Prior to April of 2012, I did not have any symptoms of hip dysplasia other than my ability to make a popping sound near my groin as you would cracking your back or neck. I didn't suffer from lower back, gluetus, legs, or knee pain. I have always led an active lifestyle; former rock climber, diver, runner, weight lifter, swimmer, and crossfitter. I thought I would be one of the few that would grow into old age without a hitch. Actually, I was pretty confident of it. Looking back, I think we all think we are invincible.
When the symptoms started, they hit fast and I quickly went downhill. There was no gradual decline, it was an avalanche. The take down and tease... I can honestly say I have more bad days than good. I have learned to just embrace it. As for the pain, my symptoms can be broken down into two categories, one causing the other. For me, the main category is hip pain, secondary to that is myofascial pain.
My hip pain... I have had a constant deep throbbing/ache sensation around my inner groin which wraps around where my thigh intersects with my lower torso and travels to the gluetus muscles and up my lower back. I also have weakness and shooting pain when stepping out of the car and going up or down steps. When doing those movements, I have to hold on to something since my leg gives out. I also have problems with my reflexes and pivoting. This has been a major problem for me, especially in stores since I am unable to stop if people cut in front of me and often bump into then. I am also unable to pivot and turn without causing pain. Flexing and extend my leg in certain ways causes sharp pains along with a catching/ clicking sensation.
Next is my myofascial pain caused by the dysplasia and tear (Myofascial pain is discussed in more detail in my Dry Needle Blog). Because my hips are off, this causes the wrong muscles to fire. These muscles then tighten up because they were not designed to support my hips causing trigger points. These trigger points cause an immense burning sensation within my muscle along with muscle spasms. At time, the pain can be a deep ache or a radiating hot spot. When touched, the spots are extremely sensitive and painful to release. When my muscles become extremely constricted for an extended period of time, they start to feel like someone is winding them like a rubber band with no release. I can feel the muscle pulling when moving in certain ways. This then causes the muscle to improperly pull on other bones and ligaments in my body causing referred pain.
Needless to say, my mobility has been greatly affected. I can no longer run, bike, -- let's me honest, I can no longer do a lot. I have to ration the number of steps I take in a day and if I go over, I pay for it. It then takes me a good 2 to 3 days of resting, heating, rolling, and doing trigger point work to get the pain under control again. Sitting, standing or walking for anything over 30 minutes causes pain. I continuously have to shift my position to alleviate the pain. Carrying heavy items also trigger more pain. Therefore, I don't do it unless I have to. Bending over and squatting are also a no no... It aggravates the entire hip area.
I drive in my car with my seat heaters on regardless of the weather. I have foam rollers and heating pads all over my house. Tiger balm is my best friend and I am constantly checking amazon for the latest trigger point balls. I don't wear fashionable shoes anymore because they make the pain worse. I should own stock in Epson salt for as much as I buy and the bathtub has become my 2nd favorite place, the first is my BioMat. I rely on dry needle therapy, trigger point injections, massage, and acupuncture to help me get through until surgery and having bad hips really does cause a person to go broke. Any extra money I have is spent on managing the pain. No new cool outfits, salon visits or shoes. That stuff doesn't matter to me anymore. Not being in pain is what matter now.
I am sure there are more symptoms that I have, but those are the most obvious.... as you read through other people's blogs, you may notice that we all experience the same type of pain.... people just use different context to describe it. It also makes me wonder how so many doctors miss this with the symptoms being so obvious and consistent between patients and unfortunately, most of us have suffered far longer than we should of had to.