I had blogged a while back regarding a visit I’d taken to a sports medicine doc:
I was diagnosed as having hip bursitis in my left hip, and had gone to physical therapy a few times, doctors orders (no one tells you how pricey those visits will be, holy crap). I’ve been doing the exercises given to me by the physical therapists almost every day. I’ve seen some serious improvement, and yet….
I’m still not better.
The pain used to be more localized around my hip, and now it has spread down into my left butt cheek, in my lower left abdomen, and into the groin area. Actually, pain is the wrong word here. It doesn’t hurt, but I feel this tugging and/or pulling sensation at times, strongest while doing my PT exercises.
What’s a running enthusiast to do?
Back to the sports medicine doc. I had done some research on the computer, and a lot of my symptoms matched something called Iliopsoas Tendonitis, or at times called Iliopsoas Syndrome. This condition occurs when the Iliopsoas muscle, located in the front of the hip, becomes inflamed.
My sports med doc whipped out something like this for me to look at, while he explained to me just where this muscle is located, and how integral a part it plays:
See, that psoas muscle doesn’t just stop up there at your hip. It actually continues further up along the back of your spine, so having this condition can cause some upper and lower back pain, as well as an annoyance in the lower abdomen and groin area, into that upper thigh, looping around up into your buttocks and back over into the hip. There is a bursa located deep within, and if that swells, all hell breaks loose. This picture is a better representation of where the pain may be located:
After having me do a few procedures with my left leg, and palpating my stomach, he said he was certain I had this condition. There were no lumps, nothing swelled that he was able to feel (the bursa is buried deep within), and he said he could tell I did not have a hernia. He said I can still run, and if I start to feel any stabbing pain vs. the stretching sensation I currently have, I need to come back immediately for X-rays and a consultation.
He also strongly urged me to continue with the PT exercises I’ve been doing.
The thing is, I am starting to really wonder where my priorities need to be. I love running, and am truly passionate. This doc feels I won’t harm myself if I continue to run, but how many more times will I have to seek out his medical opinion in the process? Is it the length of the run? I don’t seem to have issues at the lower mileage, but as the numbers creep into the double digits, problems arise.
In 2009, I had mapped out a goal: Run a marathon in every state. In order for me to accomplish this, I will have to run at least 2 every year. I am working towards my second marathon now, and I am planning another one for later this year. Yet, maybe I need to re-organize this goal, to protect my body, and my health.
My husband suggested I start planning to run a half marathon in every state, and when I am up to it, do a full marathon here and there, sprinkling in some 5K’s and 10K’s. I am going to continue with my marathon training for the Deadwood Mickelson marathon on June 3rd, held in South Dakota, and see how my body feels afterwards.
I won’t lie and say I don’t feel disappointment. There’s nothing worse than not being able to do what you want to, physically. Yet, if I am still able to run, why be a whiny brat about it? I may have to just alter my previous goals and have a fresh new prospective towards it.
And if it helps me shake my new BFF, all the better. He’s starting to really get on my last nerve.