My Reasons

My Reasons

This Is Where It All Begins

This Is Where It All Begins

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

"IT hurts" (bahahahaha)


OK class, here we go...

That bone you see above with the yellow thing on it, is the top of the femur (big leg bone that joins into your hip)
That yellow thing is called a bursa sac (it keeps things running smoothly and lubricated as things glide across the bone)
That red thing is the IT band, not as in the word "it", but the letters I.T.  It is a tendon that goes from the pelvic bone and hooks down just below the knee.

Got it????   Moving on.

So, a couple months ago, I started having some pain where my leg goes into my hip.  I figured it was just the aches and pains of getting back in to shape, and worked through it.

A few weeks in, the pain got a lot worse.  I started easing up on some of the plyometrics I have been doing, and kept right on running my 6 miles on my running days.

A few weeks later, I was limping after workouts and could not walk at all on my leg when I would get up with Molly at night.

Finally, I was limping all the time and in constant pain.  Time to go see someone.  BOO! 

I have been working so incredibly hard the past 5 months to get back into shape, and I have finally been seeing some results and getting back on track.  The last thing I wanted to hear was that I had to back off, and sit around waiting to heal.  I just started over 5 months ago, I didn't want to start over again.

I walked in the doors to the physical therapy office last week (which happens to be connected to my gym), thinking I would get some heat/ice treatment, some stretching, and some answers to what was causing so much pain.
Well, I got the answers.

My IT band is slightly torn where it joins at the hip.  Also, the bursa sac is twice it's normal size, because it is so inflamed (bursitis).  So, when the inflamed and torn IT band, rubs against the inflamed and swollen bursa sac when I move my leg certain ways (as in running, walking, sitting, standing, and basically any movement), I feel like someone is stabbing my hip with a knife and running it down my leg to my knee.  It is pleasant, let me tell you.

Once I got my answers, I felt ready to dig in and fix it.  Wow, I had no idea what was to come, or that smile would have been wiped clean off my face faster then you can say "physicaltherapyisexcruciatingbutwillhelpinthelongrun."
Basically, I had to move my leg into the positions that are the absolute most painful, and then hold it there for 20 seconds.  I did this three times each in about 5 different positions. 
I guess this is physical therapy's definition of "stretching," and that was just the warm up!  I was sweating from pain, literally.
Then we moved on to the "roller." 
I was told to put the roller under my leg, and roll the thing up and down my muscle that is hurting. 

Basically, it was like taking a rolling pin to bubble wrap, and every bubble that popped burst out fireballs of pain.  Yup, I got to do that for 10 minutes.  This created tears.  Not crying, but tears.

Finally, I was told I could get a massage.  I was so relieved to have the painful stuff over with.  BAHAHAHAHA!
Physical therapy massage, is not normal massage.
It is more like a really strong fingered lady finding the absolute most painful spots all along my outer thigh and hamstring, and digging in to them as hard as she could.  She literally used her knuckles at some point.
 I seriously thought I would never walk again.

I limped out of there discouraged and in pain, but determined to get better, even if it meant getting the crap beat out of my leg at physical therapy a couple times, or more, a week.

I walked back into there today absolutely terrified.  My leg actually hurt worse than ever, and I was not looking forward to aggravating it any more.

Thankfully, another dude was assigned to me today.  The guy from last week was great, but he also wanted a second opinion.

This guy today figured out exactly what is going on.  That bursa sac in the picture above (yellow) is twice the size it should be in my joint.  It is that swollen and inflamed.  The IT band in my leg, from my hip down to my knee is pretty much trashed.  It has been inflamed for so long, that it has created scar tissue all the way down the muscle.

In order to fix my IT band, that scar tissue has to be broken up and reformed in the correct way.  Yup, you heard right, "broken up."
No, they do not knock you out for this fun procedure. 

The roller and the "massage" from last week were done in order to begin breaking up the scar tissue.  It worked, but it also aggravated the IT band so much, that it only made the inflammation that much more intense.

So now, I get the breaking up of scar tissue done in much smaller doses.  Today, they used one of those hammer things that doctors use to tap your knee to test reflexes.  He pushed the tip of that thing down on my IT band by my hip, and then ran it down the muscle to my knee.  I literally could not even breathe, it hurt that bad.  I wanted to scream and cry, but I just laid there trying to thing of happy things... like English bulldogs and sweedish fish.  I could feel the hammer thing bumping up and down over the scar tissue, like it was going over a bunch of marbles.  Ouch!!!

After that things got better though.  I guess my hips are all sorts of weak and tilted wrong...from I have to do hip strengthening exercises. 

Those were fine, just horribly awkward to do with a guy physical therapist staring at you.

Then I got an ice massage right on the bursa sack.  It was direct ice to skin.  The physical therapist did this.  I guess he figured that the ice would numb it enough so he could rub out the bursa sac as hard as he wanted to.  Sorry buddy, no amount of ice will make that any less excruciating. Double OUCH!!!!!

Then it was on to the stem machine...which I loved.  It sends tiny electric currents through the sore muscle in order to keep it warm and to heal up.  That was great.

And so it begins.  I will continue this pattern the next few sessions.  They can't even work on the IT band or bursa sac yet, because they are so inflamed and painful.  They are going to spend the next week or so getting that under control, and THEN we start working on repairing the tendon.

Apparently, that is when the pain begins?!?!?!

These guys are no joke.

But hey, if it means I will be able to run again soon, I will take it!


Lisa said...

:-( ouch! Sad! I'm sorry! I hope it works, and quickly! Then teach us all what to do to straighten out our hips after babies so we don't have the same problem! said...

Your pics crack me up! Hope they get you fixed up soon!