I struggled with left hip and leg pain for over 10 years… it started in after having my first child in 2008, and then got significantly worse after having my second in 2012. Within a few years, it became an incessant, daily pain, often rating as high as a seven or eight on the pain scale, but never lower than a two.
I went to spine doctors, chiropractors, physical therapists, massage therapists, and more… I was treated for a lumbar disc issue, piriformis syndrome, hyperlordosis, scoliosis, bursitis, sacroiliac disfunction, and more. I spent thousands on images and therapies. None of it made me better.
I got so excited in 2020 when I finally got into the Mayo clinic, where they told me I was missing several important tests, only to come back for results and hear that I was “perfectly healthy.” Nothing was wrong with me. “Some people just have unexplained chronic pain,” the doctor said and shuffled me out of his office in under five minutes. I was so defeated by this news that on my long drive home I seriously contemplated driving off a bridge. I didn’t know how I was going to continue living with this pain. Thankfully I didn’t. Thankfully I kept searching.
Today I am pain-free 98% of the time. After two more years of Googling my symptoms and connecting with like sufferers online, I slowly discovered the root causes of my pain and then the cures, not only for the pain, but for what I later found out were so many other cascading issues.
Three things were the root cause of my pain:
- My psoas muscle was chronically tight from child birth trauma and jobs where I sit full time
- I was stuffing my emotions vs. dealing with them, which was causing my brain to chronically turn up the volume of pain signals from my body
- I was deficient in magnesium, which was causing muscle and nerve disfunction, as well as increased anxiety and emotional distress
Three things helped me cure these issues and finally dispel this unwelcome guest of 10+ years:
- A $36 TENS machine from Amazon (to help reprogram my Psoas)
- A sit/stand height adjustable desk for work
- The free podcast “Like Mind, Like Body” (to help me reprogram my brain and start learning how to honor and process my emotions)
- A quality magnesium glycinate supplement (to repair my magnesium deficiency)
I’ve been on this healing journey now for nearly two years, and I am continuously surprised at how many other seemingly unrelated issues I have are also improving. Aside from the leg and hip pain being gone (with the exception of the rare occurrence which I now know how to address) I have much less stress and anxiety, which has improved both my family and professional life. In addition, while I have also struggled in the last few years with extreme pain at ovulation, which I thought was completely unrelated, I now believe this may be improving as a result of the psoas muscle work I’m doing (more on that in a future post).
I share this story in the hopes of it helping others who might have similar struggles. There is hope. Chronic pain is curable. The body is a complex interconnected system, where the brain is the orchestrator, the fuel you feed your body matters, and emotional and physical health are not as separate as we might think.
Here are a few resources that I found most valuable along the way:
- A Like Mind Like Body podcast episode on the role of the brain in pain: https://www.curablehealth.com/podcast/mind-body-scientific-study-with-neuroscientist-dr-tor-wager
- A podcast episode with a great overview of magnesium deficiency: https://dhrupurohit.com/the-super-nutrient-most-of-us-are-missing-with-dhru-purohit/#ql-video
- An article on pregnancy and the impact to the psoas and other muscles: https://brbyoga.com/hurt-hips/