After 6 weeks of waiting, I finally have an answer; it’s a tear and, yes, it is a real pain in the butt.
My official diagnosis is a partial tear of the tendon at the ischial tuberosity. In October, when that first came up as a possibility, I asked, “The what? Did you just make that name up?” It is real. There are three hamstring muscles and one leads to the ischial tuberosity, which is at the top of the femur but under the gluteus Maximus – basically, at the sitbone. When we sit, the glutes pull up and leave the sitbone to dig down. With the tear that I have, sitting kills. This week, I almost feel like I could start to run, but with sitting bring as painful as it is, I know I can’t run yet.
It is obvious that I tore my ischial tuberosity at the beginning of October. After 6 weeks of healing, it currently measures 6mm by 4mm by 3mm; I wish that I could tell how big it was when I first started.
The first thing I did when I got home was text my kinesiology student, who replied with “LOL. The old tuberosity, eh. I literally had my hands on one an hour ago.” After a few messages back and forth, I decided to name it – something with a harsh sound, but one that Tammy the Hamstring would like. I decided on “Izzy, the Ischial Tuberosity.” Can’t you imagine Tammy and Izzy hanging out together?
Messaging my son gave me another idea. I had to make a model of the tear so that I could understand it better. Suddenly, the pain I have had makes sense as I imagine a gap or a hole in my tendon that needs to be filled.
Dr. Elliott, my sports medical doctor, said that healing can take up to 6 months, but he doesn’t think it will take that long. “You’re in a lot better shape than most people at this point,” he said. “It will probably be another month.” I don’t need surgery, which is great. Dr. Elliott suggested a cortisone shot, but I want to stay away from that as cortisone can break down tissue. PRP (platelet rich plasma) therapy is another option, but it won’t speed up healing; it does, though, strengthen the tendon. While that still sounds appealing, it comes with a hefty price tag (up to $2000) and there isn’t enough evidence to prove its effectiveness. I will continue to research that, though, and sit on it (haha!) for a while. At this point, my answer is ‘no’.
Meanwhile, I will continue to do what I am as it is obviously helping. And now that I know exactly what the problem is, I can work with my chiropractor and coach to get me running again and, hopefully, ready to race in a few months.