Posts Tagged ‘ hip flexor ’

Getting Results

splitinroadMonday I had my follow up with my ortho doc to discuss the results of my MRI. The MRI itself was uneventful. Not as scary as I thought it was going to be which was a relief. It took about 25 minutes. My head wasn’t completely inside the tube since the scan was of my pelvic area, so I didn’t feel claustrophobic at all.

The doctor spent a half hour basically telling me that the MRI results were inconclusive. The good news is there were no apparent tears or other damage. The bad news is the doctor wasn’t really able to point me in the right direction. His advice? Rest. Apply heat. See him in 6 weeks.

Awesome.

After my visit with him, I headed straight over to my chiropractor to get a much needed adjustment. I love my chiropractor as well as getting regular adjustments. For those of you who don’t see one, I highly recommend it. You don’t realize how out of whack your body gets until someone puts you back in place. I always feel amazing whenever I leave.

When I saw her I mentioned my persistent discomfort and what the ortho doc had told me. After manipulating my leg through a few different stretches, she said she didn’t think rest would help because I’ve been resting and haven’t seen a marked improvement. She recommended that I see a physical therapist who also is an ortho guy who specializes in sports medicine. Her daughter saw this guy and it really helped. Her conclusion? Scar tissue build up. See a PT. Work it out don’t rest it.

Today I saw the PT. He was a really nice guy who talked to me for a while about the pain, then put me through a series of intensive stretches. Like many runners, I’m very inflexible, so it hurt! His theory is that my pelvis is out of line which in turn pulls my muscles out of line, puts strains on my ligaments and causes pain as I do cardio or other specific strengthening exercises. He worked for a while on pulling, pushing and moving my leg to try and get any parts that may have shifted back into place. He left me with this advice: Do hip flexor exercises, start back with light cardio and strength training, and come back to see him in a week.

Three “experts,” three different ideas of where I should go from here. So where do I go? What can I do to be smart and get back to running again? Here’s what I’m going to do: Light cardio, strength training, stretching, ice and heat. My main problem is that I get so excited to workout that I do too much too fast and end up worse than when I began. So this time I’m going to work at being smart, starting slow and stopping before the pain starts rather than when it starts.

Wish me luck! 😀

Just Keep Swimming

train-for-swim  I recently talked with someone at my local running store about my hip flexor injury, lamenting the fact that I haven’t been able to run without exacerbating it. She gave me the contact info of a local sports physical therapist that she said was excellent and went on to say that she tore her hip flexor so she knows what I’m going through. It was great to talk with someone who actually went through what I’m going through now. She recommended swimming, saying that it not only kept her from going crazy while she couldn’t run, but that it kept her in good cardio shape and brought her back to running in three months.

While three months seems like a long time, my goal is to be a life-long runner so I want to recovery the right way and if that means taking more time to strengthen my muscles and prevent future injuries then so be it. The woman went on to say that her therapist recommended one-leg bridges (a favorite pilates move of mine actually). She said to do three sets with ten leg-lifts on each side every day. A pain in the butt (ha!), but strengthening the glutes, strengthens the hips, both of which are common weak areas for women so it’s good to focus on those muscles anyway.

I’ve been in the gym a lot, doing pilates and lifting weights, working on my core and legs especially. My body has definitely grown tighter and stronger, although I haven’t seen much, if any, improvement in my hip flexor. So my new goal is to contact a sports therapist and jump in the pool as much as I can. I’m not going to give up. I will run again. Like Dory says – Just keep swimming! 🙂

Happy running!

Overcoming Injury

woman-leg-injury-mdnThere’s nothing more frustrating to me than a persistent injury. I know some people who can run miles and miles without a single injury. Sadly, I’m not one of those people. My injuries have ranged from mild to painful, a strained ankle tendon to a persistent IT injury. Recovery has taken anywhere from a few days (ankle) to months (IT band). My problem is not knowing what kind of treatment to do when. Do I use RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevate)? Or physical therapy? How long should I stop running? Do I have to stop running or can I run through the injury? Will that keep me from a full recovery?

I normally approach each injury head on, trying to do as much as can, pushing my limits, to try and figure out how serious my injury is. Obviously I wouldn’t do this for some super severe like a bad sprain or broken bone (neither of which I’ve had and hope never to deal with), but for the various strains and aggravations I’ve had that method is the best way I’ve found to deal with my injuries thus far.

And I’ve found that different injuries respond in different ways and recommendations I get from running experts or online running resources aren’t always the best fit for my body. For example, my IT band was injured because I did too much too fast and to get to a full recovery I had to stop running completely. Instead I focused on cross-training and found a roller. I began rolling out my IT band every day, along with my other muscles, and that was what got me to a full recovery.

Most recently I pulled my hip flexor. It’s been incredibly frustrating because I can’t run without pain and even walking has been hurting. I’ve tried different things and have found that the best exercises that work so far are strength training for the glutes and low abs (for some reason my hip flexor always feels better after I do those strengthening exercises) and using the Precor machine because it doesn’t have the same impact as running does. I would like to add water running to my recovery list as I feel like the Precor mimics that movement.

I’ll continue to work towards healing so I can run at full capacity again and try not to get frustrated at the time it takes. My ultimate goal is to run for my lifetime and if I have to stop running while I fully heal then that’s what I have to do!

Happy running! 🙂