I have been training for some time now without injury but unfortunately no more. The other night I went out for a run in the dark and began running downhill against traffic (with my left hip lower than my right). After about a mile my left hip began to hurt. Well I ended up finishing my planned 6.5 mile run but my hip was killing me and continued to throb for another day or two. I biked and swam without problems but when I tried to run again after a full week off I could only go for about 6 minutes. I have a race coming up in 3 1/2 weeks (Philly OYL) and am very nervous about my ability to train or even race. Any thoughts you could provide would be very much appreciated. Thanks!
I think you diagnosed the cause correctly, the left hip being lower than the right due to road curvature. Probably a strain in the IT band that wraps around the hip down the outside of the thigh then into the knee. You have tried some rest, try also specific stretching (various yoga positions help), use a foam roller or a "Stick" to self massage, and ice. Do this several times a day. One take-away from your experience is to be aware of road crowns and either balance running on both sides of the street or in some cases, down the middle. Ok, two lessons: when something hurts, stop. This is different than sore, pain is no gain. Take care and good luck.
Thanks BT - I went to a chiropractor yesterday and I was out of alignment and it seemed to help. I will also take your advice and keep my fingers crossed that I can "reset" myself and help to prevent again in the future. I have a 5K I'm signed up for on Sunday......we'll see how I feel in the morning.
IT Band injuries are incredibly common and can be incredibly painful. The tough part is that they can manifest themselves in so many ways - pretending to be knee, hip, or muscular injuries. I'd second the suggestion for a foam roller - I love mine, even if it hurts. A lot. When I was training for my marathon last fall, I was using that thing at least twice a day. I use it on my back (vertically and horizontally) and on the side of my leg, rolling all the way from hip to knee.
If you have any setbacks, see a doctor and make sure there isn't something really wrong. Good luck - you should be fine in time for your race.
You guys are absolutely right - I never really thought of the IT band but I should based on my history. I had such bad knee pain that I didn't run for 10 full years - finally I decided to get my knee check out (MRI, doctors, etc.) and they said it was an extremely tight IT band issue. so a few years back I committed to getting orthotics and serious ART treatment. This season I don't need the ART because I religiously use the foam roller after each run/bike up and down my left leg. I never thought that it could manifest itself in the hip as well. The other night I sat on the foam roller then crossed my left leg over right and leaned into the roller. Man, did it absolutely kill on my glute. I need to do that now every day as well. IT band problems are terrible but in my case manageable through a lot of TLC.
As has already been recommended, I would certainly look into your IT band ( use http://www.bulletproofknee.com ), but I would also look into your hip flexor flexibility. If you have tight psoas, hip flexors, you tend to over use the external hip rotators and can get pain that feels like "hip socket" pain...
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