Granny Hips : Physio Parts 1&2


I really didn’t know what to expect from physio. The rheumatologist, after diagnosing undifferentiated connective tissue disease (UCTD) and fibromyalgia, recommended physio and pain management. I’m also on Hydroxychloroquine for the UCTD. The appointment for physio came through in just a couple of weeks, but the pain management referral will apparently take a few, if not several, months. I’m lucky in that I was referred to my local hospital so it’s not too far to travel, which is a great relief when all of my surgical appointments have been about an hour and a half’s drive.


Session 1 – The Great Unknown

I arrive, after getting a little lost wandering around the hospital, and waited for about 15 minutes to see the physio, This gave me enough time to complete the ‘pre-visit’ assignment: to list your medications, diagnoses, pains, aches and how they all affect you on a daily basis. I found this a bit tricky because putting pain into words and pinpointing where it is isn’t easy. The answer “everything hurts” just isn’t specific enough!

The lady I saw was easy to talk to and seemed more genuine than some, actually listening to what I said and showing care rather than either scepticism or forced sympathy. She asked me to give her an overview of what’s been going on so I took a deep breath and started the rather long story, ending up at where I’m at now. We covered a lot of ground, and not all of it was specifically pain/physio related. We talked a bit about my feelings of guilt for not being more grateful for being alive, how I lost my job, my poor body image, insomnia, and my frustrations with myself and my body not being what it should be for someone my age.

She gave me a booklet on managing pain and referred me to the Pain Toolkit website, while noting that apparently I’m already “well aware of all of everything that’s in it” but that it may serve as a comfort to remind me to look after myself when I don’t. Having listened to me ramble on for quite some time, she said I was extremely good at self-analysis, but I do have the “doctor heal thyself” syndrome (where you could give the best of advice and know it all, yet fail to apply it to yourself or treat yourself the way you’d treat others). Not the first time I’ve heard this.

We both agreed that I don’t seem to have come to a point of acceptance, far from it in fact. I’ve always been to resistant to accept how things are because that feels like I’m giving up and saying that this is it, things won’t get any better, there’s nothing else to find, it’s the end of the road. But there’s a difference between accepting the situation and letting it consume you, and accepting where you’re at and working with what you’ve got to better manage your problems. This is an area I need to better get to grips with, soon…

Session 2 – It’s All In The Hips

I used to joke a few years ago about having a ‘granny hip’. Now I joke about it because if I don’t laugh I’ll cry. The pain in both hips can get quite intense, so this was the first area I told Lucy I’d like to work on.

She made me stand on one leg, lie down, move my legs and hips this way and that, all the while with me grimacing or saying “yep, that hurts” when necessary to give her an idea of what was causing the problems.

It turns out, my hips are perhaps a little too flexible. The last thing I thought I’d hear. My hips can lock, click and be harder to move when they hurt. She said it was quite typical of my connective tissue disorder and means that my muscles and joints are struggling more because they’re not strong enough. She’s given me two types of daily exercises – a mini squat exercise and one lying on my side, knees bent, raising one knee at a time upwards while keeping my heels together. Next appointment will be in 4 weeks, where she’ll look at making the exercises a little more intensive as the others are a little too painful to do at the moment. From there, it’ll probably be on to my shoulders or my hands.

The physio has also tried to get in touch with my GP as I’ve finally relented to the idea of prescription painkillers for the body aches and pains providing I’m not on anything too regularly, nor anything overly addictive or with too many side effects. Given the problems getting hold of my GP, or them even doing my regular prescriptions on time, I’m not sure when I’ll hear back about this. As we are all very well aware, NHS GP surgeries are more than a little overstretched.

Has anyone else had any experience with physiotherapy, and what did you make of it? Did you find the physio personable enough to get on with, and did it help you at all?

Take care and thanks for reading! I’m off to take my granny hips for their daily exercises.




  1. June 30, 2017 / 3:10 pm

    Sorry about your hips. After I had my 4th child, my hips hurt some. I went to a sports chiropractor. He helped. “Granny hips”- too funny. Have a wonderful weekend!

    • InvisiblyMe
      July 2, 2017 / 3:09 pm

      A sports chiropractor sounds good, a little more intensive I think than the sort of physio you tend to get referred to. I’m glad it helped you! 🙂

  2. June 30, 2017 / 9:50 pm

    I haven’t had physio but know people who have had good experiences with it. I think it’s normal to be anxious before something new, especially when you’re already so aware of the hip issues. I hope it helps you xx

    • InvisiblyMe
      July 2, 2017 / 3:10 pm

      Thanks Christy. So far it’s going okay, I’m lucky I’ve got a nice lady who’s easy to get on with and knows what she’s doing. Thanks for the comment 🙂

      • July 2, 2017 / 7:28 pm

        Glad to hear it’s going well. Thanks for the update here xx It really helps when you have a good connection with the person who’s showing you the way, no matter the environment. Hugs

  3. July 1, 2017 / 7:52 pm

    I’m never too keen on being pulled around by physios, as I am hypersensitive to pain (yay) and I also have a nasty hip, so well done for coping with that, first and foremost. Can you tolerate aromatherapy remedies? I found thyme oil is very helpful – couple of drops in a carrier oil, never apply it neat, and rub in. Might be worth a try ? ???

    • InvisiblyMe
      July 2, 2017 / 3:13 pm

      I’m sorry you’ve also got an ouchy hip and struggle with pain, that can’t be easy. Thanks for the tip about the oil. I’ve Googled carrier oil (due to my limited knowledge on them!) and will do some window shopping for the thyme variety as I’ll definitely give this a go! Thank you! 🙂

      • July 2, 2017 / 7:22 pm

        Oh sorry – it’s just that most essential oils should always be diluted, NEVER applied directly. You can use almond oil..coconut oil…anything really. Having said that, I don’t like the way oil feels so I use a plain moisturiser, does the job. Read up on thyme oil, I’ve found it helpful ??xx

  4. July 2, 2017 / 9:41 am

    Hip pain is the worst. I have loose hips as well and have to watch movements such as bicycle crunches and things of that nature because I can feel the strain grow and then my hip locks up. Its scary…feels like its going to roll right out. Good for you for doing the exies!

    • InvisiblyMe
      July 2, 2017 / 3:14 pm

      Ouch, yes I found the same with movements like that – I used to have an exercise bike that I bought several years ago, which I sold last week as I haven’t been able to use it! Have you found anything that helps you at all with the pain and movement? Perhaps the exercises I’m doing would help you a little too..? 🙂 Thanks for the comment! x

  5. July 2, 2017 / 4:22 pm

    Hi I suffer from hEDS a connective tissue disorder affecting nearly all my joints. My hips have always been a major problem since a young age as they would sublux and still do. I have hydro every week with a fantastic physio and we work on core and stabilising joints but I always ache afterwards and can have a flare up. I find heat can help and ice alternating the two. I have been having physio for years for various joints.

    • InvisiblyMe
      July 2, 2017 / 5:23 pm

      Hey Emma, I know someone else online with EDS and they struggle with various things, joints included. I wouldn’t mind trying something like hydrotherapy, I’ve heard that’s really good. I’m sorry you’ve had to deal with such problems since you were younger, I can’t imagine that’s been easy for you. I use Voltarol cream on joints, a hot water bottle for my back and a cool eye pack for my head but not joints, I’ll have to look at using both and alternating for things like hips and knee. Thank you for the comment! 🙂 Caz x

  6. Natalie | Surviving life's hurdles
    July 2, 2017 / 7:06 pm

    I’ve never had physio myself but my partner does and he loves it! I really hope it helps you too and I’m looking forward to reading your progress! X

    • InvisiblyMe
      July 2, 2017 / 7:21 pm

      May I ask what he was referred for..? It’s good to hear he’s found it to be a positive experience! 🙂

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