last year, as i began got into belly dancing, and was doing yoga regularly, a strange thing happened.
i started to get bizarro knee pain that’s source seemed to be my hips. it persisted for weeks, made me stop doing yoga, and pretty much living with daily pain.
it got bad enough that i started to see katie regularly for massage therapy to see if we could work it out. she thought it was a psoas problem, and i was doing all manner of stretches to address it.
then one day, during a 90-minute massage, she was “manually” stretching my psoas – my muscles were relaxed and she was pulling my thigh out from the hip joint and then pushing my knee up to my chest at various angles. (like pulling your knees into your chest, but with none of your muscles doing the work)
and we heard a GIANT pop and all of my pain was completely gone. it was like magic.
apparently, it wasn’t muscle-related so much as joint/alignment related. something had probably popped slightly out of place.
i share this story, bec yesterday, i woke up with a similar pain in my left leg. it seemed eerily familiar, and i wasn’t about to lose my yoga progress if i could help it.
so yesterday, all i did was AM Yoga, which is basicly all gentle stretching, a lot of it focused on hips and legs. it helped remove the stiffness, but not the pain. i meant to do more yoga later that day, but i think my body is happy i didn’t push it.
this morning, i decided to give AM Yoga one more round. i could feel the push against the joint that wanted to be Right again, and during one of the spinal twists, there was a nice loud POP and my pain evaporated.
this, of course, begs the question “should i see a chiropractor and get this checked out?”
i figure i should – maybe in austin when i am accessible to such things – but i mostly feel like if my body is going to periodically do this, maybe knowing that certain yoga stretches and applying them daily would help a) head it off at the pass and b) fix it when it is whacked out.
and of course, i should be looking at the possible causes of said hip-poppiness, and that is yet another reason to see a good chiropractor.
however, today, i feel good that i knew what to do to make this better without letting it destroy my zen for weeks!
2 thoughts on “i’ve reached the popping years”
I think a chiropractor would definitely be a good idea.
When I used to take a lot of dance classes I would do this move to keep up the flexibility in my hips: you lie on your back and bring one knee up to your chest, then turn your knee out (away from your body) and then circle your leg around. It sounds similar to what your massage therapist was doing to you. Usually when I do it I hear some pops.
Also, I’ve heard from a couple of dancers that the style of belly dance that they call tribal (not sure if this is what you were doing) involves turning your knees in while moving your hips which puts a LOT of strain on your body. I’m sure this is probably a source of debate and I’m no expert, but a few people have told me that particular style can definitely cause some issues.
What may be happening is you have an over tense or over developed muscle pulling the joint, and it’s pair (every muscle in the body has an opposite, one to contract one to extend a body part) is not strong enough to balance out that pulling. This will lead a joint being held just a bit out of it’s sweet spot – bodies are not happy with this! I think maybe whats going on is by stretching, you’re giving the muscles a chance to let the joint lay in it’s natural position, sit back in it’s sweet spot (the POP you hear). You may want to think about trying to isolate which muscles contribute to this, and work on making it’s counterpart stronger, while beating the naughty muscle into stretchy submission! Remember milking the forearms and how that led to a bit of happier wrists? Same thing, but different parts of the body. A chiro that does sports med. would be a great choice.