How to fix injuries

by - Wednesday, January 20, 2010

For anyone who's been reading for more than a week or so, you know I've been having lots of problems with my left hip that I think are tied to major tightness in my IT bands. if you've been reading for a while now, you know I've battled several minor, but annoying injuries in the last several years.

I've learned over the course of my running career and working through the different injuries that you can fix almost any (non-super serious) injury the same way.

This is what I've been doing for my hip lately and it seems to be helping. My hip was a lot less tender today and fingers crossed that I'll be back to running soon.

Step One:

Back off running. I wasn't keen to do this at first, but it was pretty necessary to make sure everything got fixed. Cross training was still an option so I switched to the elliptical.

Step Two:
Ice. I learned it's pretty tough to ice your hip. You almost have to be lying down. Plus balancing ice packs on yourself isn't always the easiest thing to do. But this definitely numbed some of the pain and I'm sure helped cut down on inflammation.

Step Three:
Streeeeetch. Hip stretches are kind of hilarious to do. I mean you have to sit or stand in some pretty weird positions. When I do the standing ones I look like a Valley Girl with way too much sass. Seriously, hip pushed out to the side, hand on the hip, all kinds of attitude.

Step Four:
Massage and not the sissy Swedish massage kind. I'm talking sports/deep tissues massage. This step has always been pretty critical for me in getting over any kind of injury.

In Allentown, I see one of two women who are completely and totally awesome and leave me with a few bruises the next day from really working the knots out. Down in DC I've really struggled to find a good massage therapist, everyone I'd gone to was too wimpy. But then one of my Twitter peeps recommended a therapist out in Columbia and after tweeting with the massage therapist for a while, I made an appointment for the other day. Today things seem to feel a lot looser in the hip area and while the jury's still out on whether or not the massage was helpful, I'm crossing my fingers and hoping for the best.

So those are my steps to overcoming just about any running injury. Aside from a major bone break/stress fracture.

What do you do to treat injury and get back to running quickly?

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  1. I think you hit the nail on the head there. I too battled hip pain late last year. A large chunk of recovery can come from increasing your core strength. So while you're not running, do some ab and lower back strength moves. make the swiss ball your friend.

    I also hit the elliptical and bike hard. more cross training and more core work, with a continued plan of yoga and stretching, and finally after about 2 months the hip pain just went away. Sure you could fully RICE it up. but hips seem to be different. they just take time.

  2. Step one is always the hardest to do but I find it to be the most effective. After a few days of little to no running and lots of yoga stretches, my hip pain usually goes away. I also try to increase my calcium intake but I'm not sure if that actually helps or if it just makes me feel better mentally :)

    I live in NoVA/DC and have been looking for a good sports message therapist as well! I need it mostly for my back pains. Let me know if you find someplace worth trying!

  3. Anonymous11:08 AM

    All your tips are right on. The hardest of course is stopping running for a few days. Hope your hip feels better soon.

  4. Don't forget to visit your lovely cousin next time you're in the neighborhood!!!! ;-)

  5. So I think I've told you that I'm doing the same thing...rehabing from a tight hip flexor problem hence; piriformis and it band problems. Everyday I have to run for about 20-30 mins. Then I have a series of stretches and exercises. I'm also seeing a PT so I can work on biomechanics since my stride is off! I think that I'll be at it for a month or so but I'm still running and training. This is not easy but it will get better. I do see changes already!

  6. umm yeah. #1 i have never been good at but #4 i can get down with! otherwise though - good "to do's". rest, stretch, ice, pamper!

  7. Stopping running, although I HATED it, salvaged my marathon attempt this fall and probably prevented myself from getting injured furthering. Pain from an intense running is normal (running fast, running long), but running in general should not be painful. If it is, something needs to change to prevent injuries!