Q & A With Susi: Arthritis, Hip Pain

By Susi Hately, B.Sc. Kinesiology, C-IAYT

1. How do you work with someone with arthritis?

Susi’s response: Two key factors for helping someone to improve is to:

  • help them to better absorb and dissipate load
  • better manage their relationship to their condition

The two often go hand and hand, and in my experience, as someone improves physically they improve in both competence and confidence.  They feel better and have less pain.

With arthritis (and any condition, really), each person is impacted differently, whether it is due to the actual degeneration and inflammation or whether it is due to how they are managing their condition. So, rather than having a template of exercises to choose from, I simply provide movements and breathing techniques that specifically support who they are and how they are moving on that day. This honouring of their body and their relationship to their body goes a long way to helping them to improve function and reduce pain.

The bumper sticker: Yes, you can reduce pain and live a more functional life, even with arthritis.

2. How do you work with hip flexor pain?

Susi’s response: My experience over the past 20 years has shown me that the pain is not where the problem is. With hip flexor pain, while there is often a degree of limitation or dysfunction of the pelvis, legs and spine (and these areas do need to be improved), there are often holding patterns further up the chain, in the rib cage, neck and head, and down the chain into the feet, that need to be addressed. I do this by simply improving the quality and coordination of a person’s movement and breathing patterns. As I help them to improve their motor control and coordination, their pain goes down. As their pain goes down, we can then help them improve their stamina and endurance so that they have more and more days without pain, and progress them to enjoying the activities they love, living the life they want to live.

The bumper sticker: The pain isn’t where the problem is. It is merely a sign of limitation and/or dysfunction.