Running, Training

A Pain in the Butt

pain in the butt

This week I’ve seen much better improvements with my butt, hips, hamstring and everything else but instead of listing every muscle group I’ll just refer to my leg.  Instead of being stubborn I went to get some to look at it.  It turns, it was nothing that I had originally thought.  While I’m not better, I do have a formal answer.  I used fancy paint and filled in (yellow and blue) the parts of this diagram that are the problems.  (I drew in the blue for the piriformis muscle since it was wasn’t there).

hollie injured chart

In Cliff notes: My piraformis had a few adhesions which caused my adductor muscles to become strained.  Along with that my psoas muscle was extremely tight.  The chiropractor said she hadn’t seen one that tight ever.  (I guess that explains why I couldn’t walk).  Both the psoas and the piriformis being so tight  caused my hips to be knocked out of alignment.

The Longer Version: 

The most important is that I have an answer to why I’m in pain.  I’m glad I got it looked at because I would have continued to think it was my hamstring. Most runners who strain their adductor muscle do so by going to the track and starting speed work. I didn’t do either of these things.

I do have a sneaking suspicion that I might have strained it about 4 weeks ago when I did the Feel the Love 5k.  I distinctly remember that race having a lot of turns (like a track). Since I began tapering the day after, I didn’t feel the effect as if I was running high mileage.  It had began to heal but when I ran the marathon, it obviously restrained and made it much worse (enough that it was hurt when I finished).  There is nothing I can do about it now but hopefully promote healing.

The next issue is my psoas muscle. The psoas muscle is tight and knotted.  This is where the root of my problems stem with my hip.  Someone told me that you don’t know you have a psoas muscle until it begins to hurt.  I think this is 100% true and it took me from running normally to wishing I could lay down. The muscle is so deep the only way to address the tightness is through ART, trigger point or dry needling. It appears as if this has been tight for a while now.  That could be from improper stretching of the hip flexors and psoas. During the marathon I pushed through a threshold and the muscle became too tight to stabilize my pelvis which is why my hips became tight.

But wait…there’s more!

Since my psoas muscle was so tight, it pulled my hip forward. My pelvis, sacrum and hips are noticeably crooked (to the chiro…I look fine In my opinion). That’s a matter of the chiro realigning them and loosening up my psoas. If my psoas is still tight, my hips will just return to be crooked.  That was the easiest part and I feel a lot better (not 100% but noticeably better).

Finally (the injury gift that keeps giving):
My piriformis (butt muscle) has multiple adhesions which is causing everything to also tighten up.

Long story short, half of my butt, hip and upper leg muscles are tight causing my pelvis to tilt forward. It doesn’t sound like it was caused by the marathon but has been building for a long time. The marathon caused it all to manifest into an injury.

The problem with most of these issues is that they will not get better with just resting. There are a lot of tight muscles, knots and adhesions that have to be taken care of. Rest (as my chiro put it) will just allow my muscles to fester but not solve the problem. They won’t feel better until the problems are solved.

Since we talked on Tuesday I have gotten a few more things done as far as recovery goes:

  • Deep Tissue Massage (this is number 2)
  • Stretching my adductor muscles 2-3 times a day as well as foam rolling that targeted area.

How did this happen?

Honestly I don’t exactly know.   I didn’t up my mileage quickly and I stretched, foam rolled and rested when appropriate.  I think it was a combination of running the Feel the Love 5k during a high mileage week as well as running a lot of the same routes which caused me to favor my hip.  I didn’t realize it was bad (because I wasn’t in pain) until I reached a threshold of no return.

Running Plans:

I gave myself two weeks before attempting a run.  I’ve run twice now and both runs have felt decent.  I am still sore but I also haven’t run in two weeks.  I know the deep tissue massage and chiro appointments have been working because I’m beginning to feel half way decent again.  I still have quite a few knots to get worked out but I am beginning to loosen up.

All of this rambling makes my issues sound a lot more severe than they are.  I can walk normally and it’s not hindering my day to day life.  I slowly run but the thought of running fast right now does not sound pleasant.

Questions for you:

Have you ever dealt with any of these issues?

How was your weekend? 

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