Tag Archives: Hip Pain

Clench those Glutes!

Nothing like making you uncomfortable on a blog…

Remember that hip pain I kept having earlier this year?  It started after my December 31st run, after taking a few weeks off due to my highly inflamed plantar fasciitis.  My first run back triggered a weird right side hip pain, and I took time off and didn’t go away. 

I went to an orthopedist in VA, who had no answers except “stop running.”  So I scheduled an appointment for a second opinion.  The second doctor took an      x-ray that showed no issues and gave me a cortisone shot that didn’t do anything, except for give me hopes… 

I went back to running, despite the pain.  I started physical therapy, but saw no results…  I kept running, as the hip wasn’t getting worse, but it was constantly sore, even when walking. 

I took a bunch of time off running when I moved to Manila, sure that the time off would make things better, and that made no difference, once I went running, the hip was still hurting

I was recommended an orthopedist who quickly diagnosed me with weak core and hips, and sent me off for more physical therapy (which turned out to be $60 a pop, so I never went back – I can do planks on my own, thankyouverymuch).

But even doing weightlifting, working on my core, nothing improved my hip.

And then, one day back in September, Katie posted about her broken butt and her own issues…  (Definitely worth reading if you have hip issues!)  And though we didn’t have the exact same problems, there was enough similarities that it convinced me to at least try to “engage my glutes” during a run.  How does one engage their glutes?  Well, at least for me, I gotta clench my butt, then it actually makes it feel like it’s not just my legs carrying me on runs.

And from then on, I have been constantly aware of my butt and have clenched my glutes during runs, to make sure I’m engaging my hips with each step.  Always.

It has been 3 months since then, and I’m happy to say that since day ONE of doing that, I’m PAIN FREE!  No more weird hip pain triggered by runs!  No more wasted trips to doctors!  All I needed to do was engage my glutes with each step.  Soooo simple, no? 

So if you are also having weird hip pain, it might be something to consider. 

As for running, I got another 3 miles in this week, not an easy run, but not a bad run by any means.  I even pushed myself a bit in the last mile, getting what is probably my fastest run since arriving in Asia.


(How do I wish the treadmill gave me a mile by mile split, like the Garmin does…)


Filed under Injury, Treadmill Run

And not all runs will be easy runs…

And that’s ok.

But it’s a hard lesson to learn, no?

After getting so excited about an easy 3 miler (an accomplishment around these parts lately), yesterday I hesitated hopping on the treadmill.  Part of me was scared that it wouldn’t be easy again.  Plus my left hip has been bugging me since yesterday’s run (for those of you counting, that’s a new pain – my right hip is the one I had problems with this year).

Eventually I sucked it up and got started.  And I was right, it wasn’t easy.  Not only it was hard, but I started having odd pains on my foot.  My left foot, that battles plantar fasciitis on and off (if only I kept up with the PT and stretching, no?) was not cooperating.  Not PF this time, but shooting pain up the foot.  WTF!  (But maybe it’s bruised from the 4 massages I had in one week period?  Highly likely.)

So after a mile I figured there’s no point injuring myself.   I’m so paranoid about injuries that I rather take it easy than push it through.

I changed the pace to a brisk walk instead, and the pain went away, I still ran a bit here and there once it stopped hurting, but I had already lost my running mojo.  I finished with a barefoot half-mile walk with a little bit of running thrown in there, completing a 5k with a 12:47 pace at the end.  Slow?  YES!!!  But slow is better than nothing.  And though I still see walking as defeat, it’s still better than sitting my ass on the couch.

Hard runs are confidence killers, but I have to remind myself that even after amazing double digit runs on weekends when I was training for marathons last year, sometimes I would have a crappy 3 mile run home from work and had to walk most of it.  So just because I had a bad run, doesn’t mean it’s all lost.

Tomorrow I’ll try again.


Filed under Injury, Treadmill Run

Diagnosis: Weak Hips. Weak Core.

I finally went to the orthopedist here in Manila – Dr. George Canlas was recommended to me by a reader, and after a bit of research online, it seemed like the place to go.

I had to wait two weeks until he was back in town, then deal with a “first come, first serve” appointment (I got there at 12:30, for a 1:30 opening time, and I was the 6th in line.  Fun, fun).  The wait wasn’t too bad though (yay for my kindle!), and around 2pm I was seen.

The appointment didn’t take long.  He didn’t frown over my predicament and wonder what could it be like the two different doctors I saw in DC.

Within minutes he told me I had very weak hips, very weak core (which sadly doesn’t surprise me), and because of that my hip joint is rotating too much when I run, hence tugging at my IT band, and making the upper side of my hip hurt (which is where the IT band starts).

I’ll have to do physical therapy three times a week, for a month, to get my core and hips stronger (hopefully, along with the weightlifting I’ll be doing, I’ll get it strong enough).

The good news?  The consultation was 600 pesos (about 14 dollars), paid in cash.  In the US, even when I had a low copayment it wasn’t that little.  Heck, with insurance, my last consultation was still a good $300 out of my pocket, and I got no answers just a lot of “huh, the joint is not there, I don’t know what it could be.”

Now let’s hope his diagnosis is the right one, and this pain that’s been bugging me since my last run of 2010, will finally go away.


Filed under Injury