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Hip problem, can anyone relate?


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I'm posting this here because I am at college and I do not have access to a good doctor or anyone specializing in sports medicine.  I hope someone out there reading this can give me anecdotal advice because I am seriously fed up.  I am a 21 year old female, weighing about 155 at 5'7, small-medium frame, and have never maintained an adult weight in the healthy BMI range for more than a couple of months.

Okay I posted a while back about hip bursitis, which I thought I got almost 2 months ago, because my hip has been messed up ever since then.  It was after about my 3rd run on the treadmill, I jogged for somewhere in the 20 minute range, got my glass of water, sat down on my bed and opened up my laptop to get on CC.  I stayed in the cross-legged position with my laptop on my lap for about half an hour.  Then when I got up I had an immense pain in my hip.  It's not immense anymore, but it hasn't gone away since.

I first got hip bursitis about two years ago, after working out on the elliptical for several days a week.  I saw a doctor; she gave me ibuprofin and told me to lay off it for a while.  I did, and it was gone in about two weeks.  The pain was in a different place though, more in the front of the hip rather than on the side like it is now.

I have tried the same thing this time.  Ibuprofin does almost nothing for the pain.  I laid off exercise for over a week in January and the pain mostly went away, but the whole joint was still very stiff.  I gave it a couple of days and the stiffness persisted.  Then I did a fair amount of walking over a couple of days and the pain started up again.  I tried the ignore-and-it-will-go-away method, doing the exercise bike and some weight training for 2 weeks.  It was still a little painful, but not terrible.  I did the elliptical one day.  Didn't make it too much worse.  I talked with my yoga teacher about stretches to release tension in the hips and did those every night all of last week.

Now I find that I have slept on my hip for a couple of nights in a row and the pain today is almost as bad as when it started.

If this really is hip bursitis, why hasn't it gone away in 2 weeks like it did the last time?  Why did it get so stiff and then relapse after I stretched it so much to release the tension?  Why do I get pins and needles in that foot sometimes when I'm standing or sitting with my legs stretched out in front of me?  Why doesn't ibuprofen help at all?

I have thought of so many things.  Is one of my legs longer than the other?  Have I hyperextended my hip joint?  Is the ball of the joint not correctly in its socket?  Am I just going to have to deal with hip pain for the rest of my life?  Please help!  I want to run again so badly and it's driving me crazy!  I might quit eating healthy until I can get back to an exercise routine but who knows how long that will be.  I'm at a residential college, I can't just not walk!
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I dont have hip bursitis, but I can tell you that I have had my hip and pelvic crushed and totally restructured.  (car accident), therefore, I have pins in there holding it all together..  I run, I do elliptical, weights, etc and I can tell you that the best thing I take for the joint stiffness, or pain is msm with glucosamine.  This is something I take daily like a vitamin.  And it helps alot.  Another thing I take when needed instead of ibuprofen, is naproxin sodium a.k.a advil.  I know they say ibuprofen is good for inflammation, but you may not necessary have inflammation as much as you may have some troubled joints....  I don't know if that made sense.... lol;  Stretching definetly helps too....
I had something that sounded similar from Running last summer ---- it was an inflamation of my IT band.   I couldn't walk for about a week --- it was awful.

I was given some prescription Ibuprofen-type drugs to relieve the inflamation, and told to take it easy for a month or so.

I find it is still prone to flaring up if I push too hard -- but stretching and massage helps, as does ART (active release therapy).  If your doctor isn't helping I'd suggest finding a sport physiotherapist....
It sounds like your pariformis, it is a muscle deep inside your hip, it sits right next to your sciatic nerve. There are two things you can try that should help. One lay flat on your back, keeping the opposite leg straight, bring the effected hip side leg up until you hip forms about an 80 degree angle(it is o.k. to keep the leg bent a bit). with your opposite arm pull that leg across your body so your knee almost touches the floor. When you get done one leg should be across the other. Hold for about 10 seconds relax a bit and then repeat, by the time you get done your knee shouldn't be far from the floor.

the other one you will need afreind to help:

lay flat on your back, have somone grab the top of your foot and your heel. have them gently pull the leg toward them. the person needs to be vary carefull to apllie gradual pressure and to not pull too hard, hold for about 10 seconds and SLOWLY RELEASE THE LEG. You will feel your hip go back back into place.

Along with your standard streches for the glutes,hamstring, and quads you should be good to go. Iuse these same excercises and my rehab clients and it works wonders!
I screwed up my hip running last summer too.  I stayed off it for about a week and it was ok.  I still think tho that if I were a horse they woulda shot me by now.   I still get really stiff if I sit for too long or if I sit on my side, sleep on my side, etc.   If I'm warmed up, I'm good to go.  It still bothers me tho and it's been since July or so.  It sucks.  I think something is out of place cuz it feels like a muscle that I can't reach to rub out.  It's kinda in my pocket on my side.  Stretching seems to be only a temp fix. 
Nymo try the first ecxercise I wrote abut above it will help. If you are going to sleep on your side put a pillow between you legs.
After suffering with Lyme Disease I find that I am prone to inflamations in mainly my hips and knees.  I agree with sleeping with the pillow between your knees to relieve some of the stress on the hip.  Take the anti inflammatory meds ie: ibuprofen, advil, aleve, motrin.    Avoid things that will trigger the pain, workout in moderation, low impact exercises. 

As a female I can also tell you this, the pains for me often come within the week I am expecting my period. 

If it persists I would recommend seeing a doctor.  It could be in your pelvis, a hairline fracture can be painful. 
Wow, I WISH mine was just from overexertion.  I had the back of my head slammed into the floor when I was 22 which subsequently put an S-curve into my spine and pulled my right hip up a full inch higher than my left. 

I've done 2 bouts of PT and over a year with a chiropractor to no avail.  My advice would be to:

A. do yoga - it helped me more than any "medical" treatment ever could.  It can be a "real" workout too.  I do power yoga, which can be quite strenuous, and it's like a miracle.

B. go the the health food store and buy this stuff called Traumeel.  It's a topical homeopathic treatment that makes the area feel warm and relaxed.

C. Ice packs combined with option B above

D. and when all else fails - Advil.

I find if I keep moving and working out it actually hurts less.  When I'm really lazy and sedentary I get really stiff.  I still get pain (it starts in my hip and ends up with spasms all up my back and around my shoulder blades and then down my butt cheek) but it's bearable with the above-mentioned stuff.
Hey thanks for the help everyone, I'm feeling better about my ability to recover.  From reading everyone's comments and doing a bit more research, I think my injury started out as bursitis, then after the few days of stiffness and exercising on it again, I wacked out another hip muscle, though I'm not sure which one.

So I'm really going to quit it with the exercise until the pain is all gone.  I do take a yoga class once a week, and have been doing a couple of sun salutations and hip stretches before bed almost every night--Bodyscience, that first stretch you recommended is really similar to one we did in yoga.  That usually helps quite a lot.

Maybe I should invest in some anti inflammatories that aren't Target brand?  These ones I have don't do squat.

How much does icing really help?  I HATE HATE HATE to ice anything, it's sooooo cold!!  Would the opposite, a heating pad, have any benefit?  I hate being cold! hehe
Ice is a good tool to use on acute injuries, however after several days (sub acute) it is better to use contrasting hot and cold, finally once you are in the chronic stage heat will be your friend.

To understand what ice does you have to think about what you have observed when you get cold, i.e. the blood goes away from the site that gets cold (blue fingers in the snow for example).  Ice shunts the old blood from the injury site allowing new fresh blood to come in and provide the essential nutrients for healing.
 
One other thing to try and remember when you do have an injury is the acronym RICE Rest, Ice, Compress and Elevate.  Most medical professionals will advise you to follow the RICE concept because it is a proven method in injury recovery.  through my own experience with injury I find that RICE has gotten me back into the game faster then anything else. Rest, Ice, Compress and Elevate will be your best bet in an acute injury; however, compression in the case of the hip can be difficult.

I see lots of hip injuries as an LMT (licensed massage therapist), what you are describing sounds close to what two other people on this post have already mentioned, Piriformis and IT band/Tensor Fascialate (TFL for short).  While there could have been som bursitis the description sounds like soft tisseu; unfortunatly, without the ability to do an assessment of the structures i am limited in what i could advise you on. 

Something to keep in mind though is if you do have an injury to the soft tissue i.e. muscle tissue be careful not to over stretch it when you are still recovering.  Pain and inflammation can be helped with  NSAID's (non-steroid anti-inflammatory drug), i.e. Advil or the like, always check with an MD or pharmacist about how much you should take.  Also depending on where you live/go to school, check to see if there is a massage school near by, they usually have a clinic for students to work on people and offer massage at a considerable discount, just a though. 
hope that helps a little...
#10  
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You may have a pinched nerve, that's why you get the tingles in your feet and since there may be little inflammation thatā??s why the ibuprofen isnā??t doing anything for you. Do you have any problems sleeping? Are you sleeping on your stomach, back or side? This can be a major cause of hip and back problems.
Since you're into yoga, I wanted to mention a website I love, yogajournal.com.  Go to poses and pick a body part (hips) and it'll show you many different choices. You can pick the one that feels the best.

When I jog I get a pins and needles pain in my left hip and it can last for a while. Again I would suggest yoga and going to a running specialty store for a shoe that fits your running style (i.e. over-pronater) even if you don't run it'll make a difference when you work out.

Hope that helps.
Here's a good article outlining the causes of hip pain:

http://orthopedics.about.com/cs/hipsurgery/a/ hippain.htm

I'm leaning towards "referred pain" for you, because of the tingling sensations you are having. As others have suggested, it sounds like a pinched nerve. It may be piriformis, or it may be a problem with your lower back. Or even a combo of the two.

You asked for anecdotal info:

I have had both problems in the past. Actually I've had a myriad of problems, past and fairly recent.... LOL... it probably is related to the fact that as an infant my hips were dislocated. I had to wear a bar between my feet, and special shoes, for months to treat it (not sure they do that anymore - this was in the 60s).

Piriformis presented more as a pain in the buttucks than in the hip. It was extremely painful, hard to sit, and would flare up after exercising. The stretches suggested here worked very well for flare-ups that didn't develop into chronic issue, and for prevention. Chronic issue took time off (weeks) to heal.

Lower back problems were more difficult to figure out. Sometimes it was very obvious, because my lower back was hurting (I have a history of back problems, from an injury 20 years ago). Other times, it's not so clear the back is the culprit, but doing yoga and my McKenzie stretches helps a lot. Basic stretch is like the yoga cobra pose, only you don't bend that extreme: just lie on your tummy and gently raise up no higher than on your elbows, while focusing on relaxing your buttocks muscles. You feel tension release in your lower back. I do this stretch several times a day now, and credit it with curing my back problems for 3 years now.

You mentioned leg-length discrepancy. Have you had your legs measured? Some people are born with legs too different lengths, most people with this issue acquire it over time, and acquired discrepancy can be fixed, not necessarily with use of a lift - with proper stretching. I tend to have an aquired discrepancy that comes and goes depending on how much I'm stretching and being consistent with my yoga, and whether I've been running on cambered streets too much.

Also there's another hip-related condition not on this list, I can't remember the name, but it's when your hip gets slightly out-of-whack. Women are prone to this because due to hormones our ligaments are more lax than men's are. I have developed this and it comes and goes. I know it's an issue when I am running and it feels like my one hip is pulling me forward as I run. Hard to explain how this feels - if you are having this, you'll know what I mean. You just feel ... crooked. Like one side is pulling you along and your body would rather run in a circle rather than straight line. It doesn't hurt, but it can set you up for serious injury if not corrected.

To correct this, I stand in a door frame with back to one wall. Keeping back pressed firmly against the wall, I raise one leg to the other wall and then push the leg gently and steadily until you feel tension release in the hip. Switch legs and do the other side. You must do this very carefully - remembering it is a ligament issue so don't overstretch, bounce, or force it because you can easily tear a ligament. I probably wouldn't attempt this right now, while you are having pain. Save it for an experiment after you heal. If you feel the tension release - it'll be a like an "ah ha!!!" moment because afterwards you'll feel straighter, more balanced, etc - then you'll know this is a factor in your recurring problems.

I am also told that these problems can stem from muscle imbalances. There can be several culprits:

1) Hamstrings weak or inflexible compared to quads

2) Weak abducter & adducter muscles

3) weak gluteus muscles (there's a tiny muscle - the minimus, I think??)

I have now started doing aerobics - with a lot of side-to-side movements - as crosstraining for my running, to help improve any imbalances I may have.

In my experience, it seems that it's not one single thing wrong, unfortunately. It seems like I'll fix one thing, and another problem develops. Or I'll have multiple issues going on. So the best advice I can give is don't worry about finding a diagnosis: work on overall flexibility, overall muscle strength, etc, and listen to your body *before* it gets injured. Also don't overtrain. :-)

Hope that helps!
I actually have hip bursitis as well.  The ibprofen isn't generally for pain as much as it is an anti-inflamatory.  When I first got it, I was in pain all the time, just sitting in the car and the jostling of the vehicle had me in tears.  I've had it for about 8 years now.  The first few months of having it were rough.  I don't know if I have just gotten used to the feeling but I normally only have a flare up now about 3 times a year and they are nothing compared to what they were when I first got it. 

When I have a flare up, I try to do low impact cardio with lots and lots of stretching before and after.  Sometimes when I am running I will start to have pain.  I just take it down a notch and it usually holds it off.

Unfortunately there isn't anything you can do for this much like arthritis.  Just take anti-inflamatories and don't go so hard when you have a flare up.

Sunny
#15  
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Hi, it sounds like what I had. I am under a orthopaedic surgeon for a condition called Femero - acetabular impingement syndrome (I think this is how it's spelt?) which is a problem with the ball part of your hip not fitting in the cup part of your hip. Causing boney growths to form on the joint and making it not sit properly in the joint, making it painful to walk and exercise for any periods of time i.e running, jogging and other simular activities. The main area i have the pain in is in the groin area and around the front of the hip and then on occation in the back of the buttocks where it feels like there is a lump sticking out when you sit down, and it feels like someone is stabbing u there. Get a doctor to refer you to a orthopaedic specialist and ask them to get u a MRI and CT scan hat will show any problems you have with your hips. I know its painfull and youn feel like it will never go away again but it will.

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