Skip navigation

1507 Views 2 Replies Latest reply: Mar 29, 2011 9:56 PM by camcat82
camcat82 Pro 67 posts since
Mar 2, 2011
Currently Being Moderated

Mar 27, 2011 6:29 AM

Bursitis or Stress Fracture.

I've had soreness in my left thigh for almost two weeks now. I went to see my Dr about it since it felt a bit different to muscle strains I've had in the path and he said it looks as though it's either bursitis (the bursa in my left hip was a bit sore when he pushed on it, but the symptoms are a bit off to what would normally present with bursitis) or bone related - most likely a stress fracture. He's sending me for x-rays and and ultrasound tomorrow to see if something comes up on them.


I have been told that a stress fracture often won't show on an x-ray anyway though so don't know what will show with the tests. I'm just unsure about it being either though, as other than the tender bursa when touched I don't have any of the usual bursitis symptoms - I did actually have bursitis while pregnant with my last child as well and it doesn't feel like that at all. The pain does feel deep in my leg. Kinda of an ache deep in my bone, but in general it doesn't hurt too much if I'm taking it easy. Only when I have to do a lot of walking or on my feet a bit - running hurts a lot so haven't done that at all since it got sore. Also hurts getting in and out of my car, or sitting on some of my chairs at home (since I'm short and my legs hang in the air on some - this is actually quite excruciating!). There is sometimes a general ache or soreness in the middle of my thigh while sitting, but the sharp and severe pain is generally not there unless I've been walking for a while or fast. More of an ache going up and down the stairs at home as well.


I guess I'm just wondering if anyone has some experience with either problem they could share (eg symptoms they had, what it felt like etc) so I can have more of an idea of if it could be one of them?

Busy mum, but loving it

My blog -

- Every day I'm reminded that perfection doesn't exist, and to strive for perfection will only defeat you. I want to be better than I was today and not as good as I'll be tomorrow -

First race entered 4.5K on May 22nd - looking forward to it!

Currently doing C25K - W4D2 completed

  • JamesJohnsonLMT Legend 1,282 posts since
    Aug 23, 2009
    Currently Being Moderated
    1. Mar 29, 2011 4:41 PM (in response to camcat82)
    Re: Bursitis or Stress Fracture.

    Your recent training, combined with a history of muscle strains,  provides a useful filter for interpreting these symptoms. Trouble  sitting in chairs that are too high, and difficulty getting in and out  of a car seat also help narrow things down somewhat.


    Deep  bone-like pain in the hip is a common symptom of adductor strain, and  can also point to problems with your lateral quad (Vastus Lateralis),  which is frequently overworked by runners. Walking can be just as  painful once these muscles are hurt, and very few medical personnel or  massage therapists will even bother to check these sensitive areas,  because it can be seen as invasive.


    While you are  waiting on your test results, you can take advantage of some of those  troublesome chairs by checking these muscles in your jogging pants or  other flexible legwear. Find a chair that is high enough to let your  legs dangle, but has soft corners and a shiny surface. Many leather  office chairs fit this description. Sit about halfway back into the  chair so half of your thighs hang over the edge.


    Now,  turn slightly sideways while moving the inner part of the rearmost thigh  (away from the direction you are now facing) over the soft corner of  your chair. Holding onto the armrests, slide the inner part of the thigh  down over that corner until you've covered the area on the inner thigh  up to the buttocks. Repeat this a couple times at slightly different  angles to look for painful spots in the adductor muscles (visual aids  below).


    Next, turn to the other side toward the  armrest so the outer rear of your thigh rests on the edge of the chair.  Starting about halfway on the outer rear thigh, slide down again so the  back edge of the lateral quad gets a good squeeze, and hold on so you  don't fall off the chair. While you are at it, do both sets of  hamstrings at the same time on the front edge of the chair. They don't get enough blood flow when your legs are hanging down while seated.


    All of these muscles can get pretty sore when you have  recently picked up your training, especially if you have been  stretching them during warmups. The adductors in particular, are easily  damaged by overstretching. Just make sure you don't overdo it on the  chair, either.


    There are ways to do both of these  manuevers with a foam roller, but a suitable chair is way more  convenient and has the added benefit of the gravity assist. It also  assures you are stroking the muscles in the ideal therapeutic direction -  toward the heart.


    Now that you have identified any sore areas in these  muscles, you need to focus the pressure with a tennis ball or  equivalent. In some cases you can double up your fingers to probe more  deeply into your sore spots and bring them relief.


    Spend  several seconds on these spots a few times a day and check your  progress after a few days. Things should improve before the weekend, but  take it easy for a couple weeks until you feel 100%. In the meantime, see if you can find a cushion to flatten the bucket shape of your car seat and take the pressure off your tender, newly exercised thigh muscles, and get some kind of foot stool for the other chairs, so you can restore normal circulation while seated.


    Some pics for reference:

    (from Xs are on front and rear portions of the muscle)

    (front view, from Wikimedia commons, adductors on inner thigh as marked)

More Like This

  • Retrieving data ...