Friday, September 7, 2012

Product Review: Trekking Poles


After whining about my inability to hike without next-day hip soreness, I decided to invest in a pair of trekking poles.   I purchased a pair of REI Traverse Shocklight Women's Trekking Poles for $79.95; a week later they went on sale and the very nice lady at REI was happy to credit $20 to my account, which was a nice bonus.

I've been walking around in my "urban nature park" neighborhood for the past week or so using the poles and have found that I am not sore and can walk farther than without them.  I was skeptical because I really didn't think that poles would take enough weight off my hips and transfer it to my upper body, but they seem to do so enough to make walking more pleasant, whereas before it was something I tried to avoid.  They also help with balance -- I slipped on some gravel while going down a hill -- without the poles I would have landed on my butt but with them it was a non-event.

I recommend these for anyone post PAO or with knee problems or compromised balance.  They are very lightweight and collapse for traveling.  I will definitely take them with me on my upcoming trip to Spain.

Link to REI's Website

Squats! Lunges! Jumps! ... and other restrictions

I recently replied to a PAO candidate about "restrictions," saying I don't have any.  Of course I was told not to do lunges ... but I do them in my yoga class and on the ice, as well as lunge-like moves like hydroblades.  I do squats daily to keep my quads strong (this is fairly new, but I needed to do it and it hasn't hurt my hips -- it has helped my knees).  I do an occasional jump on the ice, and I run now and then to get from point A to point B. 

I do all of these things within reasonable tolerances and with an eye toward any hip pain that might ensue.  So far it doesn't, and I'm careful because I do want to protect my PAO investment.  I don't feel like I have any restrictions because in daily life I don't think about movements I can't do, and I don't specifically limit myself.  My flexibility isn't what it was but that's a limitation, not a restriction.

Stay tuned for my adventures with trekking poles in a future post.