Meanwhile here's a little story

There was a definite aroma of Joss sticks as I walked in to the consulting room of the Singing Physiotherapist. Already seated was a lady of indeterminate age wearing a batik printed ankle length kaftan and a plastic flower attached somehow in the abundance of her hair. It was Hope Farthing, a sixties love child who was still living in the throes of flower power and inner peace.

I asked Hope how I could help her. She told me that she had been in pain since going to celebrate the winter solstice at Glastonbury, to experience the true Somerset vibe. Along with other celebrants she had decided to greet the dawn at the top of the Tor.  The predawn conditions were a bit slippery underfoot and Hope apparently took a roundabout route to the top which involved walking along the slope.  By the time she reached the top, the excitement of seeing the rising sun allowed her to forget the ache in her legs, but after descending in to the town, and a restorative cup of camomile tea, she became aware of pain on the outside of both hips and upper thighs. After a couple of weeks of ongoing pain, she consulted her GP who diagnosed 'Gluteal bursitis' and offered her an injection, anti- inflammatories or suggested physiotherapy.

I had a look at her legs.  There were two of them.  They were quite brown, and quite hairy.  I checked her range of movement in to flexion, extension, adduction, abduction and the rotations.  I tested the strength of the main muscle groups to ensure their grade on the Oxford scale.  I placed each hip in to the quadrant position to ensure there was no posterior capsular damage, and finally I palpated the muscles around each hip to ascertain any soft tissue damage.

'Hope' I said (for after all that was her name), 'I agree with your GP that you have a bursitis'.  I went on to explain that a bursa is a little fat pad that sits between 2 structures in the body, such as a tendon and a bone, and prevents them rubbing themselves raw.  If the area is put under too much stress, then the bursa can become inflamed.  This is what had happened in Hope's case, probably from walking, in slippery conditions, along a hill.

Hope looked at me with her big round eyes, and plaintively said 'can you help me?'  Dear reader, I confess that I nearly replied 'I hope so', but that wouldn't have been worthy of the singing physio, so instead I nodded in what I thought was a knowledgeable manner, but actually was more reminiscent of a Churchill dog impersonation. I told her that by releasing the tight muscles around the area it would decrease the stress on the bursa, allowing it to resume it’s normal inert and painless state. Within a few treatment sessions she would be able to resume all her normal activities.  

With a twinkle in her eye, Hope asked me if that included her hippie ones!


If mention of the summer of love brings a smile to your face, but your joints and muscles aren’t quite so cheerful, why not contact the singing physio on 01636 610142  and see if he can lighten your mood.