The Art of Hobbling 2 - a new referred pain!

At day 17 of Physio (17??? It feels more like day 170!) I have to admit it was getting easier to do - I even found my mind wandering while counting

"14-15-16-I could do with a fold up stool for work-17-18-19-might get round to start Rob Halford's autobiography today- 20-21-21 grunt"

So yesterday I went back to work after a 4-day break, scientifically interested to see how rest and Physio had affected my hobbling.

Well if you're a well-established arthritic you know what's coming next. After five minutes down the road practicing my new microstep hobble and thinking "ooh great pain free" the grumbling began. I don't know what I was expecting, but pain-free activity of most kinds is not available to an arthritic. It's a case of optimum damage limitation.

What WAS better is that I get a lot less of those ghastly referred pains shooting down my leg - apart from when there's a loss of concentration and I move my leg in the wrong way - OW!!

Anyway the journeys to and from the bus stop were tolerable, the pain generally on the outside of the hip. But then came the real acid test - 4 hours on my feet, though thankfully with very little walking. But lo and behold a new pain that began gradually growing - right at the base of my spine.

Of course there's no immediate way of telling whether it really was back pain or hip pain - with hipOA it hijacks the nerves and you feel pain in a vast variety of lower body places. I'm still getting used to my perception lying to me in such a blatant manner. What I did know for sure was that it got steadily worse over the half-shift and grumbled for sometime thereafter, even when I got home and sat down.

But the giveaway it was a referred pain was that on lying on my side it gradually vanished. I've had real back pain and believe me everybody, that doesn't just vanish with a shift of position! The other indicator was that it stayed on a specific spot on my spine. Real lumbar back pain tends to start higher up, above the waist and spread both directions, in my case right round my ribs - NOT nice!

So what did I conclude? Firstly you can rest and Physio all you like, when you get moving it's going to hurt and get steadily worse the more you do! This then leaves the question of how long you can go for and how to move in the way that gives you the longest possible time on your feet. With hobbling you need to be fairly upright - no stooping, but completely upright puts too much weight on the hip. At work I now need to discover the optimum posture for what I'm doing. Finally - don't be fooled by a pain-free five minutes into believing your hip is healing - it isn't!