One thing that helped me was to remember how long I had been limping. It will probably take that long for the muscles to regroup. I had an atrocious gait before surgery. Mine sorted itself out without any intervention, just time, ice, walking, minimal PT on my own, and patience. It sounds like you are doing really well.
@stellaluna I don't have the Thomas Hanna book to refer to. What my somatics gal gave me to do for now are the Arch and Flatten, the Flexion Six Point and Walking Six Point, Heel Slides away from head. The other one I've done forever is the lying on the back, knees bent, tip pelvis forward then using pelvic floor muscles and transverse abdominus, flatten lower back into floor and relax, repeat. Do that alone, and then do that and while holding the pelivc tilt, bring chin to chest (with hands behind head, with elbows next to ears, not out to the side, so it is not a sit up, but all about lengthening the back muscles, relax, repeat. Of course doing sensory inventory between each group of movements. Each movement is done five times, relaxing in between. I've been doing the last exercise for so long I do the first half of it about twenty times as the core strength helps my lower back.
Saw physio yesterday. He did deep psoas muscle release, as well as the inner thigh and quad release. That was uncomfortable at the time, but did it ever feel amazing afterwards!! He also gave me specific stretching and strengthening exercises to do, starting with five each, once a day and slowly build. Showed me how to get onto my stomach do do some of them. Said to do on my bed for now as I can't get on the floor as yet due to the 90 degree issue with posterior surgery. I see him again in a week for more release and to see how I am doing with the strengthening exercises. He encouraged me to start using more heat packs on my thighs, but still ice the incision area on both hips, particularly where I have a couple of sore spots on the right hip. I see my OS for a late six week check on Monday.
@Alitm can you describe the flexion 6 point and walking 6 point? I’m not familiar with those. I am with the others.
Went for my second session of ART yesterday. It helps for sure. But at 21 weeks I find myself getting a bit frustrated. I am reminding myself what @Hip Hip Hooray! and @Mojo333 said- all that trauma to the legs has to account for this discomfort. The good thing is that it is not at the area of the stems but rather below and in same spot both sides so I know it’s muscular and also scar tissue , as confirmed by my chiropractor.
I had her evaluate my walking gait- she too confirmed that when I step forward my pelvis on that side kinda “swings” forward with the leg ; so rather than the leg moving independently of the pelvis they move together. This is what I was doing presurgery! She thinks it could be related to my SI joint-here we go again with the darn SI joint! She is gonna Focus on that Friday. Ugh . SO aggravating that I can’t break this habit but maybe it’s “not my fault” per se but rather from something restricting my movement in my body. But on the other hand I feel my walking has improved; it’s a CONSTANT effort to walk with good form even walking around the house!
On a note- I did the somatics cat series this morning..,very slowly...I THINK it made a difference -I think everything feels better after doing the series...hmmm. Will do this every morning now. I have not been consistent.
Hiya @stellaluna, I hear you on the walking with old patterns. I still walk like a penguin, side to side, as that was my old walk pattern. I revert to that when I'm not thinking about how I am walking, or if I am tired. I have to REALLY concentrate on walking correctly. I am restricted by the tightness in my psoas...all the way down to where it is what I called my hip flexors, and my upper quads. My physio says getting those loosened, and my glutes tightened, is the first order of business to get my walking gait correct. It takes tremendous cognitive thought, and I can only now imagine what it must be like to recover from a stroke or a traumatic brain injury. This is nothing in comparison I'm sure, but still it is hard work to get it right.
The six power points are the back of the head, the pelvis, both shoulders and the hips. Flexion 6 point while lying on mat: Lift the head gently and relax to floor, lilf the tailbone (notice the abdominal muscles tighten and relax). Lift each alternatively 2 - 5x. Next lift the right shoulder and relax, 2 - 5 times. Move to the left shoulder, gently lifting and relaxing 2 - 5 times. Then lift the right side of pelvis and relax 2 - 5 times, then the right side of pelvis lifting and relaxing 2 - 5 times each. Do a sensory inventory before your do these movements and again afterwards....is that something you are familiar with? If not I can explain.
The Walking six point pattern: As you breath in gently press you head and tailbone towards the mat, feeling your back tighten and then relax. As you breath out press your belly button to the floor as you simultaneous raise your head and tailbone 2 - 5 x. This looks like part of the cat series as you know it. Next gently and simultaneously lift the right shoulder and left hip and then lower them down, and then relax, repeating 2 - 5x. Finally, do the same thing, but with your left shoulder and right hip. Do a sensory inventory before the walking pattern and again afterwards.
It doesnt but I am gonna give it a try. OMG you sound just like me!! Tight psoas I feel may be the culprit in my little lean to the right when I walk- a compensation issue! I am skyping Wed w a fellow teacher who is a pilates trained teacher as well. She feels, in looking at a video I sent her, my psosas needs attention. And a tight psoas can affect/involve the SI joint. I do recall my PT saying esp the right side was tighter and weak and did also say it can affect the SI joint too.It makes alot of sense! I am still working the glutes. I think I need to have one more rest day a week tho too. One isnt enough. On that day, just somatics and walk and that's it. This darn NE weather tho- it's still dark early and it s cold I hate it.
I too have some lower back..possibly SI issues. Minimal in comparison to my previous bad hips...no limping but most noticeable when sleeping or sitting for long period.
Please keep letting us know what you are doing and how it is working.
I've done some of the exercises @Alitm described and they seem helpful though I am doing so many labor intensive tasks of late...
Just do remember that I saw improvement up to and over a year...especially when it came to working on my gait, so don't get too anxious.
Hope today is a good day!
@Alitm the walking six point exercise- when simultaneously lifting right shoulder and left hip , is the leg lifting too or is it just a slight elevation of the back of the pelvis while keeping back of leg on floor? That’s a tough one for me lol.
Hi @stellaluna Sorry to not get back to you sooner, busy day with OS check up and more x-rays (part of check up but I wasn't told to have them done before hand...OS said he'd call me if he had any concerns with the xrays, said he certainly he isn't expecting any!). Will do a seperate report maybe tomorrow. Life is busy with hubby away!
So for the 6 point walking, you are lying on your back with your knees bent, feet flat on the floor. When you simultaneously and gently lift your diagonal pair shoulder and hip, it isn't a big movement but the hip will tend to lift slightly up and slightly forward and maybe even slightly inward in the movement, as if you were walking, so you will get a very very slight stretch in the top of your quad and a very slight tightening of the glute on that side. It would be the beginning of what your hip should do in walking forward when standing. It is a very small movement.
My biggest thing with somatics was to stop thinking of it an "athletic" exercise that one would do in an exercise class, but think of the movement as slow, gentle and mindful. I was very much of the thought process of harder and faster was better to begin with! Somatics is about retraining the mental process from the sensory motor "amnesia" that happens with our changed movement from a reaction to pain in our body (we learn to move a certain way to try and avoid pain, so change our gait pattern for example, without even knowing it consciously, until our physio points it out to us or our body starts to have other issues), to moving our body correctly again, and the re-training of same.
For me as a rider, my psoas has to be able to relax but my core muscles, transverse abdominis and the (what I call crisscross abdominals...it is late and I can't think of their name right now) have to be firm but flexible. I find pilates great for the core, but yoga great for flexibility. The somatic work has helped me learn to turn muscles on and off in isolation and together, prior to surgery, so the reason why I want this to be part of my rehab. When riding I have to be able to turn the glutes "off" and "on" separately from the core muscles. Horses are flight animal and wired to run first when scared, and not think about why. If they had time to reason in the wild, and not run first, they'd be eaten! Anyway, when a horse is scared, one has to not turn on the glutes, but keep the core strong, as if one's glutes are on when the horse is really fearful, this translates tension in the rider to the horse, who interprets that glute tension as fear in the rider, which in turn makes the horse more fearful in the already fearful situation!! One rides with the core "on" at about 30% as a base line all the time, maintaining positive tension, but can be relaxed in that tension, as one would relax into a yoga pose, if that makes any sense...you don't give up positive tension in the pose, but you breath through the pose and are not tense in the true sense of the word. All this has been/is very helpful for learning to walk correctly again, but it makes me so tired!! I went to physio on Friday at 2:30 PM and then went to a 6:55 PM movie (Mary Poppins Returns!) with my 28 year old daughter. I was so mentally and physically tired from physio that I slept through a good half of the movie!!! Hopefully this week will be better!!! Let me know if my comments re: the somatics have helped.
@Mojo333 the somatic movements should give some pain relief. My massage therapist uses somatic movements to help undo tight muscles before she even starts the massage. She turned to somatics while recovering from a motor cycle accident, and then became a somatic practitioner as it helped her so much with pain etc. I, um, "overdid it" on Sunday in the barn, did that one extra thing that I should have left alone, and had muscle soreness and a tight back from it. I did the six point somatic flexion and the six point walking, slowly and deliberately, and it helped, ice what needed icing, and before bed I took an advil (the first time I've had an advil in since early last year, before I was given the Meloxicam to try pre-surgery!)...as I really needed something with anti-inflammatory properties to break the cycle of ouch! I found today my back was still a bit tight, and the somatics 6 points helped loosen me up. I have another good one for shoulders, and upper back, if one can lay on once's sides comfortably.
I highly highly recommend somatics too. Everything that @Alitm said is so true. It’s about awareness and rewriting our brain to correct faulty movement patterns.
Gang-I had a major breakthrough yesterday in my walking thanks to a somatic’s video that I found on YouTube. It is a seated demonstration of walking with a somatic awareness demoed by I think her name is Catherine Jackson. Search “somatic walking” on you tube it should pop up. Anyways I discovered that when I step for example my right leg forward my right shoulder tends to swing forward with that leg and that’s not supposed to happen it’s actually supposed to be the opposite shoulder forward the right shoulder should be coming back. And she explains in the video that people can do this at unconsciously-Bringing the wrong shoulder forward and not even realize it - this was I think me. Prior to the surgery I was so compromised my brain just connected to this “incorrect “way of walking. Anyways I followed her video and I applied what she done mode and my gosh my whole walk completely changed - there is virtually no shifting that was there before the side to side shifting and it feels so good so this was a huge breakthrough for me - huge. I just wanted to share that. Check out soomatics online - fascinating stuff it is not strenuous it’s a very very gentle movement it’s all about bringing awareness to how we move and rewiring our brain to correct faulty movement patterns when we do move. I tried to post video of me walking applying this but could not seem to do it.
@stellaluna thanks for your comments on somatics. Fascinating! I think the person in the video is Kirsten Jackson. It all looks so simple when she demonstrates.
Did you find putting it into action difficult? I automatically bring the same shoulder forward with the hip. My gait is still an issue even this far out of RTHR. I had a LLD that was corrected and major lower back issues. Guess I just need to practice this.
@Jaycey -yes that's who it is!! Its mind blowing-when you sit and do this!! I will tell you. In the morning when I get up, I do the Thomas stretch for my hip flexors. Then I go to the kitchen, sit in the chair and do exactly what she does in the video. I think it's working for me cuz I am reprogramming my brain-for lack of a better word-first thing in the AM.
I highly recommend the somatics in general, the Cat Series is awesome to do daily. It's very subtle movements/range of motion and it's never supposed to hurt. You can Utube the videos. They are so helpful!!
And yes, practice practice practice!!!
@stellaluna YAY!!!! Isn't it amazing what small movements can do! I'll check out the video. I do the sliding of the arms across in the Cat series. There are also some really good shoulder and back releases, but you have to be able to lay on one's side. Is the Thomas stretch for the hip flexors a somatic move or something else...what would I google that under to get the correct stretch..just the Thomas stretch?
"It is a seated demonstration of walking with a somatic awareness demoed by I think her name is Catherine Jackson. Search “somatic walking” on you tube it should pop up." I found it, thanks so much @stellaluna. So really interesting, I can do the somatic walking lying down, but I found it really hard sitting in a chair....so am gently trying it on the chair as well. I had experienced the sits bone movement from somatic class called "supple equestrian" as one moves those bones with the horse in that pattern when the horse is walking in particular.
I found the Thomas stretch as well thank you. It is too deep for me just yet as a posterior patient, but I'll get there. I see my physio again tomorrow. I haven't had time to write up the exercises he gave me as yet on my thread, but I'll get there!
I can't wait to see how much the chair somatics helps the gait. I've see a lot of difference this week since I've been trying the physio and somatics exercises.