Osteoarthritis Can Strike at Any Time

Posted by on November 10, 2014 in Day to Day | 2 comments

Race Day Bling

Race Day Bling

It seems like just yesterday I was running across a finish line. It was just a two weeks ago that I was sweating in a Bikram Yoga class. Friday I received the answer to a nagging issue. I didn’t like the answer, but I was happy to have it.

Leukemia took the life of someone I loved and I ended up becoming a runner because of it, thanks to Team in Training.  As soon as my mileage increased, I started having issues with my IT Band and my hips. The IT band issues eventually went away after some strength training, but I’ve been battling the hip issues for a long time. I’ve gone through chiropractic treatment, physical therapy, working with a personal trainer, and while all worked for a while, the hip pain had a funny way of coming back.

The last time it flared was after my Bikram class. I was fine during class, but later that evening,  my husband and I took our dog for a walk after dinner and I could barely walk. It took everything in me just to keep putting one foot in front of the other and even with my high pain threshold, there was a point where the pain made me break out in a cold sweat. I’d never experienced that level of hip pain in the past.

The next morning I called my primary care physician, but he was out of the office for the rest of the week and booked for appointments after his return. After some research, I called a Sports Medicine facility and was able to get an appoint with one of the physicians that treats hip pain. After the exam, I was moved over to X-Ray. I wasn’t surprised by the results. I looked at the X-Rays with the physician and my right hip wasn’t looking very good. There was no space between the joints. The left hip also had signs of osteoarthritis, but not nearly as much as the right.

It wasn’t a sentence to a sedentary life, but it would mean that if I chose to run again, the high impact would cause more wear and tear on my hip and I would increase the rate of degradation. Bikram was OK, but I would have to do a modified version of many poses. I was given a set of strength training exercises for my hips and I will be exploring the options for my continued exercise. The good thing is that I can continue to walk and hike, and when the pain is flaring beyond my tolerance, I can take over the counter or prescribed medication.

In the meantime, now that I know why my hip pain never went away for long, I can work on getting stronger so I can go back to a healthy, active, lifestyle.  That lifestyle will now involve shoes that reduce the impact on my joints, Like HOKA’s, and creating an anti-inflammatory food lifestyle. I’ve always been a healthy eater who loves fruits and veggies but now I will be digging deeper into the world of non-inflammatory foods.

Anyone have a favorite recipe to share? 🙂


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  1. Thanks for sharing your story! I am a physiotherapist so your story sounds quite familiar to me. Osteoarthritis is very common, currently affecting 1 in 9 North Americans. However, you have the right mind set and are looking in all the right directions. A diet with less inflammatory foods is a great start. Decreasing your caffeine, drinking lots of water, reducing sugars and gluten and limiting alcohol is a good start for many.
    Also, hip and core strengthening exercises are very important. Target your gluteus (buttock muscles)! In addition, I also recommend stretching the muscles around your hip. Often, hip flexor muscles are tight (warrior lunge), hamstrings (downward dog) and hip adductor muscles(butterfly pose or 1/2 butterfly pose).
    Your physiotherapist can help to mobilize your hip joint helping it to feel loose and increasing the mobility in the joint. There are manual techniques that can help with this. Obviously, it will be most effective if you are doing the exercises as well.
    Have you considered acupuncture? I have found this to be very helpful with my patients.
    Continue to stay positive. You are definitely on the right track. Thanks again for sharing your story with everyone.

    • Thank you for stopping by Physiotherapy Toronto! Your post was accidentally blocked.

      It’s definitely been a journey. Since my last post on Osteoarthritis, my PCP suggested a second set of X-rays. I went in for those and we found that I did in fact have osteoarthritis, but the root cause was hip dysplasia. I was very knock-kneed and pigeon-toed as a child, so it’s likely that the hip dysplasia is congenital.

      So far, the most effective pain relief I’ve received has been from chiropractic visits to Dr. Chad Wells at The League Chiropractic. Combined with strengthening exercises, I’m as close to pain-free as I’ve been in quite some time. I haven’t ruled out acupuncture, have heard good things about that as well.

      Thanks for keeping people pain free!