Last week, while I was helping my kid move, I started getting these really awful pains in my knees. I mean, as in crippling — I was hobbling around all week like a 90-year-old, and it was all too reminiscent of when I hurt my ankle a few years ago and went into a downward spiral. I figured it had something to do with my sneakers, because when I put them on, the knee pain was even more excruciating.
So when my friend Maya dropped by yesterday, she took one look at me and wanted to know what was wrong. (She used to be a massage therapist.) So I got on the floor and she started to check me out. When she prodded an area at the top of my hip, I almost went through the ceiling. “What the hell was that?” I said.
She muttered something about a spasm in my psoas muscle and the iliacus. Then she told me to flip over onto my stomach. That’s when I first noticed that the right side of my rib cage was really, really painful.
We eventually traced all this back to a couple of weeks ago, when I tripped over a footstool and fell onto my left side. I had a pain in my neck for several days, and then it went away. No big deal! As it turned out, it actually was a big deal. My left hip was rotated way out, and as a result, it was pulling everything else out of whack and causing the pain. I’m not exaggerating when I tell you I winced with every step I took.
I’m sharing this story because I want you all to remember how many of our aches and pains are mechanical malfunctions, not the inevitable result of aging. I am so grateful I learned that, because 1) I intend to be functional to the very end and 2) my life is a lot less painful as a result.