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