Thank you for all your comments and good wishes on my last post – it helps to know that I’m not being totally crazy. When I see a new doctor (or other medical professional), I have to remind myself that they don’t necessarily realize that I’ve been dealing with this groin pain for over a year. Even if I tell them, it’s not like they’ve been listening to my complaints (like all of you, thanks!) for that long, so spending more time waiting isn’t a big deal to them. In the meantime, it just seems like even more time away from running like I want to.
For the record, I’m on my eighth week of physical therapy. I had physical therapy this morning, and my physical therapist asked how the appointment with the orthopedic surgeon went. I said that he basically told me to come back when I was having more pain. She asked if I was disappointed in the appointment, to which I said yes. She basically said something along the lines of, “I mean, what should he do if you’re not having a lot of pain?” I know they’re both not wrong, but at the same time, it’s still frustrating. She asked if I’ve felt a difference since starting PT, and I hesitated. My groin managed to feel somewhat better over the weekend, but it got cranky and achy again. I felt kind of bad, but I said, “Not really…”
I said I started running again, and she asked if it only hurts when running – which is a difference I’ve noticed since I stopped running. It seems to ache much more often now, when before I feel like I noticed it more when I was running. Maybe it’s because I’m not running much so I notice it more the rest of the time…who knows. Or maybe it’s just more irritated.
My physical therapist changed up some of what we are doing. She pulled on my left leg, applying traction to help reposition the head of my femur in my hip joint. We also did some moves where I applied pressure against her resistance to do the same thing. The idea is to hopefully move the head of the femur off the anterior portion of the hip joint so it doesn’t rub on the torn area of the labrum.
Of note, I do seemed to have increased pinching with the impingement test, which looks like this:
The test is done by applying pressure to a knee pulled straight into your chest and also about 45 degrees across your chest. Previously when this is done, I always said that I felt something different, but it didn’t feel like pain. This morning, it felt like pinching. It did decrease a bit after doing the above traction moves, so I guess that’s good. I wonder how helpful this is and how long it would take to feel a difference.
We also worked on diaphragmatic breathing, which is basically the breathing you use in Pilates. Deep breath in to fill your stomach, exhaling and pulling in your rib cage. I find this to be very challenging! It did feel a little better to pull my knee to my chest while breathing like this. She also had me lay on my stomach and massaged my left back while having me breathe deep to fill my left lung and did the same on the right. Everything in your core is attached, so there are a million things to strengthen…
At the moment, my usual PT exercises include:
- Clamshells with resistance band
- Crab walk with resistance band
- Weighted walking lunges
- Single leg bridges
- Forearm planks
- Foam rolling quads, hamstrings, IT band (that never gets easier…)
- Balance exercises (that I don’t have the means to really do at home) – starfish single leg squats
This time we added side planks (so hard!) and single leg balance while pushing out on a resistance band.
I came home, ate lunch, waited to digest, then did a short run. 5 minutes with 1 minute rest x 5, which got me to three miles. (Okay, so I ran an extra few seconds to hit three miles officially.) My hip doesn’t feel any different running than it does walking. I always think about how I can describe what I can feel, as it mostly feels like I can actually feel the head of my femur moving in the hip joint. Not like a grinding, but like I know it’s there. Does it hurt? Not really, I guess – but you shouldn’t be able to feel your joint moving! It’s now achy just sitting here, so that’s cool. Or not.
I’m working all weekend (does seem it like I work every weekend? Sometimes it feel like that…), so I’ll probably do my next test run on Monday before seeing the next doctor! Not really sure what I’m looking for him to say (keep doing PT! Steroid injection! Surgery!), but another opinion can’t hurt, especially if the pain continues to build.