I started noticing hip pain after I returned from a 7 week trip to Thailand in the Spring of 2012, in which I was training 3 hours per session, of which there were two each day (total of six hours per day) for pretty much the entirety of the trip. I basically just dealt with the pain for about 2 years until it got so bad that I couldn’t sit for more than a couple minutes at a time without having to shift or stand up and stretch to get some relief. It then got to the point where the pain was so bad it would wake me up from a sound sleep. That’s when I decided to get it checked out by a doctor.
The doctor gave me an x-ray and referred me for an MRI – which revealed I had cam type FAI and a torn labrum with several small cysts in my left hip. It also revealed FAI in my right hip as well. He then referred me to a sports medicine doctor who told me the only way to treat FAI is with arthroscopic surgery. I then saw two orthopedic surgeons who both told me that arthroscopic surgery to shave the bone and repair the labrum was the only way I could be cured completely. They all said the FAI likely was derived either from a deformity of the bone from birth, or caused from repeated kicking which caused the head of the femur to “rub” against the acetabulum and become misshapen and ultimately led to the torn labrum. When I asked why I wasn’t experiencing pain in the right hip, he said it was only a matter of time until that hip was equally as bad as my left hip.
It was a really stressful time for me because I’m extremely active and had begun competing more regularly in Muay Thai, something I did not want to give up due to hip pain/surgery. And to hear that doing the very thing that I loved was what caused this pain that was making my life more difficult, only made it worse! I wanted to explore all options prior to surgery, so I inquired about physical therapy, the surgeon reluctantly gave me a referral, basically telling me it probably wouldn’t help.
I did PT for about 12 weeks and drastically reduced my training intensity during that time. It definitely helped somewhat, but I felt the approach was so focused at my hip, which ultimately I learned, is the symptom of the root problem(s). It was during that time that I discovered you and Shane on the google machine, and began doing more and more research into non invasive treatments for FAI. The main obstacle that would have prevented me from trying the FAI Fix was probably twofold: First being the cost – at the time I was working part time in a bar and taking classes so I didn’t have too much money to be spending. That coupled with the fear that I was in a hopeless situation that could not be fixed without surgery. I didn’t want to spend the money on a program that wouldn’t actually help me. The free content you and Shane put out on YouTube put those fears to rest because I could clearly see you both had a wealth of knowledge on the topic and you both had been through the problems associated with FAI already. I then decided to “go for it” and purchased the FAI Fix. The content you put in the program, coupled with what you give out on YouTube, changed my perspective on the problem I was having. I began doing a lot more self massage, using tools like the foam roller, body back buddy, and my favorite – the lacrosse ball.
The self massage, along with various stretches and strengthening exercises learned from FAI Fix ultimately led me to where I am today. It greatly reduced the amount of pain and discomfort I deal with on a day to day basis. It has improved my condition to the point of being almost entirely pain free all the time, including during training Thai Boxing which I never thought was possible, able to sit as long as I like, sleep through the night, and have increased the range of motion in both my hips – I used to have to spend quite a while warming up my hips before even attempting to kick the pads at the gym or else I would have sharp pain in both my hips. I can now kick higher and pain free with less warmup time.
Specifically I liked the TSR approach. I found it intuitive and have used it to address pain caused by muscular imbalances elsewhere in my body as well.
Three other benefits to the FAI Fix that others should know about are 1. Matt and Shane’s responsiveness to emails with questions about the program. 2. It can be done anywhere with minimal equipment/space. 3. If done consistently, over a reasonable amount of time, the FAI Fix WILL WORK. There are enough exercises in the program that one can pick and choose several that work for him/her and create their own program to heal their body.
I think the most important takeaway for me from my experience, is that I still have a long way to go, but I WILL get there. There were several times throughout my experience with FAI that I would resolve the pain to the point of it being bearable, then stop doing the routine because it was too “time consuming.” The last few months I have been very consistent with my routine and have adjusted it accordingly when other tightness/issues arise due to training etc, and have seen noticeable results. Knowing that if I just stick with it, it will resolve fully, eventually – is extremely liberating.
It’s like you have said, we spend our entire lives developing deficiencies in the body through inefficient posture, improper form when doing certain exercises, sitting, texting, etc. It makes sense that it will take at least an equal amount of time correcting those deficiencies in order to resolve the pain associated with them. It truly is a lifelong process, one I look forward to 🙂
While people will most likely see immediate results, especially from tissue work, it will likely take some time (months or even years) to fully correct the pain associated with FAI. The FAI Fix is a great resource to understanding how to address the pain and discomfort associated with FAI and I highly recommend it to anyone who has FAI!
I hope that wasn’t too long winded, and provided you with the majority of the information you were looking for. Again, thank you, Shane, and Josh for all the content and information you give to the public. It really has helped me get my life back and I’m sure it has and will continue to do so for others as well.