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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Seattle, WA
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    43

    Hip Pain and Cycling - Need some advice

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    Last Friday while playing 9 holes of golf (I'm not a golfer, I merely own clubs) my left hip really started bothering me. I was able to ignore it because the blisters on my heels from my new golf shoes hurt more than the hip. I finished the planned 9 holes and went on to work. The pain continues to today, Tuesday. It is worse when I first get up from sitting down. The first few steps are quite painful and then it seems to get better as I walk but there is some pain with each step. If I stand on my left leg just right I can make it hurt, especially if I stretch the hip to the left. But thereís no pain when sitting or lying down. The pain is right at the hip bone, not lower where the leg bends.

    On Saturday I was supposed to go for a 70-mile ride and decided I better not. I was worried that the repetitive motion of cycling for that long might irritate my hip. Plus being in limited positions for so long didnít seem like a good idea.

    The pain doesnít seem to be getting worse but it definitely isnít better. Advil helps but doesnít eliminate the pain. Iíve iced it some but that doesnít seem to do anything. Iíve done a few stretches but that makes me a bit nervous Ė am I helping or making it worse?

    My questions Ė should I refrain from cycling until this is better? How long should I go before seeing a doctor? Quite frankly the pain isnít unbearable and normally I would wait this out for weeks before even considering seeing a doctor but Iím training for my first STP (2-day 200 miles) and it is getting close (mid-July). I need the miles and Iíve already lost one training weekend. But I donít want to do anything to make this worse and Iím not sure I can go the distance the way it is now.

    Your advice appreciated

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    8,548
    if you can hardly walk you ought to go to a doctor.
    BUT if you've been riding a lot and the cycling is causing the problem,
    lay on your back and pull your knee up to your chest. Hold it there for a minute.
    Now take that same leg and pull it across to the opposite side of your chest.
    Then hold it there for a minute. do the other side as well.

    Now if this pain is not FROM cycling, you might try getting on your bike, it might not hurt at all. Or... I have no idea, go see your doctor..

    I am not a health care professional, so i can only talk from my own experience.
    As the muscles i use for cycling get stronger, I find i have to do this particular stretch more often. (also, the pigeon pose in yoga)

    good luck
    Mimi
    Mimi Team TE BIANCHISTA
    for six tanks of gas you could have bought a bike.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Riding my Luna & Rivendell in the Hudson Valley, NY
    Posts
    8,409
    I pulled my outer hip muscle by roller skating a couple months ago. I didn't fall- that day I began practicing crossover turns where you swing the front leg over the other leg as you turn. I didn't hurt much that day but the next mroning i was practically a cripple. Apparently I pulled the muscle and also the bursa cushion pad then got inflamed and the pain was excrutiating. My strain was that I could not bend my leg at the hip at ALL- could not sit or tie my shoe or anything....very bad.
    It took 3 weeks to heal. Cycling was totally out of the question. I couldn't even raise my leg up from a standing position more than 2 inches off the floor for 2 whole weeks!

    I think you should rest your hip except for easy slow walking. Personally, I would not even try those stretches Mimi suggests for a while yet either. You don't want to aggravate your hip joint while it has been strained/pulled by your twisting golf swing movements. If it gets inflamed it will become much worse.
    Gentle walking can be good, but don't overdue! Drinking protein powder helped me heal faster.
    I now know that it is not a good idea to do a new body movement excessively at first- you must let your body get used to a new movement.
    Our hip joints are easily damaged.

    I find that alternating biking with fitness walking is the best thing for my hip joints. When i only bike, my hips start getting achy in the morning. Brisk walking keeps them healthier because when walking your leg goes way BACK, straightening your hip joint out all the way. When biking, your hip joint never gets totally straightened out. Even just schlepping/walking around the office doesn't quite do it- has to be a brisk walk of several miles to give me the benefits.

    just my 2 cents.
    Lisa
    Our bikes...OurBikes...and my mountain dulcimer blog
    Ruby's Website and My blog
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Seattle
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    Quote Originally Posted by BleeckerSt_Girl View Post

    just my 2 cents.
    my two cents was probably only worth 1 cent. I wouldn't have even mentioned it except that as I ride more regularly, this seems to be a recurring theme in my life... MUST stretch.
    Mimi Team TE BIANCHISTA
    for six tanks of gas you could have bought a bike.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Limbo
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    8,783
    There are lots of things going on at the hip joint. Lots.
    It's difficult to diagnose from here.
    See a sports medicine specialist, a physiatrist, or a good PT.
    2008 Trek FX 7.2/Terry Cite X
    2009 Jamis Aurora/Brooks B-68
    2010 Trek FX 7.6 WSD/stock bontrager

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    foothills of the Ozarks aka Tornado Alley
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    4,197
    Quote Originally Posted by zencentury View Post
    There are lots of things going on at the hip joint. Lots.
    It's difficult to diagnose from here.
    See a sports medicine specialist, a physiatrist, or a good PT.
    +1. It would really be in your best interest to see your family physician or orthopedist for an evaluation. If you have joint deterioration, now is the time to begin treating it.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Virginia's Blue Ridge
    Posts
    500
    I'm no expert, but I'm wondering if you might have a tight IT band (iliotibial band)? I've been dealing with a bit of outer hip and lower back pain the past couple of months---definitely cycling-related. My BF, who cycles and is also trained in massage, pinpointed an overtight IT band as the main culprit. (Combined with generally tight quads.)

    So, I'm doing gentle, but long-held stretches (while reading a book, for example) to encourage the IT band to loosen up. The stretches are making a huge difference! If you're curious, poke around here on TE a bit and elsewhere online to find good hip stretches, including the pigeon pose that mimitabby mentions in her post. (IFJane also demo'd one for me at a recent charity ride.)

    I'd give your hip a few days rest and then give some gentle stretching a try........Ease into it; pushing too hard might make the tightness or pain worse before it gets better.

    Good luck! I hope whatever it is clears up soon so you can get back on the bike!
    "If there are no dogs in heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went." (Will Rogers)

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    555
    Let me start by saying I'm not a doctor, so I'm just telling you what worked for me with my pain....

    I just went through this recently. For me, I played 3 hours of volleyball (which I hadn't played in about 8 years) and I think the lateral movement + jumping caused severe pain in my right hip area. I couldn't walk well, I definitely couldn't get up without support from my arms, I had to sit to put on my pants. I tried riding, and if I applied any forced greater than a light spin, it felt like something was just tearing in the area. It was PAINFUL!

    The things I found helped significantly.....

    1) Professional massage. I was dealing with this pain for 5 days and decided to get a massage. I told the lady what my concern was and she new exactly how to stretch and massage the area. I honestly felt immediate results. The lady I went to deals a lot with athletes, so if you can find someone like that, I would HIGHLY recommend. I never knew a massage could help so much until I went with an issue.

    2) Foam roller. These things are amazing! Someone on my team recommended it, so I tried it. It hurt a lot when I started, but I was careful and massaged it slowly and applied only enough pressure I could tolerate. It definitely helped. You can get them at most large sporting good stores. It's a long solid round shaped foam thing that you roll on.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Virginia's Blue Ridge
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    500
    SalsaMTB....Did the massage therapist who helped you mention IT band? 'Cause it sounds like her approach to massaging and stretching your hip is pretty much what my BF recommended to me to cure my hip ache. (See post above yours.) BF has been massaging the area for me for the past month, and then I've been doing stretches on my own.

    The foam roller gizmo in your post caught my eye, too! A friend of my BF purchased a similar gadget recently and has been shouting from rooftops about the good it's done for stretching out his tight IT band. In fact, he says it's almost addictive once you get past the initial pain using it, LOL! I'm planning to nab one for myself........
    Last edited by KathiCville; 06-03-2008 at 02:42 PM.
    "If there are no dogs in heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went." (Will Rogers)

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    43
    Thanks all! I went ahead and made an appt with a sports medicine doctor - I was surprised to be able to get in as soon as Thursday. I'll try some of the stretches in the meantime.

    I really am hoping this is nothing and can heal quickly so I can get back to my riding. I'll keep you posted.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    555
    Quote Originally Posted by KathiCville View Post
    SalsaMTB....Did the massage therapist who helped you mention IT band? 'Cause it sounds like her approach to massaging and stretching your hip is pretty much what my BF recommended to me to cure my hip ache. (See post above yours.) BF has been massaging the area for me for the past month, and then I've been doing stretches on my own.
    Nope, she didn't mention it, but your post did raise my interest also. I've always felt I have weak hips, maybe I need to do more focused stretching (as of now, I really don't do much). I'm definitely going to look into some good hip stretches like you mentioned

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    1,764
    There are some good sports medicine people in Seattle. I'll be interested in hearing what they have to say

    While riding has never bothered me (have an awesome bike fit person), running can give me problems. I started really paying attention to what my body is trying to tell me. The IT band (I think) is part of it...I do a lot of stretches when I remember and one leg is definitely tighter than the other.

    From my experience, when it hurts and I "behave"...this means stretch, ice, Aleve (or something of the sort), and rubbing it out/the stick, it doesn't hurt. If I think it doesn't hurt anymore and forget to take preventative measures, it hurts again.

    I think you're on the right track going to see someone. I also think maybe a bike fit would help if you haven't done that yet and just remember, unlike me, that even when it feels good you still have to take care of yourself!

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    43
    Good news. I went to the Dr today and he diagnosed it as an irritated IT band. He gave me a Rx (not sure I'll fill it unless the pain gets worse) and recommended some stretches but said cycling should be fine. It may take awhile for all of the pain to be gone but he doesn't think I will make it worse by riding - "Train through it" and so I shall! Now, if it would just stop raining I'd be back on my bike.

    Thanks all!

 

 

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