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life is a barrel o'fun
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Despite being a veterinarian who can often solve MY health issues, my sister is suffering and baffled by what's going on. She just e-mailed me more details about it:

Started out as bilateral excruciating hip pain. I have gotten this intermittently but I think this was brought on by a series of exercises my personal trainer had me do that perhaps led to the tearing of my hip flexor muscles.

While trying to compensate for the pain in my hips my back went screwy. My back is much better today, thank goodness, but my hips are killing me. I don't want to go to the Dr because we might be switching health insurance companies soon and I am paranoid they won't cover me for 'preexisting' stuff.

I have no idea what to try next - the ibuprofen didn't work, the back medicine helped my back but isn't doing a whole lot for my hips, and that was why even considered steroids. I am also wondering if I should maybe go for a walk or something to 'loosen' them up? Not sure what the right thing is do, since I don't even know what is wrong!


Of course I have no medical expertise to offer, but figured someone among the vast number of mtb'ers would be able to relate somehow.
 

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never ender
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Depends. There's no way to really tell from your description, but if she suspects she has torn muscles, she's probably right. If her hip flexors are really torn, it's all about RICE-rest, ice, compression, elevation. The muscle has to heal, and until it heals she needs to take it easy. On the other hand, if the pain is caused by a weak or tight muscle, yoga is the way to go. Acupuncture or body work might help too. I have a messed-up hip flexor on my right side from my 5 hour daily commute last spring, and the best way I've found to deal with it is 20 or 30 minutes of simple yoga a day. She should look into taking yoga either way, since if she has torn hip flexors, they'll be tight and weak by the time they heal.

However, to start out it has to be one or the other. Hip flexor pain can be hard to pinpoint and deal with because the muscle connects to so much other stuff. If the muscle is really torn, then activity like yoga and stretching will just make it worse. If it's just weak and tight, icing and resting it will make it worse. In my experience, torn muscle pain can be distinguished from knotted or tight muscle pain by an intense burning sensation. But the hip flexor is such a crucial muscle that unless she's POSITIVE it's a torn muscle, she should really see a doctor or a chiropractor to determine what's going on. After that recovery should be pretty simple. I'd also stay away from steroids, unless she has some kind of condition that can't be treated by just ice or yoga...again, though, she'll need a doctor to determine that. If she has to pay 150 bucks out of pocket rather than go to her insurance company, it's a small price to pay versus the possibility of an ongoing problem.

BTW, I have no real medical expertise to offer either. I've just been beaten up often enough through years of biking, backpacking, labor, etc, that I'm pretty familiar with what to do about hurtin' muscles.
 

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Well, extremely hard to tell what is going on. She needs to go to the doctor, that is #1.

The only thing I can recommend over the counter is Naproxen. It is a very good anti-inflamatory and an ok pain killer. I had back spasums so bad that I couldn't stand for two days. Took me totally out of biking for 3 months. The prescrition pain killers were way too strong. The doc put me on a high dosage of naproxen for 30 days. I was in considerably better shape after that. Still took 4 months to get back to 90%.

Now when I get back muscle pain, I toss down 500mg and rest. I'm usually good to go in 4hrs. Plus I bought a snow blower... hahaha
 

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life is a barrel o'fun
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for all the feedback! I second the naproxen endorsement. Generic Aleve works for me too (as well as the dude in the old commercial- taking the easy route on his mtb instead of "Suicide Ridge" or whatever the sign said!)

I'll e-mail her the responses as they trickle in.
 

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Hmmm?

Christine said:
Despite being a veterinarian who can often solve MY health issues, my sister is suffering and baffled by what's going on. She just e-mailed me more details about it:

Started out as bilateral excruciating hip pain. I have gotten this intermittently but I think this was brought on by a series of exercises my personal trainer had me do that perhaps led to the tearing of my hip flexor muscles.

While trying to compensate for the pain in my hips my back went screwy. My back is much better today, thank goodness, but my hips are killing me. I don't want to go to the Dr because we might be switching health insurance companies soon and I am paranoid they won't cover me for 'preexisting' stuff.

I have no idea what to try next - the ibuprofen didn't work, the back medicine helped my back but isn't doing a whole lot for my hips, and that was why even considered steroids. I am also wondering if I should maybe go for a walk or something to 'loosen' them up? Not sure what the right thing is do, since I don't even know what is wrong!


Of course I have no medical expertise to offer, but figured someone among the vast number of mtb'ers would be able to relate somehow.
Just out of curiosity, why would you consider going to see the chiropractor if you believe that it is a non-spine muscular issue?

I cannot give you much, if any advice to her injury with such a vague description of the pain. Where is it, when does it hurt, what does it feel like, what was she specifically doing when she hurt it?...

Give us more and we should be able to help you more.
 

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Chiropractors can realign hips too. I have a trouble with my hips staying where they are supposed to. When they slip out it screws up my entire lower back, this is the results of lots of running when I was younger. If I run to much now hip pops out and I am flat on my back until I can get into the chiro. Chiropractors are a lot cheaper than a specialist which your primary care physician will have to refer you to, so it is worth a shot.
 
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