I started a new round of physical therapy last week with a new therapist. My hip problems have been coming back off and on since the last round, and I wasn’t confident that we had really figured out WHY I kept hurting my hip. I asked a running friend for a recommendation and she sent me to this new guy, who seems to be awesome, knowledgeable, and experienced with runners.
After one session, I already feel more confident that we will get this problem figured out and I will be back running again soon. Perhaps my dreams of fall and spring half marathons will really come true? I don’t want to get too far ahead of myself, but I feel like it could happen.
So here are some more details, if anyone is curious:
My basic problem has always been tight hip flexors on the right side that tend to get strained easily. The psoas is always tight, and the illiacus usually is, too. Sometimes when running I’ll feel a sharp twinge in that area that goes away after a split second. More often (almost always), I feel a dull, sometimes throbbing ache in my hip, especially when sitting or lying down.
My pelvis is rotated a little out of alignment, and one new thing we discovered in my PT session was that my left leg is “just a touch” longer than my right. (I’m not sure what that equates to in actual measured distance.) The slightly shorter right leg could be causing the hip flexors to always be in an elongated position and therefore more likely to be overworked or strained. Depending on how the therapy goes, I may or may not wind up wearing a lift or something in my right shoe to resolve the length discrepancy. We’ll see — I may not need to.
We talked about shoes, and I may wind up being able to move away from the stability shoes I’ve always worn if we strengthen my feet enough. My PT seemed pretty encouraged that I had also racked up a lot of good miles in my Nike Frees in the past, so I may wind up using those more in the future. I have a lot of exercises designed to improve strength in my hips, glutes, and core, too. I am focusing a lot of attention on my backside. I have a whole sheet, in fact, of funny illustrated exercises. They all look a little embarrassing and ridiculous, but luckily Egon is the only one who has to see me doing them.
So here’s to fixing my hip and getting back to the running life. Hopefully along the way I’ll also wind up with a fabulous butt. I wouldn’t complain.