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Hip Impingement

Details of injury and date

Summer of 1994 mild hip pain when seated and increased pain when dismounted after riding.

2001 Pain on dismounting leading to lame score of 10/10 unable to weight bare.

I was very active and fit, running and attending gym classes but in 2005 although I did not feel extreme pain during exercise, post exercise pain lead to a lame score of 10/10 unable to weight bare for several minutes. 2013 – After pain became more chronic and not instigated by exercise plain x ray images were taken leading to a diagnosis of osteoarthritis in both hips but as the pain was greater in the left hip I was referred to an orthopaedic surgeon for further assessment.

Medical diagnosis

Orthopaedic surgeon assessed flexibility and after further imaging with CT a 75% impingement was diagnosed. I was told that surgery was the only option open to me but I declined as at this stage the surgery was radical with a long recovery time and would potentially lead to the necessity of a hip replacement in the near future. I decided to wait until the condition became so bad that I would just have the hip replacement surgery.

May 2016 – Due to the reduced amount of exercise available to me and the irregularity of my walking gait I developed back pain leading to 2 bulging discs in my lumbar L3/4 and L4/5 with loss of feeling in my right leg. I had physiotherapy and in July 2016 was able to do some gentle swimming to support muscles and improve flexibility. Realising that my back pain had its origin in my hip the physio gave me exercises to strengthen that area which I did religiously from then on to this day. I now swim ½ mile to 1 mile five days a week, do my physio exercises 5 days a week and ride my horse 5 days a week but I needed to take pain killers and anti-inflammatory drugs daily and particularly before riding. When riding if I didn’t get out of walk within 10 minutes the pain was debilitating. It got to the stage where I would take codeine, paracetamol and naproxen before riding and still be in pain during and after. The range of movement was very restricted in my left hip and the orthopaedic surgeon told me that I would never be able to sit cross legged again.

I bought an Arc unit in early June and began using it straight away. I followed the first setting for 3 weeks and from day 3-10 I had a massive increase in chronic background pain in the area surrounding my left hip, I felt that the whole area was burning. After 3 weeks on setting 1 I moved to setting 2 for 2 weeks and during this period I experienced a massive reduction in chronic background pain. I then moved to setting 3 for 3 weeks and started noticing that I did not limp after dismounting from my horse, during this time while out for a hack I noticed that I was no longer experiencing increased pain whilst walking and was able to walk without a limp after dismounting. I moved to setting 4 for 2 weeks at the end of which I stopped taking anti-inflammatory medication and noticed that I was able to really sit into my horse without pain and that my flexibility had improved so much that I wondered if I would be able to sit cross legged again.

I was delighted to discover that although one month previous I had been unable to attempt to sit this way and that the position I could achieve caused great pain, not only could I sit cross legged but I could rest both knees on the ground equally and without pain, I have not been able to do this for more than 20 years!

Another benefit of the Arc use is that all my joints are feeling much more comfortable, most mornings and after sitting for any length of time I would be extremely stiff and in some degree of pain from my ankles, knees, hips and back but since using the arc I no longer move differently after resting.

I am a diagnostic radiographer and have seen many images of arthritis and failed hip replacements so I was not looking forward to becoming a patient myself. I would never have believed that the Arc could have reversed my symptoms to the extent that I doubt that I will ever need joint replacements in the future. I no longer have the uneven gait that affected my spine and my left hip feels as loose as my right one so I am hopeful that I will no longer have any back issues either.

The Arc is simple to use and has benefited me tremendously, it has also helped my horse to soundness as well from a badly bruised foot so a win/win for us both!