Comfortably Numb

About three or four days after the Washington's Birthday Marathon last month I started feeling a twinge on the side of my left hip, especially when I walked after sitting for a while. It wasn't too troublesome so I didn't do anything about it. The same hip was a bit stiff during a 13-mile ramble with Caren the following weekend. But during the Seneca Creek 50k on March 1 the twinge got promoted to an ache and, occasionally, a minor pain. (Falling down on that side didn't help.) After the race I self-diagnosed it as bursitis. Based on the helpful advice of Christina, Mary, Rayna, and others I treated it with ibuprofen, ice, and gentle stretching. It seems to be getting better already.

Yesterday at a routine semi-annual checkup I mentioned the issue to my doctor. She smiled and pointed out that my problem can't be bursitis — there isn't even a bursa there at the iliac crest! In fact the tightness is at the upper end of the iliotibial band. "Most runners get ITB Syndrome at the knee," she told me, "but other people get it at the hip." (Obviously I'm not a runner!)

The font of all human knowledge, Wikipedia, adds insult to my injury with:

ITBS can also occur where the IT band connects to the hip, though this is less likely as a sports injury. It commonly occurs during pregnancy, as the connective tissues loosen and the woman gains weight -- each process adding more pressure. ITBS at the hip also commonly affects the elderly. [1]

So I'm pregnant, fat, and/or old? (Thanks!) I guess I'll just continue icing the hip until I have become comfortably numb ...

(with apologies to Pink Floyd) - ^z - 2008-03-13

(correlates: TouchdownToRevelation, Comments on UncleBert, OneWrongStep, ...)