After more than a dozen orthopedic surgeries during my high school, college, and NFL career I thought my days of dealing with injuries were behind me. Over the course of the last couple of years I noticed a burning pain in my right hip that steadily increased.
As the pain got worse I found myself sitting to rest my hip instead of living the active lifestyle I was used to. At first the sitting seemed to help calm the flaring pain. After a few months my right hip pain intensified and it felt as if even the sitting would make the pain worse. I tried my best to manage my hip issues by unsuccessfully balancing what I needed to do during the day while also trying to rest. Frequent visits to the chiropractor and massage therapists did little to help manage the pain that just kept getting worse. Soon I found myself spending too much time on the couch because being on my feet caused such extreme pain.
I struggled to sleep at night because of the intense burning sensation in my hip. I just couldn’t find a position that made me comfortable enough to sleep soundly. Even with little sleep I would rush to get out of bed in the morning because at least moving around would distract me from the pain I was enduring while lying in bed. My hip issue was quickly becoming intolerable.
I had no interest in adding to my already long list of surgeries and wanted to exhaust all of my options before consulting with an orthopedic surgeon. While searching the web I found a doctor who specialized in non-operative orthopedics for joint related pain. I immediately made an appointment. My pain was so intense that I was counting down the days to until I could see the doctor.
I went to the appointment hopeful that a doctor who spent more than 20 years practicing non-surgical methods of addressing orthopedic issues would help me put together a plan to reduce my pain, regain some activity, and avoid surgery. The doctor ordered x-rays of my hips when I first arrived for my appointment. When I met with the doctor she reviewed my films and immediately stated my right hip was too damaged to fix even through surgery. She did, however, write me a referral to see a hip surgeon for my pain-free left hip! The doctor promised me that my left hip would soon feel as bad as my right hip if I didn’t immediately have surgery. So much for non-operative orthopedics! I left the office discouraged and convinced I would need surgery.
I dreaded the thought of treating my current hip issues the way I managed injuries during my football career. I wanted to avoid pain medications, cortisone injections, and, most of all, surgery. The hip surgeon I was referred to was so busy that his soonest available appointment was two and half months away. (Apparently, a lot of people are told they need hip surgery!) Now I needed to find a way to cope with my pain for the next 75 days until I could finally see the surgeon.
Even though I reduced my level of activity, I now had a sore and cracking right knee to go along with my aching hip. My friends started to joke that it was impossible for me to sneak up on anyone because the loud cracking in my joints gave away my presence from 50 feet way.
I waited anxiously for my appointment with the surgeon and spent time looking online for tips on how I could manage my pain in the meantime. During one of my searches I stumbled across the Upright Health website. I watched a couple of videos that featured people describing their intense pain and the positive changes they experienced while working with Upright Health. I was skeptical about the drastic results the videos described but figured I had nothing to lose by making an appointment with Matt while waiting to see the surgeon.
During my first visit to Upright Health we did soft tissue work, stretching, and strengthening. I noticed a big change in my level of pain during that first appointment but wasn’t convinced that the positive results would last. The results I did get while working with Matt that first day served as motivation for me to continue the program he wrote for me on my own at home. Within a week I noticed that I was sleeping better. My biggest achievement between my first and second appointment was that I no longer needed to grab and lean on the railing to ease myself down the stairs to make coffee in the morning.
As I have continued to work with Upright Health I have become a believer in Matt’s philosophy and programming. Matt’s history in overcoming pain make him an ideal person to help others who are suffering from what he is all too familiar with. I know I still have work to do but I have progressed enough to confidently cancel my appointment with the surgeon. I look forward to working with Matt and Vincent and making continued process.