Me and my pelvis

Howdy, friends.

I wish I were here writing about a 60-mile training week, and how excited I am to head to Boston in about 12 weeks.

But I’m not.

I’m here to write about how I took a full week off running last week because of some pain in my pubic ramus.

It’s annoying to even type that. I had two stress fractures in it in 2009 — pain that started gradually, and then one day was so severe I could barely stand up from my desk at work. An MRI that fall showed two stress fractures, and I was in so much pain that a trip to Target had me limping by the time I hit the checkout. It was awful. And it took months to heal.

In 2011, I felt some residual pain, but another MRI showed nothing. And then later that year, a 3D scan also showed nothing. My sports doctor said at that point, the only option was to refer me to a pain clinic. The pain wasn’t that bad — I just was scared. The stress fractures originally began so quietly.

I remember running south on Cliff Avenue, thinking, huh, my pelvis feels really weird. Then I would lay in bed at night, and I could just feel something … off. But it wouldn’t hurt all the time. Until it did.

Even in 2011, I had to take a week off because it felt funny. And then a year ago, I took almost a month off because it felt funny. I’ve become really conservative any time I feel a twinge in those bones. (Here‘s an illustration of the pelvis.)

But it’s tough — when it has really hurt, a scan has shown it’s fine. And the original injury crept up so slowly. So it’s difficult to let pain be your guide — it just doesn’t hurt that much, until it does.

So I am sitting here, deciding how much it hurts. A little. Not enough to keep me from running or daily life. But is this the beginning of a lot of pain again, or just a bump in the road?

I don’t know.

I can’t tell. And I’m not interested in paying for an MRI (yet) to see.

Yesterday, I ran 5 very easy miles. Nothing hurt at all. In fact, my pubic ramus (the left side, if you care) hadn’t hurt for a few days, so I felt confident that it was fine to give it all a try. Then last night, things didn’t feel right.

Today, I feel something on that side.

And I feel a ton of frustration.

If you don’t know much about recovery from pubic ramus stress fractures, here’s a bit:

With appropriate physiotherapy management, most patients with a pelvic stress fracture can make a full recovery (i.e. return to sport or normal activities) in a period of 3-12 months. In more severe cases, recovery may take 1-2 years, or longer, depending on the intervention required and a range of other factors. In rare cases, some patients may experience ongoing symptoms or complications which may require further management.

Great. I don’t think I’m there, yet. But I think I need to figure something else out. I already paid for one Boston entry I had to cancel for this exact same injury. I’m not doing it again. I want to be at that starting line.

Thankfully, I am teaching a bunch of spin classes coming up, have been doing a regular weights workout and have the option to pool run, no matter how godawful boring it is.

Right now, I plan to drop to 3 days of running a week, the rest spinning and pool running. And hope. Lots and lots of hope.

It’s hurt before and been nothing. Cross your fingers that’s what’s going on again now.

 

 

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This entry was posted in Boston Marathon, Injury, Marathon, Running, Stress fractures pubic ramus. Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to Me and my pelvis

  1. Dave Graves says:

    Pulling for your recovery. You’ve been done the road enough to know to listen to your body. Best wishes.

  2. lhand71 says:

    Man, your pelvis is like my shins. Finicky!!!! Grrrrrrr. Pool running IS boring! But so nice on the bones! I wear a visor and bought one of those iPod Shuffles that has the clip on it and would clip it to the visor and listen to music. Helped a lot.

  3. msmidt says:

    So sorry to hear that you are having problems. I can empathize. I basically took three years off from marathoning for a similar injury. On the graphic you posted, my ailment was here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tuberosity_of_the_ischium
    I had to cut my mileage severely, and then only returned to running in fits and starts. My only advice: patience and perseverance. Best of luck!

  4. tracey says:

    I really hope it’s ok because I really want to see you and the kids!!! I am crossing my fingers and saying a prayer that all is good!!! I love you and hope for it to be nothing. Xoxo

  5. O.k., this post was not nearly as sexy as one could assume it could be… ;) Have you looked at a pelvic transplant? I hear they’re all the craze on the coasts…

    Oh, J, I do feel for you, though. Nothing like pain to keep you from something you love. I had some shoulder pain that kept me from doing any upper body for a couple years back in the mid-2000s. I was so worried it was rotator cuff… They didn’t find anything and I just had to take it easy. No body pump. I don’t have the chronic pain anymore, but little acute incidents when I push too hard. That said, I’m back to working on my 100 pushups. Not that pushups are something I love, but when I can’t do something, it just makes me want to do it even more.

  6. Owen says:

    Bummer. Pool running, I’ve never done it but I have seen impressive results.

  7. msmidt says:

    Patience , Grasshopper , patience.

  8. amy says:

    I was wondering how long you took off running when you had the initial, confirmed pubic ramus stress fractures. I have one, and there is little information about it. The injury occurred 6 months ago, and I started running again last week (1 mile) . This week I tried 1.5 miles. There was no pain during the run, but two days later it was sore again. I am frustrated at the setback when I thought I had finally healed. Like you say, the pain is bearable but disconcerting, and I don’t know what to ignore and what to heed.

    • This is a tough question. I took several months off and still sometimes have to take time off now — years later. Just this year I took an entire month off because it felt weird. I have had MRIs that are clean when it hurts so it is so tough to let pain be your guide.

      That said I try to be conservative. Or at least not be afraid to take a few days off when I feel a twinge.

      I am sorry to hear you have this. It was and is the worst running injury I have ever had.

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