What if you were told you could no longer run?

My heart just broke a little writing that title.

Let’s not put the cart before the horse, but that question has popped into my mind several times over the years and more so recently.

I have big dreams to be that 88 year old lady still out running races. But I also do my best to be realistic and know that could mean running forever might not be in the cards. Maybe I should file this post for another day when I’m not feeling so emotional and thinking the worse, but somehow writing is therapeutic and lucky for you, I publish it for the world to read.

I have left a lot of this hip issue off the blog because there are really no answers or true diagnosis. My left hip has been painful off and on for  a couple years. My PT ninja has reset it 6 times and every time he does, I get a couple incredibly awesome, pain free runs in. Then it seems like the joint slips out of place and I’m back in pain. The MRI is text book amazing, I’ve had 4 doctors and specialists look at the images and they all agree it looks perfect.

My frustration is I went to a sports doctor yesterday expecting answers and walked out with more questions along with his dumb advise of ‘maybe running isn’t for you.’

Yah, that went over like a fart in church.

I took Mike to see my PT and luckily he took the time to show Mike exactly what is going on. Mike is very mechanically minded so he now has a clearer understanding. Probably better than I do.

It’s too early to tell and there is no true diagnosis, which means the next step is to see a specialist in Stanford.

I am just SOOOOOO over being in doctors offices and not on the trail doing what I love. This is getting ridiculous. But the rational side of my brain is convincing me I’ve come this far, may as well keep on going. Plus I am stubborn and pretty much defy anyone who says I can’t do something.

So that’s that. I am still running, just keeping the mileage slow, low and below my pain threshold. Ha that rhymes! #nerdstatus

But damn it, I’m still freaking running.

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21 Comments on “What if you were told you could no longer run?

  1. Been there, I have SO been there. Right now I keep running in pain knowing it’s better than where I would be mentally if I stopped. I’d love to hear a little more detail as NO ONE has been able to figure this hip problem out for me!

    • I wanted to respond here in hopes that you will both read this? Anyways, you guys should google FAI in hips. It is SO uncommon but it’s out there, and the doctors that do surgery for it is also rare, but you should be able to find one! I had the surgery on my right hip in May, and having the surgery on my left in 2 weeks. My right hip is doing so much better, I’m actually trying to do a half marathon next weekend before I’m out for PT after surgery for a few months!

      • Thank you so much for your reply! I will have to bring this up to my doctor as nothing else seems to make sense…

  2. Every time I go to PT I feel like it’s a guessing game… but I research more, learn more, and hopefully find more weak areas to work on to improve the hip?? Recently they determined my injury is a hip flexor strain but the tight muscle is super deep – you can only isolate it in ONE stretch to work on it. When doing strength exercises yesterday they told me we were going to work the transverse ab muscles that are supposed to protect your pelvis. They had me lay on my back with a flat pelvis and told me to contract my right lowest lower ab WITHOUT moving the other ab muscles — umm do what? lol I compare it to being asked to move your 4th toe… the only way that’s happening is if I also move the other toes. So anyways, apparently you CAN do this and having strong transverse abs protects the hips. Now I am going to focus on strengthening this and hope it’s part of the puzzle that will fix my hip issues so I can run again! Try to stay positive… if we’re always learning and doing new things, then who knows what our future will be 🙂

    • Read what I wrote above in the comments! Also, y’all should look into ART (active release technique) for your hips, that is what totally made me pain free after surgery!

  3. Been where you are for the last 3 years. I have had 2 major surgeries and being told another one is to come if I want to be pain free. I have lived with pain daily for 3 years. BUT…I continue to run, why because I love it. I do everything I can to attempt to aleviate as much as possible. I love running and cannot pathom being told to stop. I think my docs know this…. Hang in there ~ I know I am trying to!

  4. I’m so sorry you’re dealing with this. I’ve been experiencing knee pain for the last year now and no one seems to know what the issue is. I’m hoping someone will be able to figure it out because I can’t imagine not being able to run.

  5. This is exactly what I’ve been going through all year. I haven’t run in months, and it breaks my heart. It’s frustrating when you don’t feel like the medical professionals know what they’re doing. I’m keeping the faith that if I keep trying it’ll get better. In the meantime, getting my heart rate up through other forms of exercise has kept me going physically & mentally. Fingers crossed for all of us!

  6. When I read this post I immediately questioned if you have ever done a running assessment with video analysis? It is very positive that your PT can “put you in” and that you have painfree running even if just for a few runs. That tells me (I’m a physical therapist that deals w/runners and all orthopedic issues) that biomechanically something you are doing while running is causing the imbalance that leads to your hip “going out”. Your PT “putting you in” sounds more like a quick fix vs finding the root of the problem… so it doesn’t surprise me that it keeps coming back (or was likely even contributing to your foot pain from awhile back). Again, it is good that the MRI is clear but that doesn’t mean that you should give up looking for answers. A lot of pelvis / SI joint dysfunction will refer pain to a patients hip, deep in their butt cheek and / or into their groin and even into the leg a little bit and doesn’t show up at all on MRI (or xray). Sorry this is getting really long, but if you have any questions I would be happy to help… Keli

    • ^ this makes complete sense to me except in my case, I hurt while running but feel NO pain once I stop. It’s so frustrating as nothing adds up…

  7. Oh girl….I am crossing my fingers that you never have to answer that question! I’d take running slow and low to be able to keep running than to not do it! I’m so glad that you had Mike go with you as I know how much he supports you!!! Thinking of you….you need some ice cream!!!

  8. I really don’t even like to think about the answer to that question. I run, and I run pretty slowly, but running is one of those things that literally changed my life. I was active before, but running took me to another level, and my heart would be broken if I couldn’t run anymore. I hope you figure this out!

  9. So sorry – totally sucks to not be able to get definite answers. I want to be that same 80+ year old running lady but right now I’m struggling, too.
    I hope you are able to find some ways to help stop the recurring hip problem and be able to run pain free!

  10. Sorry that your dealing with hip issues. I deal with SI joint issues every year. My right glute doesn’t want to activate. Spending time on isolating the hip flexors works but has to be done all the time.hopefully your PT has given you specific exercises to help stabilize your hip joint.

  11. So sorry you’ve had to deal with this the pastyear. I can’t even imagine not being able to run…ever! Right now I have to rest my feet because of plantar fasciitis but I am hoping for quick healing. Hang in there. Hopefully you find the reason for your hip pain.

  12. I know what you’re feeling. Three years ago I developed a neurological disease called Dystonia. It paralyzes my legs and I am incapable of running further than about 100 feet at a time. Three. Years. There’s no cure and doctors don’t know what causes it. I’m not giving up and I hope you don’t either. Running is a crazy, special, awesome thing. Never, ever give up.

  13. I can completely relate. Last year i was training for my first half marathon and about 10 weeks in i had this horrible pain in my left thigh. Long story short, it is supposedly my IT band, but it radiates all the way down my leg and over the months has started to cause left hip lain. I am at a loss as to go to a doc, a PT.. Idk. If u have any advice please let me know. And how do you go about finding a PT that specialized in sports injuries??

  14. When I asked my PT what my official diagnosis was, his words were “it’s not so much a diagnosis as it is a sentence.” It was one of the most terrifying things I’ve heard. I have hip issues, which lead to IT band and pretty intense outer foot pain since it’s all off kilter up top. I do a lot of box jumps and other exercises to strengthen my hip (or I promise myself I’ll do them after every run leaves me in pain…), but after a few months, my PT went a little extreme and did some dry needling on me, and o.m.g. was it just everything I’ve ever asked for. It was uncomfortable, but not entirely painful, and it was brilliant. I know it’s not approved by every doc in every state, so you might have to ask around, but it’s an idea if you’re still struggling and desperate for ideas!

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