Surgery is Open

Q: Hi have just finished reading RFBR and am raring to go. I’m worried though about bursitis i had in my hip a few months ago – agony and only in the past couple of weeks have i started back running.

I can still feel it ever so slightly, but it’s making me nervous about keeping on running, as i’ll be gutted if i have to stop for a few months again – am icing it 2 times a day and if i feel a tiny twinge, i take it easy and walk instead of run.

What do you think – am i fearing the worst without it happening and do you have any recommendations about how i can stop the bursitis from returning?

Thanks :)

A:  Bev, I do sympathise with this – what a pain for you.  First things first – see your doctor to make sure this is the correct diagnosis.  Assuming it is, what you are doing at the moment in taking it easy and stopping at the slightest twinge seems eminently sensible.  Further to that, I would recommend seeing a podiatrist to establish if your running style is to blame for this recurrent problem, and if so, getting fitted for special running shoes (orthotics) which will rectify it.  A look online at Runner’s World reveals that many runners in the same bursitis-addled boat turn to anti-inflammatory gel and/or ibuprofen tablets to ease the pain.  Although helpful short term, I would not recommend taking ibuprofen in the long term as it is only masking the problem.  Learning some good stretching and strengthening exercises and doing them regularly (especially before and after running) are a much better investment (‘you tube’ is a very useful tool for watching them being done properly).  Also, look into special support shorts which are equally popular with fellow sufferers.

The Grit Doctor says:

Injuries are a pain.  Running with them is never the answer.  See a proper doctor, get it sorted and only get back in the game when fully recovered.

Q: Hiya. Am loving the book!Have started to get into running in the last 3 weeks and doing circuit training twice a week.Am really enjoying it but now my jeans are getting too tight in the thighs!!!Am starting to despair!!Any tips??Thanks.Helen

A: I answered this question very briefly last night but the following occurred to me this morning. When we embark upon any serious exercise programme the body shifts and morphs into something else, hopefully a trimmer and more toned version of ourselves, but, sadly (or not, as the case may be) it is still our self, our body – in all its perfect imperfectness.  By that I mean that no matter how hard we try, we never morph into the body we fantasise about having, and irritatingly, the weight seems to be lost almost instantly from those areas you really don’t want it to go from (in my case the breasts and face) and never so much as an ounce seems to shift from those areas in most dire need of remodelling (the upper arms in my case which look even bigger against an ever-shrinking chest).   Do I give a shit about any of this? Not if I am running regularly.  Why? Because through running my attitude to my body improves immeasurably, my self-esteem soars, everything firms up and I feel so much happier.  Exercise shouldn’t be all about how we look.  Think about all the amazing stuff it does inside your body that you can’t see, for your cholestrol levels, for your heart, for your brain, for your soul – that stuff is gold.  So, Helen, I have no doubt that your thighs will improve immeasurably in time through your committed exercise routine but if they are your ‘problem’ area, don’t be surprised if they are the last to get whipped into shape and don’t expect them to be anything other than an improved version of themselves!  What I can promise you is that through continued running you will care less and less about your thighs because you will look and feel so much happier in your own skin.
The Grit Doctor says:
Thunder thighs?  Celebrate their athleticism.  And eat less crap while you’re at it.

10 Responses to “Surgery is Open”

  1. Bev March 14, 2012 at 7:03 pm #

    Thanks for your advice – i have new trainers after being assessed a few weeks ago but have got round to now downloading some stetching exercises. Have just finished stretching my iliotibial band and it felt great lol!

    Run Fat Bev Run will be Run Fantastic Bev Run one day! 🙂

  2. jane viner May 7, 2012 at 2:53 pm #

    Hi Grit Doctor
    This is a question, rather than a reply: not sure where else to put it, so here goes…..

    You’ve already changed my whole approach to exercise, and I’m loving my runs – with my dogs, so they’re loving it too. But the last couple of days, my 40 minute run has taken only 35 mins, and I’ve felt when I stopped that I could probably go on. I know the obvious answer to this would be, run a bit further then. BUT, I know what I’m like, and if the commitment begins to increase, and the runs have to be longer and longer to be effective, I might just pop and return to the sofa.
    So, my question is: is it pointless to keep running in a comfort zone? Would it be OK to up the ante, perhaps once or twice a week, but stick to the usual circuit the rest of the time? And also, is a comfortable run (I’m still sweating, by the way: it’s not an absolute doddle!) doing me good, or does it have to hurt?

    • gritdoctor May 8, 2012 at 8:59 pm #

      i will answer this tomorrow in my very VERY late grit clinic! x

      • jane viner May 21, 2012 at 11:46 am #

        Sorry to be thick…..but did you leave an answer to my question? I don’t know where to look for it! Thanks,

      • gritdoctor May 23, 2012 at 6:28 pm #

        where did you leave me the question, im not sure where to find it as i cant see it here!

  3. jane viner May 21, 2012 at 11:51 am #

    Oh – found it now. So ignore me!
    Thanks for advice. Ran 45mins today, as a matter of fact, and I’m sticking there…far more than I ever thought possible, anyway!

  4. Ann April 23, 2013 at 9:29 pm #

    I do not know if you still check this….but got your book today, (in the US) Get off your ass and run) and already inspired. Walked today 3 miles and hope to by the weeks end begin my run journey. My question to you though is…..I have a callus on my right foot right under my toes. Today while walking it hurt like hell. Mind you after reading your comments The Grit Doctor made me continue, but what can I do to help this? Any and all suggestions helpful.

    • gritdoctor April 24, 2013 at 10:54 am #

      absolutely, i check it every day so thanks for getting in touch. well done for getting started and im sorry to hear about the callus – that must be very painful. definitely need to get that sorted before progressing onto running! have you seen a podiatrist about your callus before and have you had any treatment for it? are you wearing well fitted sneakers? there are many ways you can try and treat your callus at home (a quick google search throws up numerous suggested remedies from fellow sufferers) but my advice is to see your doctor first and/or podiatrist, tell them your intentions re: running and start with whatever they recommend you do….

  5. Trisha May 8, 2013 at 5:36 pm #

    This is a question more than a reply! Am running for first time ever and loving it-thank you! Have been at it 5 weeks and still building up the continous running, but run/walking the 7km most days. My problem is that I keep getting cramps in my calves, which stop me running- I do walk it off. I have decent shoes so it’s not that. It’s just annoying because it disrupts me.Any thoughts?

    • gritdoctor May 8, 2013 at 7:51 pm #

      it might be pulled muscle or just lactic acid build up (like getting a stitch). either way, stretch out your calf muscle and warm it up really well before breaking into a jog and similarly after every run. apply ice too after running – it should help. and i think this is going to improve the fitter you get – slowly slowly catchy monkey remember! i am going to answer this qt in more depth in my next column in the Irish Times and will keep you posted which day it comes out next week

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