Hips don’t lie

As I mentioned in my last post, I have been having a lot of pain issues in my right hip. The pain started after a handful of pretty crummy training runs following the half marathon, but really peaked a couple days after my last long run. Basically any time I put any weight on my right foot I was treated to sharp stabbing pains in my lower back/hip.

Even after a week of rest I was still having on and off pain so last week I decided to get my first sports massage. Since that appointment I have had almost no pain (HOORAY!). So let’s talk about that massage.

I decided to book an appointment with Chris for a few reasons, the number one reason being that he is a former University of Michigan track athlete. I figured another runner would understand my determination to make it to the starting line. Add to that experience working with Big 10 varsity athletes and physical therapy patients. And two years coaching in the university’s Olympic Sports program. Yeah, Chris definitely know athletes. I definitely made the right decision.

The appointment itself was not really what you would expect when you hear massage. There was no laying on the table and relaxing. Chris started my comparing my right and left hips and established that my right hip was rotated forward. Then I was treated to a lot of “Hold your arm/leg like this, I’m going to try to push/pull it away, don’t let me.” This helped Chris identify which muscles weren’t working properly so he knew which trigger points to focus on (or something like…I’m not an expert). He also gave me some homework to do twice every day and before/after every run.

  1. Lie on the floor with knees bent. Bring my right knee to my chest and clasp my hands behind my thigh. Try to push my leg down but use my hands to resist the movement. This should help rotate my hip back into the correct position.
  2. Massage the tender area at the bottom point of my right shoulder blade. I don’t honestly remember what sort of voodoo magic this is supposed to do but supposedly it will help with my legs/hips. 
  3. Use a lacrosse ball to massage my glutes. As a bonus this hurts on both sides, but kind of in that hurts-so-good sort of way.
  4. Bonus: Massage and stretch my hip adductors. 

Per Chris’ recommendation I headed out for a short run later that day. I was able to run 2 miles, but I could tell things were falling apart quickly during the second mile. I experienced some muscle aches in my hip for about an hour after that run. My complete lack of self control lead me to running another 2 miles the next day. I could tell that I felt stronger, but the last mile still wasn’t perfect. This time the muscle aches only lasted about half an hour. Those two post run segments of pain were the only pain that I have had since the massage.

I utilized some better self restraint on Saturday and took a rest day. On Sunday I managed a glorious 5 mile run with only minimal discomfort during the last half mile. I maybe could have pushed it up to 6 miles, but I didn’t want to risk causing a setback. I had no pain after the run.

With just a week left before the marathon I know that I can not make up any of fitness that I lost during the past two weeks. It is what it is. What I need to focus on is getting to the starting line as healthy as possible. I booked another two appointments with Chris for the upcoming week, so that should hopefully keep my hip in check. So long as I can keep myself from overdoing it on the running, I should make it to the starting line (fingers crossed on the finish line part of things!)

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2 thoughts on “Hips don’t lie

  1. Thanks for sharing all of this info! I'm happy to hear that it's helping you and you feel better, but it stinks that it happened so close to race day. Hoping for the best for you, and I know you'll still crush the race! If not, there's always another race to sign up for!!

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  2. I'm really glad to hear that the massage helped! A sports massage is so different from a regular massage … and I know which one I prefer most days, haha.

    Going back a couple of times this week should help a lot. I wish I would have seen the PT who does my massages on Friday before I left, but that's all in hindsight now!

    Fingers crossed that you end up having a perfect race day!

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