Bonnie T., Pediatric Nurse Practitioner

img_9204-finalI woke up one morning in January 2016 with nagging anterior hip pain. 3 days later I couldn’t get out of bed or walk without crying in pain. 3 weeks later an MRI showed bilateral labral tears in both hips, but only one was inflamed in soft tissue and bone and there were bilateral tiny tiny bone spurs.

I was on Tylenol and Advil alternating around the clock and could barely function through a work day let alone keep up my usual activities (that included commuting by bike in the hills of San Francisco, swimming, yoga and ice hockey). I was diagnosed with FAI or hip impingement. I was told to rest. I was told I might need surgery but we would try PT first.

I was told if I went back to playing ice hockey (duh! Of course I was going to play again), that I would most definitely require surgery as if it was a matter of when, not if. Grim prospects but I was now able to walk places and walk up and down stairs some of the time with minimal discomfort.

My husband searched high and low for a physical therapist with ice hockey background and instead and luckily found Upright Health. I began rehabilitating with the idea that I had muscular imbalance with quad dominance and weak hamstrings and glutes. Progress was really slow and we focused on tissue releases, stretching, light weights (I was motivated to do more, because it was something active). I began sleeping at night without pain! Yes, at first I couldn’t sleep through the night without needing more Advil or Tylenol.

Fast forward 2 months and I was back on the ice! I spent a LOT of time stretching and continuing with tissue work. I was not yet confident and worried I was risking injury or worse, headed toward surgery. But there was no backslide. Things slowly got better. I worked with a trainer at upright who was available by email or text for questions about workouts and any pain I experienced. We had to make adjustments along the way because it’s a dynamic process. My OTHER hip then started having pain which really worried me but 6 weeks later we figured out it was a particular muscle that needed to stretch and have more concentrated tissue work. It was not something they had seen before but they listened to me and individualized the plan to my specific issues rather than using a cookie cutter program for everyone with FAI.

It is now 7 months since the day I could not even get out of bed without excruciating pain. I am playing ice hockey and feel stronger on my skates, and am less likely to fall when battling another player for the puck. I feel like everything is easier, swimming, skating, yoga. I am a better skater than ever. I also am better at pinpointing and troubleshooting my own hip issues. I put in my part and since this began I have not skipped my exercises to keep me healthy. But I wouldn’t be where I am without Upright Health.


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