Personal Story of a Hip Scope Recovery with Integrative Physical Therapy 

We don’t always get a chance to hear a first hand account of what it’s like to be a patient in physical therapy.  We have a patient who is happy to document and share her experience and progress in real time after traveling a long distance to work with Dr. Ginger Garner.

If you need a little more background information, please check out this initial blog and video testimonial that was written and recorded after her “intensive” week long treatment at Garner Pelvic Health.

Thank you Caroline Withall, for sharing your story with everyone who could benefit from reading about your experience!

Caroline’s Written Account Month #1 – Hip Scope Recovery

This is the first in a series of blogs documenting my recovery progress following a trip to the US for intensive hip scope recovery work with Dr. Ginger.  I thought it might be useful for people who may be considering a trip themselves, but are perhaps unsure how it might practically work under going intensive therapy, then setting sail to navigate your own ship! 

I know when I was considering the possibility, I would have found it an invaluable resource.  You can join me on the journey in real time, for an honest account, both the highs and the lows – because anybody who has had a hip labral tear injury, impingement and surgery will know that it is far from plain sailing.

It’s now been two weeks since I arrived back home.  The initial honeymoon period – of finally fully understanding my body and its issues, and the optimism I felt from working with Dr.Ginger in person, benefiting from her close care and supervision, has undoubtedly faded a little. 

Reality check alert! There is an awful LOT to master.  

To be Fixed or Learn How to Fix Ourselves?

In the cold light of day when I first sat down with a cup of coffee and looked over my program, I felt quite overwhelmed and immediately missed the comfort of checking in for a day’s session with Dr.Ginger to guide me – but then I remembered the whole point of the sessions were to identify the issues, then EMPOWER me to address them. 

I have my comprehensive written program, and I made copious notes and videoed sequences and movements – so I immediately launched into “doing” mode – BIG MISTAKE! It took me about 48 hours to remember the very mantra on the t-shirt I graduated with – ‘TAKE IT SLOW!’

That is incredibly hard and frustrating when you are so desperate to get better and have been injured a long time – but it IS the only way.

Let me give you an example. One of the key movements in my program is learning to “screw home”. Without consciously realizing it, I started doing it at every opportunity, at full effort level. ‘Uh oh’ – my body cannot be shocked into submission! 

In desperately wanting to progress quickly, all I did was set myself back with a big flare up. Simply because I had practiced it too frequently, not accurately enough, and with too much effort.  

The good news is I knew what to do to alleviate that flare up – the program is not only exercises to try and solve problems/issues, but also how to calm my various pain patterns when they arise.  And those tips and tricks really do help! 

Hip Scope Recovery – Progress, not Perfection

Once I got it under control, I adopted a different, slower approach, keeping Dr. Ginger’s mantra firmly at the front of my mind.  I started just taking a segment at a time, really reading all my notes and watching the videos several times over to try and truly assimilate the information.  I will eventually get to the point that this all becomes second nature, but for now, I stopped being hard on myself to “achieve” and concentrated instead on being meticulous and thorough.

Now, two weeks in, my SIJ [sacoiliac joint] pain has disappeared. I no longer find driving short distances an aggravator. As gently using the “screw home” mechanism before I start up the car and re-setting it intermittently has been transformative. 

The sequence of my release work is starting to become embedded in my brain. I am no longer having to check every step on the list; I can recall the order and do it comfortably while listening to music. The same with cupping; just five minutes or so while watching my favourite TV show is already a ritual.  

“Steady as She Goes” – Advice for Hip Scope Recovery

hip scope recovery

This is the beauty of a lot of the program – a lot can, and should, be integrated into daily activities.  There are of course some exercises that you need to fully concentrate on and set aside time to perform but I appreciate how easy it is to practice my “screw home” position while cooking.  Afterall, I am more likely to correct the motor pattern long term if I attach it to the very activities I am unwittingly doing in an aggravating position.  I have begun to address the functional medicine aspects of my recovery too – again, realizing I can’t action all the points overnight, but I started with a trip to my local health food store for some suggested vitamins. 

The voyage has begun.  There will be storms on the way.  The search party hasn’t even begun yet for my absent core.  My psoas is outraged I am trying to tame it, my OI’s are still pretty stubborn, but I am occasionally noticing that I can cajole my wayward glutes to help out my poor tired hip flexors, and I have already had some straight wins like the improved driving comfort.  

So I think I am capable of captaining this ship…as long as I pay close attention to the suggested navigation!  “Steady as she goes” is the old nautical expression for speed at sea and it certainly feels very fitting for this challenge.

Interested in working with Dr. Ginger Garner or another great provider at Garner Pelvic Health?

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