Thursday, March 22, 2012

It's All in the Hips

So I've been to physical therapy three times now. The PT concured with the doctor that yes, it probably is just shin splints. I won't lie, I was slightly disappointed. Not that I want a stress fracture or anything, but at least a fractured bone has a healing time, a sort of expiration date if you will. Shin splints are just there until they aren't anymore. That is that.

During the first session last week I had an evaluation. After explaining my left shin woes and my recent, mentally debilitating setback, the PT checked to see where exactly all my strong a weak parts were. She watched how I walked. She watched how I stepped up and down from a platform. She did strength tests such as "I'm going to push here. Don't let me push." Major revelation learned from this? My hips are weak as shit!

As a result of this revelation I have been prescribed all sorts of hip strength-building exercises. According to the PT, their lack of ability to support any sort of stress may have inadvertantly caused more stress on the lower extremeties, eventually leaving my legs susceptible to shin splints. But, whether my weak hips have directly or indirectly resulted in my shin splints or not, it can't hurt to have stronger hips. It's clearly an area I've been neglecting.

At the end of my first session I point blank asked her: "Will this fix me? Will PT fix everything?" To which she responded: "Yes...if it is done and if it is done correctly." I didn't really get what she meant by that, but I quickly understood during the next few evenings as I found myself taking up 40 minutes of time doing the exercises she gave me. I can see how some people might skip out on a rep here and there or abandon a whole night altogether. So far I haven't done any of that though. I will gladly give up 40 minutes or an hour or two hours every night if it will make me better! My shins have definitely been feeling better in the last week. Whether that is because of PT or just because of more rest I will never know.

At the end of this day I'm actually starting to think that this injury was a really good thing. I was grinding myself to the bone, not taking care of my body. I'm lucky I didn't end up with something worse. Now I feel like I'm started to re-build myself from the bottom up. I've been given a do-over and I'm sure as hell not going to waste it.


  1. Same thing with me! When I was just there last summer for an overuse injury in my feet, they watched me run and said my hips were super weak. Because of that, my knees were knocking into each other and causing ITBS.

    Good luck with the exercises and hopefully it will help!

  2. I got the same eval yesterday and was given lots of knee strengthening exercises. and i COMPLETELY agree about the feeling of almost disappointment with it not being a fracture.

    what are you doing in terms of working out right now? im kinda at a loss - do i cut out all cardio, do i elliptical, what!?! :) i also agree with maybe the injury being a good thing. a wake up call. gotta give my bones more attention LOL.

    1. I've been able to swim, bike, and do yoga without any problems so I'm still "working out" 5-6 days a week, but it's obviously not the same. Yesterday I was finally able to use the kick board in the pool without any pain. Maybe it's the PT? Maybe it's nearly 6 weeks of rest? Who knows. I'm trying the elliptical today to see if it feels okay.


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