Some answers & Osteoarthritis

*First off I just want to thank each and everyone of you that voted for my pic yesterday! I ask you to click the button <——— over there and vote again today. The second place guy isn’t too far behind me and these kind of contests (where you can vote daily) change so fast – So please keep voting! thanks*

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So last night my Doctor called me and told me this:

Alison, your xray of your hips came back fine, however, you have Osteoarthritis on both sides of your sacrum

for those interested this is a photo of the sacrum:

[source]

He also told me I’d had to take anti-inflammatory drugs everyday, multiple times….for who knows how long! That I should be working hard to strengthen my core and back muscles to take pressure off my hips/butt and that I should probably not be running long distances. However, he also said that my initial examination was conclusive to a hip injury and the fact that the xrays came back clear might mean there’s something else wrong and that I should go to a PT.

I found this Sports Clinic in a nearby city and have a Dr’s appt there today @ 1:30pm and I hope to find out more. Although, that being said, I haven’t done any exercise (aside from planks and arm free weights) in a week and my hip is much better. So here is hoping it’s nothing. 

Anyway, I just wanted to share with you some things I’ve learned about my injury:

First off, many of you may be wondering…what is osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis (OA) is also know as degenerative joint disease and basically involves the loss of cartilage (which provides cushioning and support) in the joints causing bones to grind together which in turn causes inflammation. Eventually the bones will form boney spurs and will cause pain when weight is put on the joint or the joint is forced to go through excessive movement – ie: running.

It is actually the most common causes of diability in people over 50. Yes, I know what you’re thinking….how old are you? aren’t you under 30?!

Why yes, yes I am. However it seems arthritis of all sorts runs in my moms side of the family. Lots of us have problems with it. Apparently it’s pretty rare for younger individuals though, but those figures quickly change as we get older. So I imagine, a fair amount of you readers could very well be runners with OA :)

It is estimated that 2% of the United States population under the age of 45 suffers from osteoarthritis; this figure rises to 30% of persons between 45 and 64, and 63-85% in those over 65. About 90% of the American population will have some features of OA in their weight-bearing joints by age 40. – [source]

So what does this all mean in regards to my running?

Well it looks like I am going to have to take it easy. As for right now I plan on continuing to train for my upcoming relay as best I can and finish it :) Afterwards, I’ll play it by ear but it looks like maybe a full marathon isn’t in my future for 2012. sigh

but don't worry I'm still smiling - as long as there are treats in the world :)

What can I do ? – Strength train! and it’s actually encouraged. The best thing people with OA can do is exercise. Strengthening the muscles around the affected area is a great way to take the pressure off the joints.

The Arthritis Foundation states that the best non-drug treatment for osteoarthritis is exercise. Running can place a lot of strain on your joints. Strengthening the muscles surrounding your hips and knees will help relieve some of your osteoarthritis symptoms and may allow you to run. – [source]

I also read that I could’ve been making everything worse just by the surface I was choosing to run on, seeing as all of my runs are on either ashphalt, concrete or the treadmill…..looks like I need to find some nice trails this summer :) and no more sidewalk runs! Move Cars!

some surfaces are better than others to run on, especially if you are living with osteoarthritis. They place the following surfaces in order from best to run on to worst to run on: grass, wood chips, dirt, synthetic track, treadmill, asphalt, sand and then concrete, which they claim is about 10 times harder than asphalt.” – [source]

I also found tons of pointers stating that stretching is super important, especially after a run. That is actually something I know I don’t skimp on (if anything I was worried I was over-stretching) I know Elle can contest to that! as I felt like a nag telling her to stretch more ;) I have been slacking in stretching over the last few days because I didn’t want to wreck anything until I knew what was wrong.

I am not going to lie. As soon as I got off the phone with the Dr. I cried while trying to relay the news to Colin. It made me feel weak because I know tons of people live with this and that others like Sophie, Steve and my Mom live in chronic pain everyday and are so inspirational and positive. So now I’m going to utilize this information and start strength training. I also plan on finishing that 10k relay even if I have to walk it :)

I will post again when I get back from the sports Doctor. If everything goes well hopefully I won’t have more news about my groin pain and maybe it just needed rest :)

Thank you again for all your continued support. I know I say it all the time but I mean it – You guys are awesome!!!!

One last favour:

Remember PLEASE vote DAILY for my mom on Tommie Copper’s facebook HERE :) Thank you so much! It would also help if you shared and encouraged others to do the same. There is a button on the top left hand corner of my blog for easy voting! 

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Questions:

1. tell me something awesome about one or both of your parents! …then go vote ;)

2. do any of you have OA?? and if so, what running tips can you pass on to someone who is just delving into the subject??

3. what is your workout today?!?!?! 

I am actually hoping to do abs and arms