The Worst Patient Ever

hurt hip

Ambition…the original of vices; Mother of hypocrisy, parent of envy, engineer of deceit.
-Ernest Hemingway

As a physical therapist I work with patients who are recovering from injuries on a daily basis. So why is it that after I started having hip pain that I act as if I know nothing?  Having been a PT for 9 years, I could easily be applying what I have learned to myself. So why don’t I?

Though I have effectively stopped running, I do not seem to be doing for myself what I would do for a patient. When I work with a patient with hip pain, I perform a comprehensive examination that includes checking for any spinal, pelvic and leg imbalances on both the affected and non-affected sides as the area of symptoms is rarely the source of the problem. Movement analysis is an important part of the exam to find any poor movement patterns. Patients also receive a good dose of education about minimizing pain-provoking activities while maximizing therapeutic or non-painful activities.

Patients often obsess about what they cannot do. Yep, you guessed it, I’m guilty! It seems that my desire to return to running – now, yesterday, last (freaking) week – has resulted in me looking for more and more races that I want to do. Why am I torturing myself this way?

So for all of the work and effort that I put into helping others, why is it that with my recovery that I seem to throw (most of) what I know out the window?

Part of me wants to believe that because I am a runner, an “athlete,” that my recovery can somehow look drastically different from others. This means that early I pushed myself into pain when I tried to run a 5K soon after the pain began (I walked the last 2.1 of the 3.1 miles),

Part of me is impatient as heck and just wants what I want. I do not want to wait. I want to run. I need to run. And I want to do it, now! That part of me is seeking a miracle fix that would help to throw the curve and heal faster. I have asked athletic trainers, exercise physiologists and other physical therapists for advice in trying to find the holy grail that will allow me to run again sooner, faster, now, yesterday, last week!

(In writing this, it also occurs to me that I have a very strong tendency to rebel against what I am told I cannot do…ouch!)

So even as a physical therapist, I really am no different from any of my patients both in my need to recover and in my current behaviors. Just like I tell my patients, I need to allow myself to heal and get better. As like anyone, my body needs the space, the rest and the time to recover. The truth is that no one has a secret. Not them. Not me. For me to be better, I just need to be patient, be a “good” patient, breathe, do my exercises and let things be. To heed my own advice would be helpful!

Namaste.

Photo Credit: © Melodija | Dreamstime.comCool Gel Pack On A Swollen Hurting Hip. Photo

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