Celebrate the milestones in your health journey: meet Zorro

So many of you are aware I had a hip arthroscopy in April this year. Well, just over a month ago I hit a milestone in the healing journey and I thought I should share it with you as I know many of you also have challenges with injury, pain and chronic health conditions.

One of the problems with having a hip injury is that you need to avoid hip flexion to prevent aggravating and inflaming the injury again. Now hip flexion includes just about every form of cardiovascular exercise you can image including: walking, running, swimming, cycling, kayaking, karate, yoga and most ball sports (luckily I can’t catch so that’s no biggie for me). The only two things I came across that didn’t really involve hip flexion were swimming with a pull buoy between your legs (and when this was first suggested I heard it as ‘pool boy’ and I wasn’t sure how that might help) and using an arm grinder at the gym. So it’s a real bummer when karate, cycling and hiking are your favourite types of exercise.

I was over the moon one day in July when I was given approval from my hip team (the surgeon, physiotherapist and exercise physiologist) to be allowed back onto the bike. A friend remarked that my “whole face lit up” as I recounted the good news to him. I am a rather keen commuter and recreational cyclist. The bad news is that my beautiful road bike, Bluey, causes too much hip flexion and will have to be rested, for now. The good news is that I have a brand new commuter bike. Meet Zorro:

Zorro cannondale quick

Zorro was chosen because I would be seated in an upright position and have less hip flexion. There were a few modifications to the handle bars to support this position too.

If you are a keen cyclist and have injury concerns (or pain anywhere in your body from cycling) I suggest having your bike fitted out by a physiotherapist specialising in bike fitting. I went to Eric at Physiotec. He was great and used physical assessment techniques and video to make sure my bike fitted perfectly ensuring I was using the correct muscles and not aggravating my hip.

My first ride with Zorro was magic and the winter sky complied beautifully.

blue sky and sun
A winter’s day in Brisbane. It doesn’t get much better than this!

I’m now back to commuting by bike to work (here’s 5 good reasons to cycle commute) and taking a few recreational cycles too. Here’s an excellent website to help you to find the best ways to cycle around Brisbane.

bike locker
Z is for Zorro. Hooray for lockers at work!

And I’m also well supported towards my next two milestones, a return to karate training and scuba diving, by my surgeon, physio, exercise physiologist, acupuncturist and naturopath too! See, I get treatment too!

Make sure to celebrate the milestones, whether large or small in your health journey. Some health conditions and injuries can take a very long time to resolve or manage so we need to acknowledge the small achievements along the way as it is these that pave our way to the big ones! And if you like, note them down in a gratitude journal or app (here’s 50 gratitude apps).

This journey has really helped me to understand injury and chronic pain personally. I have learnt so much first hand to help my patients who are also experiencing similar problems and I apply this to my consultations and treatments.

For further information on Chinese Medicine contact Dr Sarah George (Acupuncture).  Sarah is a practitioner of acupuncture (AHPRA registered), massage therapy and natural health at her Broadbeach clinic and is the Chinese Medicine Senior Lecturer at the Endeavour College of Natural Health Gold Coast campus.

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