge are harder to get up out of than before. Also lifting my legs into the car - it might be still be a bit painful ( I’m unsure, because I’ve not been paying as much attention since late May), though it’s definitely better now, because when I really had the pain I had to lift my right leg into the car with my hand. Yesterday I ran a bit on the sidewalk to get out of the rain and into my car, and it felt fine. Overall things are so much better, say 90% better, and in some aspects 95% or more. But I still am not as strong and agile in my right leg because of whatever pain remains.

    A few notes:

    - When I started reading The Divided Mind I made a list of the things that I could be angry about. It was a helpful exercise. Although I wasn’t unaware of any of these issues, it had a crystallizing effect to see them laid out on a page together. Also it reminded me of how big an impact some of them were having in my day to day life right now. It also reminded me to chip away at solutions and take a philosophical view rather than tense up angrily at any of the issues.

    - Back in December 2014 I and my wife and kids were laid out flat for over a week by the nastiest cold I could remember experiencing. During that period of 1-2 weeks, I felt no hip and leg pain at all. This absence of pain recurred when I had smaller colds twice during the winter months of 2015. Interestingly, when I mentioned this to the doctors and physiotherapist at the sports medicine clinic, they didn’t seem interested. In my opinion, this absence of pain was an important observation. Based on Dr Sarno’s work, I think what happened is that the colds provided sufficient misery to distract me from whatever emotions the hip/leg pain were trying to distract me from and therefore I didn’t need the hip/leg pain to provide distraction.

    - I am a perfectionist, I fit that personality model.

    - I have suffered from the following ailments which I understand can all be caused by TMS: OCD, eczema, spasmed muscles through neck/shoulders/collarbone area, lower back pain and stiffness, sore and tight Achilles tendons, strained hamstrings, epidydimal cyst, eye twitch, elbow tendinitis.

    - About a week or two after learning of Dr Sarno and studying the available TMS resources I went for a bike ride for exercise. My right hip area was hurting after one or two laps of the neighbourhood, but I ignored it as advised by Dr Sarno and others and the pain just went away. I did 2 or 3 more laps and felt great. The knowledge that I won’t break my body is powerful.

    - Along with that point is the very important understanding that the pain is psychosomatic. That makes all the difference to me. When I do feel pain, I know it isn’t caused by something wrong with my body, so psychologically I’m happy. In that sense the pain isn’t ‘real’ so no worries, at least not nearly as much. I mean, I know it’s real pain, but it’s not much of a concern.

    - As I mentioned above, most of my hip and leg pain went away within a week of learning of Dr Sarno and TMS and reading up on them. In the course of this reading I read of plantar fasciitis. I had never experienced it before but now felt occasional twinges of pain coming from the soles of my feet on several occasions! This was in the first week or two after getting rid of most of the hip and leg pain. But because I had read of the insidious way TMS can move around the body, I was prepared, and banished that pain within a minute. I haven’t felt it since. I have occasionally noticed pain appear in several other areas, but have likewise banished it in seconds, reassured by the knowledge of what’s really going on.

    - I am more likely to feel hip pain (or pain in other locations) if I’m stressed, or busy and not taking as good of care of myself.

    - I wonder whether the pain I still feel is caused partly (or wholly) by the osteoarthritis in my hip joint, or is the pain entirely psychosomatic.
     
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  2. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    That's a great write-up of your success, SB, thank you for posting it!

    Here's my take on this residual hip pain. You have to remember that if you have an injured body part, the nerves at that location do not create pain. They have to send a danger message to the brain. The brain processes the message and sends back an appropriate amount of pain. In TMS, of course, it creates pain for its own purposes, but it will conveniently use the site of old injuries or weaknesses like a little bit of arthritis.

    What we have to ask ourselves is whether the danger message is legitimate or not. Do you need to pay attention to it and take action? (like not move, and call an ambulance if you've broken your hip, as I did in 2008 when I crashed my bicycle). Or is it okay to ignore the pain and continue doing what you were doing? (as I do now when the surgery site, where they had to cut through to insert pins for my hip, is aching when I do my lunges and squats at the gym).

    Here's a story for you - in fact, this is one of my own personal successes and it illustrates this concept perfectly.

    Not that long ago, certainly after I started doing this work, I had to go in to the dentist for yet another crown (I'm in my 60s, and my old fillings have been falling apart for a number of years). I've always been a horrible, tense dental patient - the result of having a lot of fillings when I was very young, at a time when they used Novocaine which was dangerous for little children - so I never got to have enough, and screamed my way through many appointments. That poor dentist. Eventually, as I grew up and anesthetics improved, I was able to get numb, but it took about three times the normal dose.

    My current dentist would numb me up with the normal amount of anesthetic and start drilling (perennially hopeful) and then have to stop and give me two more shots because I was yelping with pain - and we'd all have to hang around for another ten minutes while the extra shots took effect. This time I decided that wasn't going to happen. He gave me the first round, my lips and gums felt numb as usual, and he started drilling - which is when I typically tense up. So the first thing I did was to consciously keep my body relaxed, doing some meditative breathing. I heard the drill, smelled that smell of burning bone (yuck) and felt the first zap of nerve pain. At which point I literally told my brain that I have an excellent dentist, that I was perfectly safe and in absolutely no danger, and that it did NOT need to produce any pain in my tooth.

    And the pain went away. And it stayed away. And I swear that this is 100% true. I almost couldn't believe it, but by that time I had learned to "hear" my inner negative self-talk, and to turn it around to something positive. Which was to tell myself that it was real, and that I had succeeded, and that I deserved to have this success.

    So I guess you have to ask yourself whether it's dangerous or beneficial to keep exercising that hip joint. If it's beneficial (and I believe that even the traditional medical community says it is), then you can use your new knowledge to make your own decision about whther that pain message is necessary or not. What I do when I feel pain during exercise is to visualize the improvement to my muscles that is occurring. That works, too!

    By the way, you sound like someone who would enjoy reading one of our favorite books around here: When The Body Says No, by Dr. Gabor Mate. Dr. Mate gave me hope that I can reverse the damage that I might have imposed on my body by decades of stress and repression, AND that I have the ability to maintain my future health and keep my own immune system strong. His work complements TMS theory perfectly.

    Again, thank you for posting! We'd love to hear more!

    ~Jan
     
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  3. Summer breeze

    Summer breeze New Member

    Thanks Jan for the really good tips and advice and for sharing your experience.

    SB
     
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  4. Summer breeze

    Summer breeze New Member

    Jan, I just Googled Dr Gabor Mate and watched his interview with Democracy Now on YouTube. He's great! I really like what he has to say and how he says it. Such important findings. And that's what Amy Goodman looks like - I've been hearing her voice on NPR for years!

    SB
     
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  5. Summer breeze

    Summer breeze New Member

    After work today, I went for a bike ride. I decided I would try to hop onto my bike from the ground. Lately I've been standing on a stair to get on, because I'm really inflexible in my hips, and I'm afraid I might rip something inside if I hop on. But I hopped on anyway, and felt a twinge of pain in my hip and a strain in my lower back. Of course I worried that I just messed myself up. Two laps of the neighbourhood in my hip was hurting, not a lot, but a concern. I was wondering whether I had really recovered, and is there really something physically wrong with my hip causing the pain. I did 5 laps of neighbourhood in all, and then did some kettlebell exercise, followed by stretches. And now I feel fine. No pain in the hip. I can't remember at what point I didn't notice the pain anymore, maybe by the end of the bike ride (?)
     
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  6. julioalmeda219

    julioalmeda219 Newcomer

    Hello,

    I'm new to this, but got diagnosed on January this year with osteoarthritis in my spine and hip after suffering since I was 55 (now 59). Just wondering if theres anyone else with the same here, who can share what they do to ease the pain (other the tablets), and how they cope with really bad days?

    Finding it quite difficult to come to terms with really. i am constantly tired, which isnt helping to motivate me to exercise- got into a viscous cycle.

    Thanks

    Julio
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 22, 2017
  7. Tennis Tom

    Tennis Tom Beloved Grand Eagle

    I run in the pool for 30 minutes a day using a flotation belt, for aerobic fitness and to maintain muscle tone and flexibility in my "arthritic" right hip. It allows me to keep playing competitive tennis with a limp.
     

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