Wednesday, October 30, 2013

A second opinion

With this problem getting up to nearly 3 years since it first became apparent, I thought it time to seek an 'expert' opinion. Today I visited a specialist in sports medicine. She was just as perplexed as I am. I was surprised that as a specialist she wasn't familiar with the studies from South Africa about acquired training intolerance. However, as has been confusing me, it is hard to rationalise soreness/stiffness occurring only in the glutes/hammies with a generalised muscle problem (the quads at least should also be affected). My iron levels have dropped again, but similarly, it is hard to use that to explain the localised nature of the muscle discomfort. She examined me from a biomechanical perspective and my hip region is very weak (I have had this pointed out before for some running 'niggles'). Weak muscles could be predisposing them to fatigue (although that doesn't really explain all of the symptoms). Also, are they weak and causing fatigue or is an underlying fatigue problem making them weak? Chicken/egg ...... To start with I'm to do an intensive hip rehabilitation program of multiple exercises for the next month (argghhhh, I struggle with sticking to physio exercise plans). She has advised me not to run until the hip region has better strength, although gentle cycling is still okay. I will also have more lab work, this time focusing on muscle parameters. Finally, the glutes and hammies will be the focus of an MRI study to see if there is any detectable abnormality in the muscle tissue. So much for the magic bullet I so hoped for. Maybe we will know more in a month's time.

Where's that magic bullet when you need it?
Recommended exercises to rehabilitate the hip include:
Hamstring stretches
Quadriceps stretches
Scissor leg raise in lateral recumbency tilting forward to work the glutes
'Clam' in lateral recumbency tilting forward to work the glutes
Squeezing a ball between the knees while lying on my back with the knees at 0, 30 and 90 degree angles.
Bending at the knee while standing on one leg and keeping the hips horizontal - no tilting (knee needs to track over second toe).
Using a theraband around the ankle to work the leg sideways (both ways), forwards and backwards.