The Mental Side of Physical Therapy

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.

bursitis memeSo, I guess months of intense training capped by running faster than I ever had for 26.2 miles could be considered 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


13 thoughts on “The Mental Side of Physical Therapy

  1. Pingback: Bad Angel Rules for Running | Video Gait Analysis

  2. Pingback: Bad Angel Rules for Running | Long Story Short

  3. Pingback: Bad Angel Rules for Running | Hip Check

  4. Pingback: Bad Angel Rules for Running | On Pins and Needles

  5. Pingback: Bad Angel Rules for Running | 2015 Goals

  6. Pingback: Bad Angel Rules for Running | Shooting from the Hip

  7. Pingback: Bad Angel Rules for Running | 2014 Goals: How’d We Do?

  8. I’ve been sidelined by injuries from time to time, some serious, some more annoying, and I feel your pain. The mental issues tend to be way worse than the physical, especially with target races on the horizon. One thing I’d encourage you to keep in mind is that, my experience has consistently been that 1) your fitness does not decrease as quickly as you fear that it will, and 2) you can re-achieve your previous level of fitness much faster, and with less effort, than it took you to get there there first time. The body is an amazing thing, and once it’s done something, somehow it retains a memory and can find a way back there with just a little guidance. Best of luck for a quick and complete recovery.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. You might want to look into Bikram Yoga, it seems to work for me.


  10. i have had burstitus in my knee. It sucks. The worst part is if you aren’t careful it I likely to reoccur! Heal up:)


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s