It’s been a little more than a month since I injured my left hip while running the Chicago Marathon. The diagnosis: Bursitis.
Bursitis is a (painful) condition that affects the small, fluid-filled sacs — or bursae — that cushion the bones, tendons and muscles near your joints. Bursitis occurs when bursae become inflamed, and it often occurs near joints that perform frequent repetitive motion.
The pain isn’t sharp or searing. It’s more of a dull, radiating sensation that, at its worst, spreads from my hip joint to my butt, lower back and down my IT band. It basically feels like I covered the outside of my left hip with Icy Hot. Sitting makes it worse, so as a desk jockey, that’s not great.
My physical therapist has forbidden me from running. Other things on my to-not-do list: crossing my legs, sleeping on my left side and sitting for more than an hour at a time. I sleep (on my right side) with a pillow between my legs and set a timer at my desk to make sure I’m getting up often to walk around and stretch. I go to physical therapy twice a week, do exercises, stretch and foam roll at home on the off days, ice before bed, and go to my weekly yoga for runners class. My doctor prescribed me anti-inflammatory meds, which I take sparingly.
But my hip doesn’t seem to be getting any better — and I’m starting to get worried.
I only logged about 15 miles total in the three weeks between the marathon and when PT began. Only once was my hip really in pain during any of those short runs, so I stopped. My physical fitness is dwindling rapidly, but at this point, I don’t even want to try the stationary bike or the elliptical for fear of making things worse.
Logically, I know it’s better to rest and make sure I heal properly before I get back at it. Emotionally, it’s not that easy. Anyone who’s dealt with an injury probably knows what I’m talking about. I’m at the place mentally where I want to trip every person I see out running and post a giant middle finger on every running-related Facebook status. I’ve gained weight. Honestly, I’m borderline depressed. (The suddenly-cold weather and lack of daylight ain’t helping things, either.)
But I’ll keep plugging away at physical therapy and try to stay positive. I have another marathon in April, but if I can’t race it the way I want to, that’s OK. Getting healthy is much more important. Logically, I know this. — Mags