Tuesday, January 22, 2013

I got weak hips and I cannot lie...

" I got weak hips and I cannot lie,
This knee pain is getting worse and I can't deny..."

What's sad is I had a whole rap written out but it was more embarrassing than my dance moves so I decided to delete it, you're welcome. 

So my right knee pain is not going away- frustrating, however I think I may have answered the million dollar question of what the heck is going on considering I haven't ran in 5 weeks now. 

I had a chance encounter with a PT on saturday and after multiples tests she confirmed I have weak hips, a much tighter right hamstring,  and my right leg is longer than my left... who knew you could be a mess without working out?

Weak Hips:

It's not uncommon for a runner to have weak hips as running doesn't fully engage them. Majority of runners with knee pain are caused because the hips aren't as strong as they need to be. It's REALLY easy to test the general strength of you hips too.  Basically you lie on your side (in my case with leg of bad knee up) and lift your leg up in scissor position. 
She pushed down and I was told to restrain her as much as possible--- I failed miserably and my leg dropped when she pushed it-- the shame. 
In addition to the standard clams, she gave me some other moves I can do with a theraband, so I forsee a lot of those in my future. 

Tight Hamstrings:  Both of mine are tight which makes sense since I get an F in the subject of stretching, however my right hamstring is much tighter compared to left. I've done this multiple times where you stand with your feet together and bend at the knees--- I can never go very far ( result of weak hamstrings) but my left one  was able to bend SIGNIFICANTLY farther; this shows 2 things- 1.) my right hamstring is tighter than left, and 2.) My right leg is noticeably longer than my left. 

Right leg longer: She had me lay down on the ground and compared placement of my hips then proceeded to measure my legs- right leg is measurably longer than the left. I remember I did a post on this in March of 2011 here where the chiro told me I had short leg syndrome. Several months after that diagnosis I saw my orthopedic surgeon uncle and he did an extensive look at me and said my femurs were the same size, so anatomically I'm normal, its just my left side always tightens up which makes it appear shorter since I don't stretch it out. 

Soooooo after 2 years of being told one thing, then the next, it all boils down to when I work out, I don't properly work my left side and overwork the right which affects that whole part of my body-- IT band, my hip, hamstrings, then it affects my knees. All the injuries I've had over last 2 years is always on right side (at least I have one good side). Due to being sedentary for so long, there hasn't been any stretching on my part and everything has tightened up to the point where my knee is now affected. 

Solution- S-T-R-E-T-C-H-I-N-G after my runs, foam rolling, and I will finally introduce yoga into my weekly schedule. It all sounds so simple, yet easy to forget to keep up. TOMORROW is my first official day I can work out and I plan on going to the 7am yoga class at work--- gah that's early but I have plans for 2013, and an injury isn't one of them. Lastly, I decided 2013 will not be the year of the marathon for me- instead it will be the year of flexibility, proper mechanics, and SPEED. I need a solid (injury free) foundation before I can tackle the marathon properly. I'm not one of those that just wants to finish the first one, I want to run a certain time and I don't think I can pull that off right now plus I refuse to train for a marathon in the Nashville summer again (horrible decision last year)

Do you deal with persistent injuries?
What seems to work best for avoiding injuries?


  1. I have had a sore right hip for nearly a year. Doesn't seem to be getting any better or worse whether or not I stretch or do exercises for it. I do have to admit since it isn't getting worse I am a little lazy about it. I keep thinking I should try yoga but I never make time for it.

  2. I have to hear this rap:) Does this mean you have to wear those shoes where one has a thicker heal than the other?:) Have you tried hot yoga? It really helps with deep stretching.

  3. ahh! welcome to my world of weak hips! i stopped doing my exercises after i went to PT for my IT band 2 years ago. now this seems much more serious. i will be doing the same things as you-assuming my hip issues are just muscle issues. i wish i would've kept up the strengthening-i think i assumed my yoga and pilates were doing the trick-but i guess not.

  4. It's amazing how out of shape I feel as soon as I try any type of workout other than running. I did some yoga the other day and could barely make it through some poses because my legs were giving out. huh? what? I can run all day but not stand with my knees bent for a minute? It makes me realize I need to do more than just be a running freak.

    Hopefully those exercises will help all of your injury issues! Good luck!

  5. Ugh! Injuries suck but I am forwarding this to my friend who has had a wonky knee and I think this might help her. I am a horrible stretcher. It's not one of my finer qualities. I hope yoga helps - looking forward to reading and finding out!

  6. I am so lazy about stretching and I love yoga, but I also love sitting on the couch... which is what i usually want to do after a long run!

  7. Yay! At least you have an answer to the why! I don't know if it was the consistent strength training or the almost nightly stretching (whether I ran or not) that contributed to my injury free year of running. Regardless, I'm not giving up either to find out. My left side has always been tighter than my right.

    Now go stretch!

  8. Sounds very familiar! I started foam rolling and also get regular massages (1-2 times per month), this really helps! My massage therapist also recommends taking epson salt baths, that loosens up the tight muscles, too. Hope you feel better soon!!

  9. Haven’t ran for 5 weeks? Doesn't that make you feel more tired waiting around til you can run again? Regretful to skip the usual activities due to physical inability caused by muscular pain of all sorts. It’s a good thing you immediately seeked help from different specialists such as a PT, a chiro, and a surgeon - who happens to be your uncle. Have you fully recovered yet, and now back to running?
    *Anisha @ US Health Works (Berkeley)