Some orthopedic conditions are experienced almost exclusively by women, and there’s a tendency to ignore them, partly because society tells us not to complain and to cowboy up. But if not addressed early, these conditions take a long time to resolve.
So here goes, literally from the bottom down!
- Tailbone pain, or coccydynia. If you suddenly experience pain at the tip of your tailbone*, for no good reason, I want you to run, not walk, to the nearest drug store or go to Amazon and purchase a coccyx relief pillow. Or you should start sitting straight up in your chair instead of a slumped position. When you sit in a slumped position, it puts more pressure on the tailbone. If you ignore that pain, you can trigger a stress reaction which can take months to get better, and your life will be turned all wonky because of it. If I’ve seen a hundred patients with tail bone pain, ninety-nine of them are women over the age of forty. You can read more about it on my blog post.
*Occasionally tailbone pain is due to a pilonidal cyst, which can get infected. So if there is swelling, redness, or any drainage, seek consultation with your primary care doc or in the ER right away.
- Pain on the outside of the hip. This is called hip bursitis or greater trochanteric bursitis, and again, it is a condition suffered almost exclusively by women. You experience pain across that hard, knobby bone on the outside of the hip. This is not your hip joint, by the way. This condition usually affects women over the age of forty. If you suddenly begin to experience this pain, stop or modify any aggravating activity right away. Start my Sit Like A Man program and see your doctor if needed. And of course, read my blog post on it. Don’t tolerate it for several months. It will take double or triple the amount of time to heal if you do.
- Pain and crunching under the knee cap. This is called chondromalacia patella. It is due to abnormal wear on the cartilage under the knee cap. You will likely notice it when you climb stairs or do squats. Don’t work through this pain. Stop the aggravating activity, especially squats, deep knee bends and lunges, even if it really upsets you because you’re trying to get healthy and lose weight. See an orthopedic surgeon and read my blog post on it. And Sit Like A Man.
- Pain on the bottom of the heel. This is known as plantar fasciitis. Some call it a heel spur, but the origin of the pain is the plantar fascia and not a heel spur (so you don’t need to have the spur removed). It’s caused by the tight plantar fascia or Achilles tendon. It usually starts one morning when you get out of bed, and you feel a shearing sensation on the bottom of your foot. It gets better as you move around, so you ignore it. The next day the same thing happens, and most women continue to ignore it, sometimes for months! I don’t think I’ve ever seen someone with plantar fascial pain for only a week, but by the time it’s been there for a month, it is unlikely to go away for a long time. Deal with it quickly. Read my blog post on it, to see what you should do. Sit with your feet flat on the floor. Or just go and see an orthopod, podiatrist or physical therapist.
These are all adult repetitive strain disorders, and they all occur almost exclusively in women over forty, with the exception of the knee cap issue, which also occurs in young women, especially those involved in sports in which part of the training is going squats and box jumping. The sooner you address these conditions and start treatment, the less likely they will become intractable; lingering on, sometimes for months, and even years!
And always…Sit Like A Man (S.L.A.M.)!