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Friday, November 02, 2007

hamstrung by a hamstring

tr.v. ham·strung (-strng), ham·string·ing, ham·strings
1. To cut the hamstring of (an animal or a person) and thereby cripple.
2. To destroy or hinder the efficiency of; frustrate
-- from thefreedictionary.com

for some time now, i've literally been suffering from a pain in my butt (or more precisely, right at the spot where my left sit bone comes into contact with whatever i happen to be sitting on). when i first complained about it, i was told that it was related to my ongoing sacroiliac and lower back issues caused by tight piriformis and psoas muscles. when it got worse, it was then diagnosed as sciatica. it was only when the pain got sharper and i was able to consistently pinpoint the exact location of the pain did someone finally pronounce it a hamstring pull or tear.

good news, bad news.

the good news is that not only do i finally know what it is, but it also will be treated appropriately.

the bad news is that i have to limit my movement so that i don't strain that hamstring any further.

which means that all forward bends of any sort in yoga class have to be done with a bent knee. or not done at all if it really hurts. argh.

and even worse news is that while i was able to run just fine when the ache first started, i no longer can do so without suffering from excruciating pain. ouch!

so in an attempt to speed up the healing process, i've been going gangbusters on all kinds of healing modalities -- physical therapy, acupuncture, massage. and so far, i don't feel like i've progressed much :(

patience, i know, patience.

in the meantime, being the compulsive (or hard-headed) athlete that i know i can be, i've decided to push through with the marathon i had originally planned to run this coming weekend. yes, i'm going to fly all the way to raleigh, north carolina to WALK that marathon. after all, it'll be the 33rd state out of the 50 i need to do to earn my 50-state marathon status. then i'll need only 17 more!

i don't know what's going to be a bigger pain -- the possible crescendoing pain caused by my injured hamstring or my increasing frustration at having to be on the race course for more than six hours (assuming i can maintain a 15-minute mile pace through all 26.2 miles).

despite all that, i'm determined to finish, even if it means i'll be the last one to cross the finish line (although i seriously doubt that will happen, because i plan on sprinting to the end just so i can pass the person in front of me!). talk about being compulsive...

while i'm there, you know i'll be doing the yoga studio tour. i'll probably gravitate towards the more gentle, restorative classes. after all, a good stretch can't hurt either before or after a race. i've found some places with class times that might fit into my marathon schedule; it's just a matter of my deciding whether i'd rather do that or sightsee or shop. or just stay in bed and let the anti-inflammatories do their job. we'll see.

i'm leaving on the red-eye tonight and will return on monday night. so until then, send some healing vibes my way so that i don't end up any worse than i already am :)

3 Comments:

Blogger Al said...

Hey Joni, Just stumbled on this blog and read about your hamstring injury - which is becoming more and more common throughout the Yoga community. Take care because I've seen this develop into chronic pelvic pain. If it begins tracking that way, a regular physical therapist won't be able to give you much relief, you'll need a specially trained pelvic floor physical therapist. Good luck, Al

7:36 AM  
Blogger joni said...

hi al --

thanks for the input :)

interesting that you said that. i was in a class over the weekend and the teacher pointed out to me that my continuing to favor my bum side had already affected my alignment... which will cause even more problems for me in the long term if i continue to do what i'm doing!

3:00 PM  
Blogger staceywhpt said...

Hi Joni,

I actually work with Al and I am a physical therapist that treats the muscles of the pelvic floor. I would definately recommend seeing a PT that specializes in pelvic floor dyfunction. This could be a muscle called your obturator internis muscle which really swings around right near where your hamstring inserts. ( right next to your sit bone )This muscle functions to rotate your leg out into external rotation and can get injured during some yoga positions. I have seen these type injuries and patients get better when we get to the source of the problem.

I hope you find some relief soon. If you need help finding a specialist in your area let me know.

Stacey
PT in NYC

11:00 AM  

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