I just came across this forum while doing some research on FAI. I, like many of you have been suffering with pain for years-almost 20 to be exact-and I am 39. After having done every test imaginable, and seeing the local(Ottawa, Ont.)back surgeon-Dr. Chow, more than 5 times-I had no answers. My biggest complaint was chronic back pain, lower, thoracic, and cervical, as well as nerve impingement sypmtoms in my legs, shoulders and hands. I have tried every therapy I could Google, some traditional, and many not, with no results and a slow progression of my pain. Like many of you I had to search for my own answers, and was not impressed with the help I received from the therapist at the time. I was even told I had a low pain tolerance, and that my problem was mostly in my head! They would concead though that I had muscle tightness throughout my body that they couldn't explain, only to say that none of the "traditional" tests showed anything wrong with me. EESSSHH!! The frustrating part was that they would not recommend anyone outside of their area of expertise, and refused to reasess me when their approach didn't work. I wanted someone to help me find the solution-sorry to say I had to do that on my own.
I am athletic playing competitive hockey and soccer, and now men's league hockey only. I used to do the traditional "bodybuilding" style workouts and managed to get to a bodyweight of 225 lbs, with a 34 inch waist at 5'10. All that to say, that those workouts made me worse, and I eventually stopped alltogether at 27 yrs. I have since managed to keep my pain progession to a slow crawl, but it still progressed. One good thing that came out of this process is my determination to find smarter ways to workout. I haven't searched much of this sight, but it appears to be a running based site. I prefer weights, but have moved into cardio circuits with weights. I have found kettlebells, and have been using them for over 8 yrs. now. I have also found that training movements instead of muscles, has changed my outlook on training, making it more effective and efficient. Some great resources to help you help yourself during your search for a proper diagnosis to your pain are as follows:
-Functional Movement Screen(FMS)-developped by physiotherapist Gray Cook-geared towards a systematic approach for assessing faulty movement patterns in a person, and correcting them through exercise-there are certifications with many practitioners Canada
-Magnificient Mobility DVD-Eric Cressey-shows you how to warm-up properly and why stretching before an athletic activity is counter productive
-Core Performance Essentials-this has been a big part of my workout for the past 3 yrs.-it's main goal is to get your body to work properly-this would be even more effective if you had the FMS first, but it's best features are smart exercises with planned progression-ie. if I asked you in 4 months how your workout was coming you would actually be able to tell me how much you improved
-Pain Free by Peter Egosuce-this book didn't fix me but it changed my view on how I could achieve a permanent solution to my pain, and gave me greater insight into how the body works-there's a website also
-read any articles from Mike Boyle, Eric Cressey, Mike Robertson, Gray Cook and Brett Jones-Jones and Cook collaborated on a project using kettlebells and Indian club swinging to restore proper function to your body
Sorry for the long reply, but I wanted to share my experience with pain, and how I increased my knowledge in terms of exercising intelligently to find a lasting cure to my pain. Wtih that being said, my pain still progressed until I was properly diagnosed inn April 2009.
My wife suffered from hip pain, had a labral tear repaired by the famous(now retired) Dr. Fowler in London Ont. The surgery did not fix her pain, and subsequent visits to other "experts" provided nothing. They said good luck with physiotherapy. Finally after another trip to a different doctor, he recommended her to see Dr. Paul Beaule here in Ottawa. He found her problem in 3 minutes, using an x-ray only, on her first appointment. He performed a proceedure called a Bernese Periacetabular Osteotomy(probably spelled wrong), where he cut her pelvis into three peices, adjusted it to fit properly, and screwed it back together. She was back riding a Harley less than 6 months later. She was a national team rower(now a mother of two), and still in great shape. The surgery was a complete success!
I then booked my appointment with Dr. Beaule and was seen April 1/09. It took him less than a minute to find my problem. Femoral Acetabular Impingement-FAI. Music to my ears-my pain wasn't in my head. From all the research that I had noted above, I figured that my hips may be the source of my pain, and now it was confirmed. Beaule stated that improper hip function, will cause back pain. If you read Cook's and Mike Bolye's "joint by Joint" approach to training, they say the same thing.
I got the call for a surgery date 2 weeks ago, and am going in for a bilateral hip arthroscopy on July 21/11-almost 2 yrs. and 4 months later! The wait has sucked big time, and my pain came to a head in late March when I severely pinched my sciatic nerve working out no less. I have been on light duties at work ever since-surgery can't come soon enough!
Things are progressing quickly in the area of hip surgery, especially FAI, and my doctor, who originally told me he could only operate on one hip at at time(I have FAI on both hips), will now be operating on both at once. I am nervous and the reason for my search was an attempt to find anyone else who had both hips operated on at once-I have had negative results so far.
My research has shown that I am very lucky to have Dr. Paul Beaule here in Ottawa, that his last job before coming here was in UCLA, and that he is a leading researcher in the area of hip athroscopy. He chairs many educational seminars(for other hips surgeons), with one coming up in New York this month. From my understanding he specialized in the Arthroscopic proceedure while studying pro athletes with hip pain. Traditional "open" surgeries were to invaisive and the rehab so hard that many pro athletes solved their pain problems, but never returned to play pro. His advancements in the arthroscopic proceedure has brought this number up significantly.
This is a long reply, just venting about my experience, sorry. I would call his office in Ottawa, and ask for a recommended doctor in your area. I would also look at some of the information I provided above to help you along while waiting for your appointments-be proactive. Lots of information about how to train your body to function properly is out there, as well as improved methods to recover after surgery. For any hockey fans out there, Ray Emery(goalie for the Anaheim Ducks) had the same hip disease as Bo Jackson did. He got surgery-I don't know what kind-and rehabed his hip in Toronto with a private trainer named Matt Nicol. I contacted him telling him about my FAI, and he stated that he could help me prepare my body for surgery, and help rehab me afterwards. He also recommended a local trainer-Lorne Goldenberg strength coach for the Montreal Canadians-here in Ottawa. I contacted him and he also offered to help. I never went because I felt that it would be to expensive, but wonder if it would benefit me.
I'll end it here, search lots, stay diligent, keep your spirits up, and keep moving.