The Feldenkrais Method and Osteoarthritis
Wednesday, October 1, 2003
by: Jane Larus

Section: Recovery

Six years ago I was diagnosed with osteoarthritis. At first I had severe pain in my right groin. Soon after, walking became an agonizing experience and sitting also became torturous. An x-ray revealed I had no cartilage on my right hip and very little on my left one. The orthopedist told me to take Advil, go have fun and come back for hip replacement surgery when I couldn’t stand the pain any more.

As the pain worsened, I did call the doctor again. At this point he suggested prescription painkillers or nine Advil a day. I chose the latter but also decided I would try some alternatives. I requested that the doctor approve some water therapy for me which I followed faithfully for six months, with no noticeable results. As a result of reading, I had also started a regimen of Cosamin DS that I am still following today, which has made me more comfortable overall.

At this point, I heard about the Feldenkrais Method and began taking classes. By this time I was limping, and getting around was becoming more and more difficult. My Feldenkrais® teacher was nurturing but firm. When I started Feldenkrais lessons, I only felt comfortable immediately after the class. My progress has been slow but steady. I now attend classes twice a week and would be lost without them. I haven’t been on Advil for years. At my very worst, I had to forfeit a trip to China, but a year later, I took a trip to Greece and climbed up the Parthenon, a major victory for me.

Now I can walk, sit and climb, usually with little or no discomfort. I no longer limp. I feel more flexible and limber than I ever have, and I do not feel restricted in my daily activities. Unless something unforeseen happens, I do not contemplate needing a hip replacement in the future. Thanks to the Feldenkrais Method, my teacher, and some motivation on my part to avoid an operation, I am leading a comfortable, busy life.
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