Recovering From a Hip Injury

By Peg Labiuk | 10/19/12
Recovering From a Hip Injury

Image:  sportsinjuryclinic.net

We’ve teamed up with Marilyn Trout, certified USA Cycling Elite Coach to answer Voler Newsletter List members’ training questions. You can view her coach profile at http://www.linkedin.com/in/mountainpedalscoaching80903 Send your cycling inquiries to Marilyn, and for a limited time, if yours is selected to be answered in our Training column, Voler will send you a $20 gift certificate that can be used towards any purchase from the Voler Store at http://www.voler.com. To submit your inquiry, e-mail her at Marilyn@MountainPedals.net, and type “Voler Training Question” in the subject line of the e-mail.

The following question was answered by Peg Labiuk (nee Peggy Maass), a colleague of Marilyn Trout, and a certified NCCP level 3 coach with a career in international road and track racing. She is a World Championship medalist, World Record holder, U.S. Olympic Team member, former British national team coach and Kreb's Cycle co-founder (British Columbia, Canada).

Recovering From a Hip Injury

Coach,

I have recently been struggling with a hip joint/muscle pain for several months now, it resulted from a cycling collision during one of my training sessions. It occurred when I couldn't avoid a  person/bike just ahead of me that had gone down and I flipped head over heels and landed on my hip after hitting their bike.

I have been resting much more often and always cycling in the small chain ring, although the pain has diminished, I am still getting it from time to time. I have gone to a physical therapist for some helpful exercises and he has given me some good stretches, which I have been doing for over 2 months.

I am wondering if there are some good websites, resources or links that you may know of that you can send me to help me on the road to recovery?

Thanks for the help,
Bernie

 

Hi Bernie,

I can understand your eagerness to get back to cycling at full speed.  My main concern though, is for you to get the injury assessed first.  Without that, it’s difficult to know how to treat it.  Since your groin pain hasn’t been diagnosed after an X-Ray or MRI and a doctor’s consultation, I suggest you start there.  Yes, it could be a strain, but with the occasional sharp, acute pain, you might also have a tear.  It may even be fractured.  And yes, it could take months to heal, especially considering you are close to 50 years old and that you end up limping after hard workouts and it’s been three months already.  Those symptoms indicate that the injury hasn’t healed enough and you are doing too much too soon.

The best way to view this situation is as the excellent opportunity that it is, Bernie.   After getting the injury evaluated, you’ll get better direction on healing that specifically.  I’m sure you are going to be rehabbing the hip area.  But don’t stop there.  Find out what imbalances you have developed and what exercises you can do to rebalance, lengthen, and strengthen.  Because of this accident, you have the chance to change and improve the mechanics of your pedal stroke.  Once you are pain free, some things I’d suggest you take up include:

  • Riding a fixed gear.  Since you are ok using a small gear, why not make it a fixed gear?  If you have never used one, you’ll be impressed with how it smoothes out your pedal stroke.  It doesn’t cost a lot to convert a road wheel to a fixie.  Maybe you’ll take to the local velodrome.

  • Water running/cycling motion in water.  Body weight is assisted, it’s an indoor activity for the winter season, it’s specific and you have to work at controlled movement with some resistance.

  • Yoga – especially hot yoga in your case to make sure the muscles are warm.  Isometric  exercises would seem best while returning from injury.

  • Dance – something like controlled ballroom dance that is, as opposed to hip hop.  It would be a fun way to improve posture.

  • Powercranks- read about these independent cranks and how they can assist rehab at  http://www.powercranks.com/rehab.html.  I know they are expensive, but maybe you can borrow or rent a set or buy them and sell them when you are done with them.

In the meantime, below are some stretches you can try.  The most important thing is that you do any stretch very gently.  It would be better to do them lightly and more frequently, than in a deeper range of motion.  

For groin stretches:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nXTkkrSRXkc&NR=1&feature=fvwp
For strengthening:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FxNxLu7u1No&feature=fvwrel

You should still be using recovery techniques like icing, massage, and more rest.  Also, check out www.farabloc.com to read about and order this fabric with stainless steel fibers that  promotes healing.  After purchase there are no appointments, no prescriptions, it’s non-invasive and it really works.  

This is a great opportunity to come out ahead.  Make it fun, new, and maybe add a training partner to keep you focused.   Keep notes as your progress might be slow at first, but when you look back through your diary you’ll see your improvement.

Please get back to us with your prognosis.

Coach Peg

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