There was a time, in my youth, when the word ‘hip’ meant good, cool, trendy. Now, these days, it means pain, suffering and a challenge. It constantly amuses me watching all of my outdoor colleagues doing exactly what I was doing 50 years ago, knowing full well the pain they will suffer later in life.
Over the past 10 years I have been diagnosed with arthritis, trapped sciatic nerve, had a transient ischemic attack or ‘mini stroke’, and a ruptured cartilage in my left knee. Now to add insult to further injury, I have been diagnosed with wear and tear of my left hip! The full extent of the damage has not been established yet, though the Doctor thinks it is probably Osteoartritis, but the one thing I do know it that the pain is getting worse.
Now, the important thing about a knackered hip is – will it affect what I love doing, walking?
Quite simply no! Over the past few years as parts of my body have fallen off or turned rotten, I have managed to adapt to accommodate the injury, ailment or pain. I have found that I am fine when walking on the flat or when walking up hills. The problem becomes more painful when walking downhill.
I already have another ailment which is effected during downhill sections and that is my left knee. That is resolved by several things. Firstly I wear a brace on the knee to help take the pressure off of the joint. I always walk with trekking poles when hills are involved as they help reduce the impact on my knee and also provide stability. Where possible I try to lead with my right leg though this is not always possible.
The important factor is to do whatever is required to alleviate the pain and make it easier to walk. Injuries and ailments should not be a barrier to enjoying the outdoors, even if it is just for a short walk. There are a lot of aids available to assist you depending on what the issue is.
The bottom line is – even if you can just get out into the local park, at least you are getting outside. Stay tuned in for further updates as I slowly creep towards the inevitable hip replacement. (Will I qualify for the Paralympics?).