Thursday, April 09, 2015


For a couple of months, since the last marathon and before, I have been bitching about the left hip flexors, but now I think the pain may actually be caused by osteoarthritis in the hip joint itself rather than any ligaments or muscles.  Since at least 2006 I have taken glucosamine and chondroitin supplement almost daily because of sporadic hip pain.

No one thinks that the supplement can prevent osteoarthritis, but many people believe that it can delay the onset, or at least relieve the symptoms somewhat.  In the past it has helped me - when I have forgotten to take the supplement the pain has reappeared, and when I have started taking it again it has gone away.  This time I didn't stop taking it, however, so that treatment may not be enough any more.

This is self-diagnosis, of course, but there is a basis for thinking that it might be osteoarthritis:  My mother had both a hip and a knee replaced, as has my sister, so it's in my family.  Further, the symptoms that I have been complaining about are typical of one of the ways that osteoarthritis presents itself.  For example, the pain may die down during a run, only to reappear that night if I try to sleep on the wrong side.

So what to do?

  • Pretty soon I'll take this to a doctor and find out what's really going on.  There are lots of things that can make a hip hurt. 
  • I hadn't run for a week, hoping to let the hip heal if it isn't arthritis, and then I ran, just three miles, to see what would happen.  There was a slight pain at the beginning, but that settled down and almost disappeared.  Afterward there is a slight ache in that hip, but no pain in bed that night.  A few days later the results from another run weren't that good.
  • I have taken glucosamine & chondroitin for years, and it seems to make a difference.  In the last two months, however, it hasn't controlled the pain, so I changed brands to one that is easy to swallow (capsules rather than hard caplets) and also contains MSM. 
  • Perhaps the doctor will recommend some physical therapy.
Meantime I have still been some running and even a little biking.  Since my 8-mile run on March 24 I have run a total of 20 miles and biked 25.  I do like to ride the bike, almost as well as I like to run, but it's harder to do in the winter and it does very little to train me for a marathon.

We do have a couple of marathons scheduled for next month, but now I'm somewhat doubtful that we will go, especially not the first one.

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