Mar 14, 2011

RUNNERS. I NEED YOUR HELP!

So this might get a little long and pitiful, but please bear with me. I will try to do a Cliff's notes version.

--My body is totally effed up. It doesn't work right, isn't built right, and is all floppy. My ligaments don't hold me together, so my muscles try to do the job and then they both hurt. 

--Specifically challenging: my kneecaps dislocate and don't have much cartilage. They don't bother me too much unless I'm doing like weighted lunges or sitting with them bent for long periods of time. Knees were my first problem and the first indicator my ligaments sucked. I d/l the first one in 4th grade. They have remained relatively stable for about 10 years (praise the Lord, though I would take the old knee stuff for my current crap.)

--My pelvis is...askew in numerous fun ways. One side tilts forward, the other backwards. If your pelvis is supposed to be a bowl, mine is more like a towel being wrung. One iliac crest is about an inch higher than the others and a leg length discrepancy is either the cause or the symptom, idk.

--My chief complaint is my SI joint. A tiny little joint where your sacrum connects with your pelvis. it should move just a bit. Mine is permanently posteriorly rotated. It is an evil whore. It is never going to not hurt for me. No trauma, no injury. Just started hurting 6 years ago and hasn't stopped. Again: evil whore.

So I've had, and this is not an exaggeration, probably 2-3 years worth of physical therapy in the past 6. I do my exercises to stabilize my pelvis, strengthen my core, blah blah blah. I do it. I stretch. I ice. I do my exercises. I manage. There is a magic spot b/t not enough activity and too much that I try to find daily.

I've been trying to safely work on running. This means "running" so slowly and for very short periods of time. I warm up. I stretch. I focus on each step. I even wear my dorky back brace. Usually the first half mile to mile hurts. I'm thinking about each step, feel it in my back/hip/pelvis and want to stop. If I can get past that, I usually feel pretty good. Sometimes it just doesn't wear off. Like tonight.

Anyway, frequently when I walk/run my front upper thigh-hip area starts to hurt. Like if you took a really long step forward, it would stretch the top of your back leg. Only every single time I lift my leg, it hurts like hell. That little muscle or tendon or whatever that you feel when you lift your leg...as in flex knee to chest/pull knee upwards. Huuuuurts.

I don't know if it is the iliopsoas or what. I'm leaning towards that as part of my hip flexors. My PT used to squish her fingers UNDERNEATH the little ledge created by your iliac crest. You want to talk about painful! I do know that my back muscles are too tight and my abs are too weak, so I do tend to kind of lean back on my pelvis or arch my back.


Usually I just stretch the crap out of it and it is generally ok. Lately, that hasn't been cutting it. Tonight I just couldn't. It felt fine all day and then it hurt so so badly when I tried to run. Like hobbling, limping, crying hurt. I quit and am currently icing the crap out of it while popping nsaids. I took yesterday completely off, so I don't know if I have to run daily for it not to hurt or what.

Anyone have any advice? I'm googling, but can't find anything definitive.

IF YOU HAVE ANY IDEAS, EXPERIENCE, HELP, OPINIONS, ETC PLEASE LET ME HAVE THEM. IF YOU KNOW SOMEONE WHO HAS EXPERIENCE, PLEASE PLEASE SEND THEM MY WAY. IF ANYONE SUGGESTS SOMETHING THAT WORKS, I WILL SEND YOU A PRIZE FULL OF ALL GOOD THINGS, I PROMISE. SHORT OF GOING BACK TO PT, I DON'T KNOW WHAT TO DO WITH IT. 

3 comments:

Alison said...

I have had kinda similar problems, in that my hips are hypermobile, causing my pelvis to rotate out of position (I also often have one iliac crest higher than then other, until my PT puts it back into place...)

One of the symptoms for me when things are bad is hip flexor / groin pain on that side. I don't know exactly, why but I guess it's a result of a skewed gait or something?

The only thing I can suggest (as a non-profi) is to stop doing whatever it is that causes the underlying problem. Could it be Jillian? Or an increase in running? If you are very hypermobile, you might need a more intensive ST programme? I've only been able to get myself back to running with a really heavy weights programme. That and learning which bits to stretch and which to leave to tighten up...

Sorry I can't say more than that -- I know how frustrating this is. Has your PT ever talked to about orthotics for running??

Jess @ Blonde Ponytail said...

Omigosh Carrie--this is poop! So so so sorry you are in pain. You gave great visuals of what is wrong with your pelvis (bowl vs. towel).

This sounds like a PT question and I'm scared to touch it. Miss Zippy is a great resource if you follow her blog as is Small Town Runner. But they have had more foot/leg problems...

Thinking of you!

Marjorie Uy said...

Aaaarg! I'm in the same boat paddling in circles with you. I have the same issue with my hip/muscle pain. My hip isn't torqued as much as yours, mine is about half but it is PAINFUL! I sometimes start bursting into tears because I get so discouraged knowing I might not be able to find a relief. Unfortunately you're going thru it also, makes me feel a bit better knowing that specific area is a problem with others. I've gone thru soooooo many PTs, chiros and acupuncturists and no relief and they are all stumped to the point they question my honesty. I have dreamt of cutting that muscle and feeling at ease finally. But it's not a real option.
I was once told that the left buttock was not activating and that in turn was over working my front hip muscles. It helped for a week on focusing on actively activating my buttocks but the pain came back with a vengeance. I will keep checking your post and hopefully someone can give all of us in pain some sort of direction.