Have I mentioned I’ve been having some hip pain since I got back from England? I’ve been kinda quiet about it because, you know, if you don’t mention pain and especially if you ignore it then maybe it will just go away…yeah, right. After running for 2.5 hrs in Great Falls Saturday (by the way, spectacular place to run), I had to admit that I definitely had a problem. I iced the heck out of the hip for the next couple of days and tried to run on Tuesday, made it a mile and the searing pain made me turn back home. Bummer.
I did some googling and diagnosed myself with bursitis. Always a good idea to diagnose injuries yourself…NOT. Good news was it didn’t seem to be a stress fracture, the thought of which was freaking me out. So I called my trusty orthopedist Dr. Pete. Dr Pete is a runner AND triathlete…he’s even done an Ironman and said it was “fun.” Runners and triathletes like docs who are also runners and triathletes because 1) they don’t look at us like we’re crazy when we mention that we ran in pain for oh, 13 miles; b) we can chit-chat about races and not sound like obsessed freaks; c) we’ll believe them if they say we should stop running…which they rarely do. Case in point: one time about 15 years ago I went to my husband’s orthopedist (shoulder-specialist, not a runner) who took one look at my hip x-ray and told me I must stop running immediately…something to do with wearing away my joints. Yeah, right. After that I found Dr. Pete.
Anyway, Dr. Pete did some functional/strength testing, which I passed with flying colors (yay for strength training and my PT exercises which of course I’m doing diligently) and concurred with my diagnosis of bursitis. Then he did a hip x-ray just in case. The x-ray showed that I do indeed have hips and a ball and socket joint although the socket’s a bit shallow and that scary arthritis word was mentioned…shhhh…if I don’t say it, maybe it will never happen.
Then Dr. Pete laid out my options. 1. Surgery – not considered necessary. 2. Don’t do activity that hurts it (running) and it will eventually heal. Hmmm….didn’t like that one…reminded him I have a 50K in 3 weeks. What was behind door #3, I asked?
Of course, that would be the cortisone injection. Having never had one of these before (or even been offered one!) I was intrigued. Could this really fix my problem? I decided I was willing to find out, especially as I didn’t like the other options. I also thought it would be useful to know what a cortisone shot really feels like so I can report candidly.
Once I told Dr. Pete I was going with door #3 he wasted no time grabbing the needle and was back in a flash…wonder if he thought I might have second thoughts if he hesitated? Anyway, he found the painful spot after some poking and me realizing it would help if I said “ow, that’s where it hurts” rather than trying to be my usual stoic self. I tend not to mention something’s painful unless it’s really killing me, so I forget that it can be helpful in such instances to let the professionals know where the pain is.
Anyway, I kinda glanced over and noticed that the needle was very long. And I’m not gonna lie – it hurt. But only for a second so no need to freak out or practice the special yoga breathing, which I tend to resort to if something hurts. To be honest, what hurt more was the drive home – 30 mins with increasingly worsening hip/butt pain. Note to self – if I have to do this again take an ice pack with me…or ask for one before I leave. Once I got home I grabbed the big ice pack from the freezer and laid down with that on my hip for a while. Almost 12 hrs later, it just aches, although I’ve been told day 2 can be worse. Day 3 better not be bad because I have a race. Dr. Pete told me that was ok.
Have you ever had a cortisone shot? How did it go? If not, would you get one if recommended? Is your doctor a runner/triathlete?