So after last Sunday's run I contacted my physical therapist and gave her the bad news of how the run went. She pretty much said what I new she would say and what I was thinking as I walked/limped back home, "you should have rested today and not pushed yourself". She wanted me to rest on Monday and Tuesday, then attempt an easy 2 mile run on Wednesday.
I woke up on Wednesday and my hip joint area was aching a little bit. I thought about not attempting the two miles, but I stretched out and went anyway. I kept slow, around a 10 min pace and did fairly well, but I would get an occasional twinge of aching type pain. Nothing to make me stop or want to stop, just reminding me that its there. She wanted me to stop at the end of the first mile and do a few light stretches, so when I hit mile one I stopped and did the stretches and turned tail and headed for home. At mile 1.66, that same twinge of aching type pain with an occasional sharper pain (nothing intense) would come and go much more frequently till I finished the full two miles. When I was done, the aching pain hung around and lingered for awhile afterwards.
I contacted my PT and she decided it would be best if I came in for another session that afternoon. She seemed concerned that the pain was coming on sooner and sooner with each run. So after a lot of questions and the usual pushing, pulling and twisting the theory changed from a muscle issue to possibly being a tear to the hip joint cartilage know as the acetabular labrum or labral tear. Basically from what I gathered on the Internet, that this is the cartilage that separates the ball from the socket in the hip join.
Obviously my PT wasn't making a diagnosis because the only true why to know if it is a labral tear is to have an expensive MRI, but based on the symptoms I have described to her she thought this to have a good probability. According to her and what I read online, there are two main ways of treating this. First is a non surgical option, which means a lot of physical therapy and strength training to strengthen the muscles around the hip to better support it and minimize the onset of pain. The other is surgery which then would be followed by lots of physical therapy and no guarantee that the pain will end and running can continue.
So where do I go from here? Well because she is on the fence about it being a labral tear we decided for me to take one week off from all activities and completely rest it. It was recommended, but not prescribed to take whatever anti inflammatory I am comfortable with taking and icing the area several times a day. Next Wednesday we will talk and reevaluate our options.
Part of me really wants to pay the money to have the MRI done just so I know for sure what I am dealing with, but the other part of me knows I don't really have the cash to pay for a test that could, even with my insurance, cost me 1-2 thousand dollars. Mostly though, this is turning into a real test for my patience. This could be a very small blip on my running life, but damn it, when you are going through it, it feels like an eternity.