I teach and practice Aikido, a martial art that involves rolling, falling, and knee-walking.
Beginning in 2010 (when I was living in Japan and practicing Shotokan karate as well as Aikido and Japanese swordsmanship) I was diagnosed with severe osteoarthritis in my left hip that eventually resulted in bone spurs and constant debilitating pain. I tried acupuncture, physical therapy, massage, Feldenkrais, and even excruciatingly painful prolotherapy, but it just didn’t get better, and I had the hip resurfaced in 2014.
Within 6 months of the surgery I started getting the same symptoms in my right side–the same way the left side had started to break down, including super tight hip flexors, painful impingement on outer hip rotation, and muscle pain/tightness in my quads. This time, though, I started rolling daily and doing stretches I found in the FAI fix.
In the summer of 2015, just after starting the FAI fix, I did a week-long Aikido camp. After four days of training, I couldn’t walk without limping and I had to stop taking falls. But I was, amazingly, able to recover within a week with rolling and stretching. I kept teaching Aikido and going to the boxing gym over the following fall, winter, and spring, and found that I could stay pretty mobile and pain-free as long as I was faithful about rolling and stretching every day.
At the week-long Aikido camp in 2016 I was able to train nearly every class for the whole camp, and didn’t even limp afterward. And then I took off on my international travels. I have managed to survive four months of car travel around the US, followed by nearly four months of travel around the globe. I did Aikido in most every place I stopped (from Tokyo to China to Mongolia, across Russia and into Europe, as far north as Oslo and as far south as Prague–it was a crazy trip), sometimes teaching seminars and training daily for several consecutive days, and I walked more than I thought possible. Thanks largely, I believe, to my thirty-minute daily stretching routine and rolling as much as possible, I have stayed mobile, if not pain-free.
I should add, I guess, that I think that my diet also helps me stay out of pain–I generally stay away from refined sugar and flour and eat whole foods. I notice that when I stray, I really feel it in my body–both a drop in my energy levels (which are vital for keeping up with stretching, rolling, etc) and increased joint pain. Not to complicate the picture too much, but I feel it’s worth a mention.
Thank you for putting together this program and for all your help!