Those Pesky Hips

Although my story of pain is a success story, sometimes there are still setbacks. This week, shortly after publishing Monday's post about moving my exercise routine forward, my body reminded me that I can't take anything for granted. I've been reminded of this before, like when I fell down the stairs three weeks before the wedding, but at least this time things were slightly more under my control.

On Wednesday I noticed my back seemed sort of stiff. I've been working on getting my hips stretched out fully so that I'll be ready to play golf and tennis (if I so fancy it), but for whatever reason – perhaps I've been sitting more than usual or skipping my exercises on Monday night wasn't the best idea – the stretches were not doing enough. Or I wasn't doing them enough.

In case you weren't aware, stiff hips can cause lower back trouble. And then when the back gets stiff, that can exacerbate the hip tightness even further, causing more back pain. It's a vicious cycle. Read my post Hips Don't Lie for a more detailed discussion of the matter.

Of course there was the little twinge of panic. Does this mean I'm back to constant pain and popping ibuprofen constantly? It doesn't take much to throw me over the what-if cliff. If you've suffered from chronic pain before you know how frightening it can be.

I was also annoyed that I might have to skip swimming on Thursday night. And the Zumba class I had been considering going to today. I was really annoyed, actually, to the point of thinking maybe it would be OK, when I know full well that those are two activities that don't loosen the hips and in fact would make things worse.

A quick call to Super Physio's office confirmed this fact, much to my dismay, but not to my surprise.

So I've been stretching out my hips for the past 48 hours. Every chance I get. Luckily I know three variations of the stretch, so can do some at work, and even when waiting for the bus.

I'm irritated I didn't get to swim or dance this week, but I was also reminded of an important lesson. I need to pay attention to my body even more when I'm adding in new movement. If right now I was just doing walking I wouldn't have this problem. But I'm (very happily) going to yoga, taking a tap class and getting back into Zumba and swimming. It's an increase in activity that seems amazing when viewed from the standpoint of where I was last summer – when I was having trouble walking because my back was hurt so badly.

But it also means that I'm more likely to get stiff hips. And my neck and shoulders will also be more prone to tightness. I know the exercises and the stretches to do to fix these little wobbles, and if I want everything to work, I need to be vigilant and actually do them!

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