Story by Annette:
Last summer, I started to experience occasional twinges of pain in my hips. At first, I ignored it, thinking it would go away on its own. No such luck.
As time passed, the pain become more intense. I started avoiding certain movements in yoga class. Camel, wheel, and even up dog were out of reach.
After a while, I reached a point where everyday activities, such as getting in the car and rolling over in bed, were incredibly painful. I woke up regularly at night, because if I wanted to shift my position I had to move very carefully to avoid crying out in pain.
Finally, I decided that it was time to see someone. Since I’m holistically-minded, I started with a chiropractor. For three months, I faithfully got adjusted three times a week. The adjustments felt great, and helped my body in other ways, but my hip pain persisted.
I continued my search for healing by trying acupuncture and massage. Both had the same effect as the chiropractic care – they felt great and helped my body in other ways, but had little lasting impact on my hip pain.
After months of no progress with holistic techniques, my husband, worried that something was really wrong, convinced me to see a doctor. I’m glad I did. The doctor took x-rays and did an exam, and then ruled out the outlier possibilities of things like premature arthritis, nerve damage, or a tumor. Although this was great for peace-of-mind, it wasn’t the best thing the doctor did for me that day.
The best thing he did for me was to recommend that I see a physical therapist. It hadn’t occurred to me to try this modality, as I had always thought physical therapy was for helping people who were recovering from big things like surgery or a car accident.
Although I had the option of pursuing PT through Kaiser, where I’m insured, I was more comfortable working with someone I knew. I had met Liz Walley at a business networking event the year before. We hit it off and later got to know each other better over lunch.
So, I reached out to Liz and scheduled an appointment – which turned out to the best thing I’d done in my entire hip-pain journey.
When she did my initial exam, Liz immediately noticed what no other professional had. She asked me to stand naturally in front of the mirror and tell her what I saw, with specific regard to my spine. I couldn’t see anything at first – but as soon as she pointed it out to me, it was obvious. I was tilted to the left, which was apparent by the fact that when I stood naturally, my right arm lay very close to my body, while there was a big gap between the left side of my body and my left arm.
During that first appointment, Liz also was quick to figure out that the source of my hip pain wasn’t my hips – it was my low back. This became clear when she located the spot on my low back and pressed on it, causing sharp jolts of pain in my hips.
Finally! Someone knew what the heck was going on with my body – and even better – she knew what to do about it. Liz gave me a series of exercises to do at home, which helped me to re-balance my body and begin moving it in all four directions again (instead of avoiding any sort of back bend, which I had been doing for a while).
Today, I am happy to report that I am very close to being rid of the final remnants of my pain. After so many months of trying methods that didn’t work, physical therapy with Liz has been a revelation. Every appointment, I’ve been amazed at her knowledge of the body and what to do to heal it.
As a yoga instructor, I’m more familiar with the human body than your average Joe. However, this experience has opened my eyes to the incredible amount that yoga teachers can learn from physical therapists – not only to protect and accommodate our own bodies’ uniqueness, but also, and more importantly, to better serve our students.
On Wednesday, May 6, Liz will be teaching a FREE class for yoga instructors called “Yoga is Physical Therapy: Tips from a Physical Therapist”, at her PT Clinic from 6-8 pm. DO NOT MISS this opportunity to continue your development and learning to become the best yoga teacher you can be!
Contact Physical Therapy & Lifetime Wellness at 303-952-5053 to learn more about this opportunity or RSVP to the event!