Thursday, January 05, 2012

Stupid Hip: Update

As you can imagine, waiting to see the doctor has been difficult.  Seriously - longest.wait.ever.  I am not a patient person at all.  So, imagine my anxiety surprise when I received a confirmation e-mail from the dr's office on Monday stating that my appointment was scheduled for 7:00 am on Friday, January 6, rather than Tuesday, January 3.

Yes, this was me after reading that e-mail on Monday!

I did what anyone would do - I called the Dr's office and calmly explained that I scheduled my appointment on-line and was sure I scheduled it for Tuesday not Friday.  Unfortunately, they had me in their system for Friday.  But, they did have an appointment on Wednesday at 5:15 pm.  Ack!  Deep breaths, deep breaths...okay, Wednesday was better than Friday.  Whatever. This particular Dr is known among the running and tri community, and I personally know a few people who have recovered quickly from various injuries after being treated by him.  I figured he was worth the wait.

I went in yesterday expecting nothing short of a miracle.  Silly and unrealistic of me, I know.  But, dammit, I have a marathon in less than two weeks!  And, I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised.  No, I am not totally and completely cured, but I do feel better. Much, much better.  As in, I still have some pain, but I can walk without wincing better!

So what was wrong? The terms Glutius Minimus, Glutius Medius and Piriformis were used, as well as
capsular impingement, tendonitis and another -itis.  In normal people terms - the issue has little to do with my actual hip joint at all.  It's more closely linked to the fact that distance running can fatigue the hip abductors, causing the pelvis to become unstable and force the other muscles to over compensate. This causes the ligaments around the hip to hurt when you move your legs and apply weight to your hip.

So what did the Dr do?  First, he asked me to move my legs in different ways - sit and put the ankle of my right leg on the knee of my left leg, stand and lift my leg, etc.  Then, manipulated my leg in all kinds of different positions and asked me to tell him when I felt pain.  He did a lot of this.  For treatment, he used muscle stimulation and added heat to the area.  Next, the torture treatment included him pressing (hard) on the different muscles and tendons near the hip capsule and glutes...yes, that shiznit hurt!  I was holding onto the table, sweating and cursing in my head.  OUCH!  But, when he asked me to get up and walk (and I wasn't sure I could walk after all that), my hip felt soooo much better!  He also did some alignment work on my spine and showed me the stretches that he wanted me to do at home.  I explained that I had been stretching like a madwoman, but he explained how the stretches I need to do for this particular area needed to be mostly dynamic stretches.  And yes, I confessed - before this injury, I rarely stretched at all.  He wasn't surprised and told me that most people do not stretch as well as they should (if they even stretch at all).

The Glutes - gotta stretch'em!

Apparently, the hip can be pretty freaking complicated.  Who woulda thunk it?

What's next?  The Dr warned me that I would be sore the next day (and I am) and told me to rest for the next 36 - 48 hours (except for the prescribed stretches).  On Saturday, I get to run!  Only a few miles, but hey, it's running.  I will see how I feel after that and I will go back to his office on Monday for more torture treatment.  (He said it could take 3-4 of these sessions to get me all better.)  And, if I am feeling good next week, there is still hope that I can run the marathon!  Fortunately for me, this is my taper time...although, this is not exactly the kind of taper I had in mind.  But I have hope!

A glimmer of hope!  Really, that's what I wanted.

Have you suffered from this?  How is your stretching - do you do it religiously, not at all, sometimes?


K said...

This is WONDERFUL news! So happy for you, Christy!!

{lifeasa}RunningMom said...

Stretch girl stretch! And pull out a foam roller and target those trigger points. It will allow you to keep on going!

Good luck!

Anonymous said...

i, too am having silly hip problems and have an appointment with the physical therapist tomorrow. my 3M half marathon (hello, austin!) is totally out of the question and so may be my second half in February.

oh, the pain!

Laura said...

Yay for hope! That's great news...especially since you've already done the work, and you can get by with less running right now. Hope you can still do the marathon!!

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