Monday, February 16, 2015

Physical Therapy - Week Eleventy Billion

Hey-hey, kids!
It's been a while. End of semester research, final exams, Elf on the Shelf, beginning of semester, a kid with strep throat, and a major masters-related meltdown have happened since my last post, and my life has kept me busy enough that I've barely even thought about posting, much less had an opportunity to do so.
Let's catch up, then.
We left our intrepid hero eagerly awaiting the results of her MRI, wondering if surgery would be in her future.
But unlike weekly dramas, the results there were completely anticlimactic.
Based on new X-Rays and the results of the MRI, the ortho determined that I do not have a labrum tear. There is "normal wear and tear" for a woman "my age" (since I'm now at the age to hear phrases like that, I guess), but nothing that's indicative of the reasoning for my hip pain.
That's technically good news. I'm not going to have surgery, which, even if arthroscopic will be invasive and a shock to the body.
But at the same time, I admit that I was pretty disappointed. With a diagnosis of a torn labrum and surgery, there is a timeline of healing to which I can cling.
What I have is pretty much a shrug and "let's just keep doing PT until you heal."
Because, you know, insurance companies are totally cool with just doing PT forever and ever with no end in sight.
At the same time as the "beats me" determination, my allowed number of PT sessions did run out, so it's been a few months of filing paperwork, waiting, going again, and then filing more paperwork. Currently I haven't been in since December, which means I've been on my own to do my exercises and try to heal up.
So, SURPRISE! I am Still Not Running, and my hip still hurts.
I think I may have some leads, though. Based on what the ortho saw - or, rather, didn't see - on the MRI, the medical "team" (ortho, PT, chiro) are leaning towards a hip flexor strain. And yes, a muscle strain can take months to heal, especially when one is trying to retrain the body to use all muscles like they're supposed to be used.
It is 100% frustrating to not be able to run still, after nearly a year. Running has been my main form of exercise, and not moving has taken a toll emotionally as well as physically. At this point, I'm game to try just about anything to get me back on the road; I am looking into some different massage therapy (not covered by insurance) that could help release tension in the muscle's insertion point, which isn't as affected by stretching as the middle part of the muscle. I'm ordering an adjustable standing desk so that I can spend more of the day standing (this is probably not going to be covered by insurance, either). And I've started to add more yoga in again. I've even been doing some pain-specific relaxation and am considering pricing acupuncture to have another means to work on healing.
Kat sent me this when she knew I was struggling with the whole Not Running Thing. It's taped to one of my monitors at work.

So for now, it's time to stand up again.


  1. Ugh, not having a diagnosis is the worst. Not sure what type of insurance you have but I have been in PT for over a year. When I hit 1 year of (weekly) appts all my insurance company needed was another prescription from the dr for PT. Good luck.

    Also, about your hip, I also suffer hip pain & it is due to my hip being up slipped. My (myofascial release) PT inloves checking my pelvic alignment. if I'm suffering hip pain my leg needs pulled down into place. My PTherapist showed my husband how to do it so we can do it at home. If your PT doesn't invove checking pelvic alignment ask her to check. It could be upslipped which, to avoid, involves special exercises to strengthen the pelvic bowl.

    Hope you figure out your problem <3.

    1. I have 30 appointments per year, and then I have to get new prescriptions. I had a longer stretch at first because the year is fiscal, so I had some before 30 June and then some after. My chiro actually recommended a myo-release ball, which I'll be ordering (I'm waiting on an Amazon gift card for that) to help, since the foam roller really can't get in there. I'll ask my PT (once I get back in there) about being upslipped. Thanks - and I hope you keep healing, too!

  2. A shrug and lack of diagnosis is OMGFRUSTRATING, but I'm glad you're being so proactive and getting multiple opinions. #OperationGetAllisonRunningAgain