Injury Update

I have mentioned here and there on Instagram stories lately that I've been out of workouts for a bit. Yesterday, I learned that I won't be getting back into them anytime soon. So I thought I would take the time to talk more about it, basically to explain the lack of fitness content around here lately. The more I write of this post, the more dramatic I think it reads. So I feel the need to start by saying it should all be ok with some time. In short, what I thought was a strained muscle turned out to be a little more of an issue. My hip isn't in great shape, but should be fine with more rest. But I want to use this blog to document the process. I also want to say that I am not looking for sympathy with this post, overuse injuries are basically self-inflicted. I don't want this to read like a giant complaint either, I'm trying to stay positive. But I have a lot of thoughts, so here they are! I mentioned in my last Fitness Friday post back in March that I thought I strained a muscle in my inner thigh. Towards the end of a barre class (during a long inner thigh exercise), something just didn't feel right. For the next few hours after class and into the next day or so, I was in a lot of pain and was struggling a little to walk.
Luckily, the pain became much more tolerable within the next few days, so I was hoping to get back into classes after maybe two weeks of rest. I did not even publish an April Fitness Friday post because I was resting it for almost the entire month. After growing up in ballet, I have already gone through a variety of injuries. I spent some time dealing with shin splints while I was still growing, recurring achilles tendonitis when I was spending 20+ hours a week in the studio, a few toe issues from pointe shoes, and the worst one being a stress fracture in my spine during college.  So I know the importance of rest. But I was also used to always having to push through the pain to get through a weekend of performances or finish out a credit for my college dance minor. However, I was usually lucky enough (with the exception of my back injury) with past injuries, to only need about six weeks of rest before I could get back into the studio.
After five weeks of resting (starting mid-March), my thigh/hip was feeling a lot better. So I thought I was ready to start slowly easing back into some movement. I was so careful with this injury and only did some exercises on my own at home. I wanted to be sure I was ready before I jumped back into a class. Well, I was not ready and quickly backtracked to being in pain again. So once I reached the six week mark, I thought it might be more than just a strained muscle, and went to see a sports medicine doctor. They took X-Rays and it looks like my hip is slightly impinged, and possibly have tendonitis in both my hip flexor and adductors (the muscles that rotate your leg in) on one side. Although there is also a chance I could have a hip labral tear, but we need an MRI to be sure of that. We are taking it slow and seeing how I do with just more rest and an anti-inflammatory before considering anything else.
It seems like the injury was more likely caused by the years of stress I put on my hips during my dance days than my current fitness routine. Even though I had about a year after college where I barely exercised, some of the damage was likely already there before I even got into fitness classes, which is now almost three years ago. I never had to take any time off for hip issues when I was dancing, but I definitely dealt with some occasional pain, usually in the same side I am dealing with now. Although they have a decent amount of mobility, I spent years basically forcing my hips to look like they were more flexible than they actually are. The doctor thought my X-Rays looks like my hips had just been through a lot. And they kind of have, from stretching incorrectly, forcing my turnout (external rotation when standing at the barre), and trying to kick higher than my hip really allowed, all in pursuit of fitting ballet standards. This might make me sound resentful of my dance experience, but I wouldn't change a thing! I'm always thankful for everything I've learned through my classical ballet training.
Although right now I really miss taking my favorite classes, and am going to miss out on a few fun workout events like sunrise yoga to live music at a park in Charlotte, to a trainer bringing a class I've been dying to take from NYC, to a new barre studio opening in town. I also just miss seeing my friends and trainers that I enjoy taking classes with. As I mentioned above, there always seemed to be a reason to push through the pain during my dance days. And even though I am several years out of that point of training, it is hard to get past that mentally. I have to keep reminding myself not only it is ok, it is necessary, to sit out for awhile. I truly enjoy working out, and six weeks seems like more than enough of a break already. Plus I took some time off with the flu just a few weeks before the injury, which makes it feel even longer. I can do some arm work on my own, but it is just not the same experience. I've said it several times before, but exercise just brings so much positivity into my life and I'm clearly struggling a little without it. But I know it could be so much worse, I've had friends go through much worse injuries (like ruptured ACLs) and get right back to the normal.  So here is hoping the injury responds well to more rest, and I can to return to classes and posting fitness content again soon!

Thanks for reading!

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