My dad was experiencing some pretty bad hip and leg pain. It kept him up at night and prevented him from being as active as he would have liked. The diagnosis: arthritis in the hip. The suggested solution: hip surgery. My dad is only 65 but he began weighing the severity of the situation. Surgery now would able him a faster recovery vs waiting 10-15 more years. I was already scheduled for another visit home (my first in 2 years!). I told him how I could help him and to give my method a try......He hasn't been back to that Dr since.
I'm really lucky I have a father who I can look up to. He's organized, one of the most financially savvy people I know, fun, and works really hard to provide for my family. My father was also an outlier. He decided to pursue his passion as a pilot, moving his family from state to state each time a job changed, something uncommon in my parent's generation. My siblings and I grew accustomed to that lifestyle and of course, we all three have done the same, thriving. My sister lives on basically a self-sustainable property on an island off the coast of Washington. My brother is now president of a renewable energy company and is constantly exploring new home energy systems in Maine. My story is similar, I went down the classroom teacher track and realized, It wasn't for me. So, my husband and I packed up and followed his passion around the US eventually settling down in California (for the time being). I'm a Crossfit coach and own a running business, both businesses coinciding in pushing the barriers that are considered normal by asking our clients to think outside the box of general fitness norms, health, and wellness. All this to say, the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. We saw, we watched, and we responded.
As an adult child, your relationship changes with your parents. If you have a good relationship, they are still actively contributing advice as you come into new seasons they have already experienced. However, sometimes it comes full circle where the teacher becomes the student. My father has always been really active. I've had vacations with him where he would ask for a hotel room on the top floor and then we would proceed to take the stairs to our room both ways, sometimes even racing the elevator. My trips home were always a great excuse for him to find new hiking routes or to bust out his running shoes again. He had been experiencing some pain on my last visit, post 11-mile hiking trip, enough so to where he finally saw a professional.
As stated above that professional gave him no advice other than suggesting a hip replacement. I was really shocked to hear that. I told him to give me 3 days to see if I could create any change.
I used Kelly Starrett's Mobility WOD lower body extremity test to understand what area was actually causing the pain. His hip moved fine without any catches or huge limitations, his hips and hamstrings were just tight. I spent the next hour going through some banded distractions to get his hip joint externally rotated as well as extended by some posterior distractions ( I literally had him banded up to the treadmill you see behind me). We then opened up the hamstring, feeding the hip some slack, as well as the IT band. That day we had casually ran 3 miles. The next morning he was ready for more and slept without ANY PAIN. We went for 4 miles that day and did another hour of mobility.
I've checked back in with him since...No pain.
Sometimes, the conventional track isn't the best track. I'm a 100% believer that we all should be able to perform daily maintenance on ourselves, this is proof. It WILL save us time, money, as well as educate ourselves to become better movers whether that involves sports performance or chasing our kids or grandkids on the playground.
I'm proud of my dad for keeping up with his homework I gave him and willing to be open to a second opinion, especially from me. He inspires me to always think about the future, being more responsible than I am sometimes, and of course to always enjoy the ride.
Thanks Dad, Love you
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