Saturday, 24 February 2018

Second Opinion

I’ve had pain in my groin and hip for five weeks now. Despite regular trips to the osteopath and consistently doing the range of specified exercises, the problem wasn’t improving very much. Indeed I was getting pain in other places too: I’d developed soreness in my right knee and in my right quadriceps. These limitations meant I’d had to cancel a holiday and a series of other engagements. I was feeling very down. I hated being incapacitated. It brought back so many bad memories of my time in hospital and in recovery from surgery. I decided that I needed another opinion.

I went to see a very good physiotherapist who had treated me before. Kieran is a sports injuries specialist and has an office in Belfast and in Newry. He is from NI, but after qualifying he went to work in England for a professional rugby league club. He returned home and set up business with a colleague who had worked for a premier league football club. Since then he had become the lead physiotherapist for Down GAA and for a series of Game of Thrones actors and stuntmen.

I sent him an email with the history of the problem and Kieran began by asking me questions about it. Then I changed into shorts and he checked me over. He has that ability to find a sore spot you didn’t know you had. He tested my hip by rotating my femur from the knee, there was mild impingement. Then he tested my hip flexors, they were fine. Then he began to test my adductor and found a very sore spot on my inner thigh towards my groin. There was a sprain in the adductor tendon and that was causing my groin pain.

He massaged the tendon quite forcefully. It brought tears to my eyes. I asked him if he had a piece of wood I could bite on whilst he was doing the treatment. He laughed, but carried on for a wee while. He said that the tendon would be quite sore for a couple of days, but then it would settle and improve. Then he turned to my hip and lightly massaged the outside of the greater trochanter. It was sore but not as bad as I expected.

He told me that he agreed with the diagnoses that I had already been given. He thought the reason why my progress had been poor was because I had been doing the remedial exercises too early on. Instead of helping my recovery, the stretching exercises for the outside of the hip had been adding to the inflammation. He gave me just two exercises to do along with regular icing of the groin and hip. I would see him again in a week.

I went home with the hope that this new approach would bring benefits. I’ve had far too much pain and incapacity in recent years. That is why I value my ability to be active so very highly. Any threat to this takes me to a bad place. Fingers crossed that I am now firmly on the journey back.

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