Since early April I have been dealing with chronic pain in my right hip, hamstring, and IT band. Running the Boston Marathon on April 18, 2005 did not help it any. Within minutes of finishing in just under 4 hours, I could hardly walk and I spent the better part of the next two days limping. Since that time, I have treated the pain with a wide variety of modalities including the classic four of RICE:
- Rest. I’ve been doing a lot more cross-training (especially cycling and the elliptical) and a lot less running. This keeps up my fitness without stressing my hip and leg.
- Ice. This reduces inflammation without the use of drugs. As I write this I am resting my hip and leg on two bags of frozen peas, my favorite “ice.”
- Compression. This is hard to do with a hip, since it doesn’t lend itself to a compression sleeve. But compression shorts are my standard for running.
- Elevation. Once again, elevation — which changes the blood flow — is harder to do with a hip than with a leg or arm. But using a pillow to elevate the hip is an option.
I have also used massage, stretching, electrical stimulation, and the purchase of new running shoes (including the Nike Free). I have also recently learned about a postural therapy program which involves a series of stretches and gentle exercises. This program, called The Egoscue Method after the man who invented the program (Pete Egoscue), has been successfully used by a wide variety of people from all walks of life since 1978.
“I’m the posture guy,” is the simple description Egoscue gives to himself, a modest claim for someone who has developed a program that both “relieves chronic pain and encourages peak physical performance for the young, the old, the athlete, the non-athlete, the famous, and the infamous.” What I like about his Website, www.Egoscue.com, is that it starts with an anatomical model which quickly presents easy to understand and easy to practice stretches and exercises that zero in on your area of discomfort.
What I like about his book is the simple assertion that pain is not just our body’s way of telling us that something is happening that shouldn’t be happening. It is also telling us that something is not happening that should be happening. We are not stretching and exercising our joints in order to promote a full range of motion. The Egoscue Method is designed to correct that mistake.
If you are suffering from chronic pain or simply want to take a proactive stance to avoid it, I encourage you to visit his site, try out the program, and, for more information, to purchase his book, Pain Free. In a relatively small amount of time, you too can experience recovery and relief from chronic pain.
Coaching Inquiries: Do you suffer from chronic pain? Do you seek peek physical performance? When was the last time that you took the time to stretch and correct your posture? What’s keeping you from doing a few practices right now?
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May you be filled with goodness, peace, and joy.
President, LifeTrek Coaching International, www.LifeTrekCoaching.com
CEO & Co-Founder, Center for School Transformation, www.SchoolTransformation.com
2010-2011 President, International Association of Coaching, www.CertifiedCoach.org
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