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Gluteus Strain Week 4 – Still No Running

Posted by scott on November 29, 2008

It’s been 4 weeks now since I stopped running to try to cure what was later diagnosed as a gluteus medius strain.  (She’s the professional and I really liked that doc, but it still feels like something deeper to me – more like piriformis region.)  After the doc and one PT visit, I have been doing the following PT exercises 1-2 times daily:

  • Front heel taps – 30 reps
  • Side heel taps – 30 reps
  • Bridging exercise – up to 10 (not quite there)
  • Clam spreads (my term) – 10 reps – lying on your side with knees bent to form 60 degree angle, hips aligned vertical, open and close knees while keeping heels together.
  • Face down straight leg lifts – 10 reps
  • Hip flexor stretches – 30 seconds each side, 2 reps

This has seemed like a good routine and I have dutifully performed it, but I’m frustrated that my glute strain does not seem to be improving.  I started to reach a new conclusion a couple days ago – could some of the above exercises be continuing to aggravate it?  My money is on the bridging exercises or the clam.  It’s really frustrating to feel minimal improvement after this long of a break.

So for now, I’m scaling back home PT.  I’m deciding that my glutes need a serious break from anything.  I’m not going really back to the other core and upper body activities I’ve been doing – pushups, chin ups, the water tube.  I joined the fitness center at work and will be looking into yoga classes.  My lower body activity will probably be limited to standing on the bosu.

Meanwhile, I think I need to re-adjust my running expectations to start again at the beginning of the year, which is kind of depressing.  But it is what it is.  I have a couple 8 month plans drafted for the Superior Sawtooth 100, but those both started with 25-40 mile weeks at the beginning of January.  I will have to revise those plans as well, as I know that I have already lost a lot of conditioning.  Bummer, but probably the right thing to do.

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6 Responses to “Gluteus Strain Week 4 – Still No Running”

  1. Bimibatoo said

    You need to give it enough time to heal. 2 weeks is not even close. When I started my PT last winter I was told 6-8 weeks. And you know my story — the original pelvis injury is only now starting to go away and the glutes/hip strain is just beginning to ease as well. Yoga is Mon and Wed and I have been doing that for about 3 weeks now. For me, that yoga work seems to be even better than the other core work as far as making my pelvis, glutes and hip flexors feel good. But I think teh core work helps a ton and to be honest I have not felt this strong running ever, especially at the end of races. Hang in there and just chill out. Go for walks and hikes if you have to.

    Thanksgiving day was kind of funny. I did a fun 10k race with my wife and her running friends. She wanted me to run with her. I ran with her for 2 miles, a 9 minute pace for mile 1 and an 8:30 for mile 2. I could not take it any more than that so I took off and then did 4 x 5:50 miles which I have never done before, 4 in a row. Anyway my overall time was not that great and again my point is that I seriously think the core work has helped me become a stronger runner.

    Just hang in there.

  2. […] Gluteus Strain Week 4 – Still No Running […]

  3. chris said

    Just curious, how long were doing your therapy before you started running again. I was training for Leadville and the Bear 100s this year when I got a gluteul strain. It has been over a month and I am not better. I am able to walk and do leg and core strength exercises without pain. Maybe I may have to cut that out too? Anyway, your post has been over 2 years and I am curious what you did? It is very depressing that I am not out running or training! Thanks your reply…
    Chris

  4. scott said

    Chris – this is going awhile back now, so I don’t quite remember all of the details. I think I started running again towards the end of Jan/early Feb which would have made it about 8 weeks off?

    http://runlikemonkey.com/2009/01/23/glute-strain-week-who-knows/

    I did a lot of experimenting with two different physical therapists/regimens, also tried Active Release Therapy (ART). They each felt better, but going to appointments got exhausting and I would eventually give up.

    In the end, I honestly just decided I would keep running and see what happened. I reset my expectations around pace and decided to run slower. Speedwork seemed to cause me more trouble. I did yoga once a week, and stretched after *every* run (still do). Early 2009 was also when I started really getting into barefoot running and Vibram FiveFingers. I think that played a role in building up foot and leg strength and helped in recovery.

    I ran my first 50 mile race in Sept 2009, then ran a 100 mile in April 2010.

    At this point (about 2.5 years later) I still feel something different on that side; my guess is that its just scar tissue that is tougher. But it has not been a limitation for me, and I’m still enjoying running.

    I think you should experiment with different treatments to see what works for you. Maybe several weeks of rest would do you good, but its torturous! Also maybe just dial back your expectations. I thought it was better to be out there at all, than trying to reach goals that caused me trouble.

    Best of luck to you – hope you get back out there.

  5. chris said

    Thanks, Scott! I just got x-rays done and waiting for the results. I am also thinking I have sacrumiliac joint disfunction. I am thinking once I get home, I will go to a sports injury chiro for help. It has been over 2 months without running. I am still able to stretch and do strength exercises. Since I have ceased training for my 100 milers this summer, I have also got out 1000 cal for my diet so I don’t gain weight. :)
    Glad you are back out on the trails!

  6. Steven said

    I have a strain in the same area. It’s been abou 2 weeks since my last run. The doc said flute strain and possibly superior hamstring. I’m due back to see doc for additional advice and PT suggestions. Last we met he said this second step would preceed the third step, an MRI. Needless to say, frustrated.

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