Lauren H.

Hi, my name is Lauren and I am a 37-year- old mother from England. I wanted to write a little bit about my hip journey so far and thank Matt and Shane for developing the FAI Fix programme as I  genuinely believe it is changing the course of my life…

I have always been generally active – sometimes a bit all or nothing since having children! – my background is mainly in Taekwon-Do, yoga, pilates, dancing and gym/circuit classes. Early in 2017 I  decided to revisit running as a hobby (something I have never really enjoyed but something that costs nothing and I can do with my children) and I did quite a few 5km runs and a 10km ‘muddy’ obstacle race. It was shortly after this that I started experiencing pain and restriction in my right hip, which got worse and worse throughout the summer until by September I found myself in constant pain, limping and unable to participate in any of my usual activities. The pain was mainly in the front of my hip but also radiated right though into my glute. I wasn’t able to forward fold as it felt like something was blocking the way. I felt pinching pain and also a constant dull ache.

Driving was very painful and I felt tearful at the thought of walking across a car park or to the local shop. I work as a healthcare assistant at the hospital and so work was becoming difficult and I was having to take painkillers every day. The lack of physical activity and putting my life on hold started to make me feel very down and irritable. I was missing out on my usual active quality time with my children and step-children and the housework was also difficult.

I saw a physiotherapist who suspected labral damage but it took quite a while to see the hip specialist and to get my MRI arthrogram (free on the NHS but takes a while to be seen!). The arthrogram showed a labral tear and CAM impingement. The doctor wanted me to have a fluoroscopic injection and then see him 3 months later to see what he thought was best. This seemed like a very long path and I felt upset at having to delay all my life plans for even longer.

I am lucky enough to work in diagnostic imaging at the hospital so I was able to talk to a lot of colleagues about the diagnosis and treatment. I did a lot of research online and talked to friends who are personal trainers, bodyworkers, etc. There are a few people in my department who have had the arthroscopic surgery with this particular doctor and have found it to be “95% successful”. I was beginning to feel that this would be the only way for me to get my life back and pursue my future career as a paramedic.

Then, after my husband expressed his wish for me to avoid surgery if at all possible (as he was worried it would open up a whole load of other issues), I put in a slightly different search term into Google (sorry I can’t remember what!) and there was the FAI Fix! After a bit more research and thinking things through, I decided to go for it and invested in the programme…

It was late in the year by this point and I managed a week or so of committed time to the programme before Christmas and our big family’s needs took over for a while. However, I found that the exercises helped me IMMEDIATELY – after just one session! In fact, although I have seriously slacked off over the festive period, I have still found that my symptoms are less than they were and I have every faith that this is going to work for me. I have now restarted my training and am feeling better already. My range of motion has increased and the pinching feeling and restriction has decreased when I fold forward. I have a long way to go but every day is a step forward. I very rarely take any painkillers now and I am able to dance and walk almost pain-free.

Initially I blamed the running for my hip problem (as I don’t like doing it!) but looking back I think it was probably my moderate hypermobility and the martial arts and yoga that caused the problem and I allowed my glutes to get far too weak. I enjoy stretching but I realise I have probably over- stretched so I am learning to really embrace the strength training and reactivation of my neglected muscles. The programme makes complete sense to me on both physical and emotional levels. I love the fact that the FAI Fix has empowered me and I can explore ways to get my body pain-free and as strong as possible.

I have discharged myself from the hip doctor’s care and declined the fluoroscopic injection. As well as the FAI Fix I am also following Matt’s Shoulder Fix programme for some shoulder problems I am having after a niggly martial arts injury that has been bothering me for some time. I feel like I have found in Matt and Shane two professionals that I can trust to guide me through the minefield of advice about health and well-being and I am excited about what is going to be possible. I’m not happy with the idea of “95% success” – I want to be able to do anything I want to do and never have my body stop me from doing it!

I am starting 2018 with a commitment to my body and I am determined to carve out the time to do what I need to do to fix myself…

My ten-year- old daughter and I are planning to climb the Welsh mountain Snowden in March and I feel strong enough to be able to take on some shifts in my hospital’s Emergency Department, bringing me a step closer to achieving my career dream. I am able to dance out with our dance team (Pig Dyke Molly – a very strange British phenomenon!) and hopefully soon return to some (perhaps less leg-based) martial arts. I am feeling happier and hopeful about my future. I now really understand how keeping in good health and fitness is a lifelong pursuit but that the rewards are great.

Thank you Matt and Shane for your thorough research and commitment to helping people like me. For anyone considering buying this programme I would say absolutely go for it – it is the best investment in your health you could make. Yes it takes time, commitment and sheer hard work but the gains will be real and we will have earned them without the risks surgery can bring, and without compromising or settling for anything less than being able to do WHATEVER we want in life…

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