I work in orthopedics so every day I see people who have difficulty walking let alone exercise. My advice to them was do what you can do. If it is a good day try to do a little more-exercise, take a walk or a swim. I never quite understood why it wasn’t that easy. I attributed it to not being motivated.
I ran the Pittsburgh half marathon in May. Approximately a month after running I developed a nagging right hip pain. Through the summer it was manageable but I noticed I was not able to run more than 6 miles. I did well for about 2 months but then the pain began to be more constant. Running a mile became a chore. I still was stubborn and thought it would pass (this is the danger of being in healthcare or as a friend who was a physician told me it is not good to treat yourself.)
The major part of my problem was I thought I knew the culprit-osteoarthritis. That somehow to me has always been the worst case scenario. I don’t see that as true for the patients I see but do see it in that light when it hits me.
I tried all the conservative treatments: rest, ibuprofen, supplements and working only upper body. It helped a little but I needed to face my fears and get an appointment. Please understand it had nothing to do with my trust in the doctors I work with but it was about me. My worst fear was I would have to curtail all activities.
I finally made the appointment and guess what guys-I DO NOT have hip arthritis. The x-rays look good. Now they think it may be a labral tear. What that means is I may have a type of torn cartilage in my hip. I have an MRI scheduled soon.
What did I learn from this experience? I learned that pain can stop you from doing exercise. You definitely need to listen to your body. Second, seek treatment sooner than later. I haven’t done more damage but I could have alleviated much of the problem by seeing someone sooner.
I think that I and my patients have benefited from this experience. I am able to have more empathy and will be able to impart my gained knowledge to assist them.