Wednesday, 29 July 2009

stretch that iliotibial band ...

You may remember a couple of posts ago, I explained why I don't run these days ... you can read the story here, but essentially it linked back to an injury from 25 years ago when I hurt my hip running the Dublin marathon in worn shoes ... or that was the problem at the time, and I thought that it was a recurrence of this injury that has thwarted (I like that word ... thWARTed) my infrequent efforts to get back running over the years.

Well, it turns out that, while that injury didn't help, it seems that the real problem is just that I've probably got Trochanteric Bursitis! Oohhh, that explains it!

Okay, I hadn't a clue what it meant either ... but when I decided to take on a running element to my challenge, and had quickly got my running up to 5 Km about four times a week, I was acutely aware that in the past, running that sort of distance would lead to problems, and already I could feel a niggly ache in my left hip again. So I decided to go and see someone about it.

My GP referred me to an orthopaedic surgeon, Mr Andrew Phillipson at a local sports injury clinic, and within a few short minutes of history-taking and hip-poking, he was confidently telling me what he reckoned was wrong ... and, more importantly, how to fix it.

Essentially, Trochanteric Bursitis is characterized by painful inflammation of the bursa that is located just superficial to the greater trochanter of the femur ... okay, put more simply, there's something rubbing that sits across my hip bone (not entirely medically accurate, but it'll do), and this has become inflamed from the repetitive movement of running - very common in that breed, apparently. And the simplest and first stage of treatment is physiotherapy, to help stretch the iliotibial band (but you already knew that, didn't you), so that it isn't as tight and is less likely to rub the bursa - simples! If that works, then regular stretching should be enough to ensure that my old aching hip (and long-term excuse for not running) will be sorted!

If that doesn't work, Mr Phillipson can give me an injection to reduce the inflammation, but hopefully that'll not be needed if I'm a good boy and do my stretching! I've an appointment with his physio on Monday (forgive me Phil, if you see this, but it was just easy keeping it all in-house). I've already found some rehabilitation exercises on-line that I've begun anyway, so fingers crossed!

I'm taking a few days off running just to get the stretching started and let the hip settle, but as I've only got 35 days of my 365challenge year to go (yikes!), and still 86 Km of Hadrian's Wall to run, I promise I'll be back at it again by the end of the week.

Wish me luck ...

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