Home » About Me » The Hip Verdict & A Question Answered

The Hip Verdict & A Question Answered

The other day I asked you readers to help me stay occupied with posts by asking me questions!  To those of you who have, thanks…I look forward to answering them; to those of you who have not asked me yet, what are you waiting for?????  Get your thinking caps on and ask away! 

Q: Meg asked me: What are the details on your hip flexor, was it from a one time injury or over use? Who did you see for the diagnosis? This is the perfect question for today because I had planned to fill you all in on the verdict.  And I know you are all waiting for me to pop up on your google reader with my status.

A: I saw my chiro the week before I left for the Florida race because I was having some mild hip pain.  My flexibility checked out good and he didn’t notice anything out of the ordinary, so we did some ART and he gave me the green light to run the race as long as I felt up to it.  Come race day I felt fine.  There was some uneven pavement on the course and it was not fun for my hip but after a few days rest, I was back out and running.  And other than some post-race stiffness, there was no pain.  The following weekend, a week post-race, I went for 6 miles.  It hurt a lot and I should have stopped.  But I didn’t.  I went home after the 6 miles and iced/stretched.  I woke up Monday almost unable to walk and made a doctor’s appointment.  They gave me Thursday but by Tuesday night I couldn’t take it anymore and they saw me on an after hours visit.  I was given some Vicodin and a script for an x-ray.  I got the x-ray Wednesday and went back to the doctor on Thursday.

The Verdict: I have been diagnosed with Iliopsoas syndrome. 

In Layman’s Terms: I have a grade 2 hip flexor strain in the Iliopsoas area.  This is caused by a sudden contraction of the iliopsoas muscle, which results in small tears (anywhere from 25-75%) in the soft tissue, usually at the point where the muscle and tendon connect.  This is a bit worse than a just a pulled muscle (that is a grade 1) but not nearly as bad as a full tear or rupture (grade 3).  My chiropractor said that Grade 1 & 2 strains are common and believes that I am on the lower end of a grade 2; with proper care, I should be back to working out in another week and could be running in about three weeks. 

How it happened: More than likely, since I had some irritation prior to the race, I probably fed the beast by running on the uneven pavement.  This probably resulted in a Grade 1.  A Grade 2 happens upon an event (striking a soccer ball, falling on ski’s and running intervals are the most common) and somewhere in the 6miles I tore my soft tissue.

The Good News: No fracture!  This was the very best news I could have asked for. 

The Bad News: See photo below…

Lovely!

Yup- crutches it is!  Because of my pain level, both my primary doctor and chiropractor (both athletes themselves-score!) agree that I need to spend some serious time completely off my feet.  Here’s the thing…if they told me to stand on my head and drink oyster juice in order to get better, I would do it!  Today is day four of my ten days off.  The rules are as follows: I should be spending 75% of my time off my leg; anything more than 15-20 steps and I need to use the crutches.  It is a pain in the ass (and in my arms!) but hell…I WANT TO RUN!  

The Treatment:  When the 10 days on crutches are up they will assess my pain level and take an MRI to check the progress.  It will then be determined if I can go back to easy working out (swimming, light biking, ellip…etc)  Additionally, I am seeing a PT two days a week for stretching and my chiropractor three days a week for ART for the next three weeks.  After those three weeks, they will determine if I am ready to run again.  Regardless, I will continue with my Chiropractor two days a week and PT one day a week for six more weeks. 

The Training Plan: Clearly right now I am at a stand still.  Everything is contingent on how things go with treatment.  I feel ridiculous going into the gym on crutches so I am hardly working out at all.  I am doing very (read:extremely) light ab work at home but that is about it.  I am really hopeful that I will feel better after 10 days off and some ART/PT and that I will at least get to do some light working out.  As for running…I want to take all that one day at a time.  If it were to all work out perfectly and I got to run the RU Half in April, which is a possibility as this point, then that would be great.  But if I can’t, then I will be okay with that too.  The goal here is to get better and since I will have to all but start over in three weeks, I need to take it very slow.  It is common for this injury to re-occur in Grade 1 and that is the very last thing that I want!  So for now, I wait.  And wait.  And wait and see.

So Meg, I hope that answered your question! 

I feel lucky that my primary doctor is  runner and my chiropracter is an athlete.  They not only know medically what they are talking about but they “get it” as well.  My recommendations for anyone dealing with an injury of any kind is to find a doctor you trust and who really understands.  Additionally, I recommend you to follow whatever treatment program you are given.  After only one ART session I feel a world of difference and I expect it to only get better from this point forward. 

Thank you so much for all your kind words, emails and support!  I am keeping a positive attitude as best I can (and it is not easy) and focusing on the good stuff.  Like getting this in the mail when I got home from the doctor:

Hello cheese face!

Now…go ask me a question!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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23 thoughts on “The Hip Verdict & A Question Answered

  1. lol. i usually do what my doctors tell me , too, but it sounds like you have a good fit for some people knowing what is in your best interest.

    i hate crutches!!!! but sometimes they are necessary. take care of yourself!

  2. Glad its diagnosed, the not knowing has got to be harder. Its great that both your docs are athletes, I think that is key because they know what you are feeling. just hang in there and time will fly by and you’ll be back to your regular running routine.

  3. Crutches, yuck! I hope the time off your feet works some healing magic and you are okayed to run again soon.

    As for a question, since I’m trying to branch into this whole tri thing, do you have any tips for newbies (especially in terms of swimming)? Thanks! 🙂

  4. At least you have answers! And hopefully the 10 days will help a lot. I’d much rather be reading how half marathon training is going than seeing you in crutches 😦 Get better soon girlie!

  5. Hi little Jill,
    I am so glad that it is not a break! You are right that is good news! You need to listen to your doctor and take care of yourself. I know that it sucks right now but you have the right attitude:) Stay positive and you will get better before you know it! Hang in there Jill! I am thinking about you:) Happy Monday!

  6. Sorry to hear you are on crutches… no fun!

    Thank you for all your questions on my blog… here are a few for you:

    1. Are you currently going to school or working full time? Or both?

    2. What are some of your 5 and 10 year goals?

    3. If you could live anywhere, where would that be and why?

  7. Crutches?!?!? On no!!! 😦 That is a bummer girly, I hope that resting it up and staying off of it helps! Thank goodness it wasn’t something worse though! I was fretting! (and feeling so guilty!!!) 🙂

  8. I’m sooooo sorry you have to be on crutches, but I am so proud of your attitude toward all this. Remembering the bigger picture (the goal to run again for a long time as opposed to running right now) is such a good approach. If you need to vent, shoot me an email!

  9. Crutches??? Oh good lordy….so sorry. Take care of that puppy and keep up the excellent attitude, you have tons of people out there cheering you on! And thankfully, a new RW to keep your mind still in the game :).

  10. Ugh…I feel your pain..I am goin on week 5 or 6 post hip flexor strain/tendonitis myself and it’s not going well…Every time it seems to be getting better, more pain…I can’t afford the PT the doctor prescribed for me, since I haven’t met the deductible for my health insurance. I did, however, come across a Spine Rehab center that specializes in hip and knee pain and I actually get a free consultation and 30% off my fees if I pay cash. My first appt. is this week. I’m willing to do anything at this point!! I’m not able to do much exercise either, but I have been able to do some upper body strengthening and ab work. I had to miss a marathon I wanted to do, so it sucks!

  11. well at least now you have a verdict and a tentative plan!! if you haven’t tried/talked to your doc. about pool running, I would really encourage you to do so! I pool ran my entire way through rehab, and still do every now and then just to get a workout off my feet. I promise that once you get a hang of it, you CAN get a good workout!

    shoot me an email if you have any questions about it. I posted a “pool running 101” type thing on my blog too! it’s under TRAINonTOP

  12. I am happy you explained it in “Layman’s Terms” for us 😉 And happy to hear it is not a break! I bet you will be better in 10 days like they say if you stay on those crutches! I am going to be keeping my fingers crossed for a speedy recovery for you!

    I am always super psyched when my new RW comes in the mail!

  13. How great that your medical people get it. It is better news than it might have been and it sounds like you are right on top of it. Good luck!

  14. Jillllllll,
    OK, I’m dedicating tomorrow’s run to you. Bummer about the injury and the crutches. You have a great attitude. I noticed you’re a Phillies fan. Booo! I’m a Mets fan. Get well soon.

  15. I’m so sorry you’re on crutches. You have a great attitude about it, though. Your doctor and chiropractor sound wonderful. It’s always nice to have people who know what you’re going through and understand your goals.

  16. I hope everything works out ok and you’re back to running in 3 weeks time. I had to take off about a month due to a hip issue a few years ago (after running a 15K with my hip hurting the whole way). It’s rough to go that long without running! Hang in there!

  17. I was thinking about you on my 5.5 mile run today in this beautiful weather. I ran it for you since you can’t. 😦

  18. Better that you caught it now than before it got worse. That said, torn anything is not fun. Take very good care of yourself and let your hip heal fully. You’ll be glad you did.
    And thanks for sharing. I’m having a minor issue with my knee. I will respect it. Seriously.

  19. Jilly! Bummer. I’m so sad to see your gimped up disposition, but glad to hear that you may be back up and at it within a relatively decent amount of time. In the meantime, enjoy the RW. I was excited to get mine, too! Sorry have been MIA… so hard to keep up with our blogosphere! Working on it, though.

    HUGS from Orlando, girlie!!

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