Welcome to another episode of the Proximal Hamstring Tendinopathy (PHT) podcast. In this episode, we’ll delve into Rebecca’s inspiring journey of overcoming PHT. We’ll explore her struggles, her path to recovery, and the practical insights she gained along the way. If you’re dealing with PHT, Rebecca’s story might offer valuable insights and hope for your own journey.
The Beginning of Rebecca’s PHT Journey
Rebecca, who currently resides outside of Chicago in the central US, has always been an active individual. She enjoyed outdoor activities, including recreational running, cross-country in her younger years, and even short stints in gymnastics and ice skating. Running was her go-to activity, and she loved the sense of freedom it provided. As she transitioned into adulthood, she began exploring other athletic pursuits, including martial arts and strength training, while maintaining her love for running.
Rebecca’s journey with PHT began with a traumatic incident about 15 years ago when both of her high hamstrings experienced a painful snapping sensation. Despite the initial pain and discomfort, Rebecca managed to navigate her way through without seeking immediate medical attention. She continued with her active lifestyle, maintaining a balance between strength training and running.
A Switch to Martial Arts and the Onset of PHT
It wasn’t until Rebecca switched from her usual gym workouts to intensive martial arts training that her PHT symptoms began to flare up. The martial arts training involved kicking, stretching, and plyometric exercises, which put significant stress on her hamstrings. She described the excruciating pain she experienced the morning after these training sessions, making everyday activities like getting out of bed a daunting challenge.
Seeking Professional Help
Rebecca’s initial response to her PHT symptoms was to seek professional help. Her first stop was physical therapy, which primarily focused on addressing hip imbalances with bodyweight exercises. While these exercises were beneficial in some ways, they didn’t specifically target her PHT issues. Rebecca continued with physical therapy for several years, but her condition persisted.
Throughout her journey, Rebecca encountered various healthcare professionals, including chiropractors and massage therapists, but none were able to diagnose her PHT accurately. Despite her consistent efforts to explain her pain and discomfort, the term “proximal hamstring tendinopathy” never surfaced, leaving her frustrated and without answers.
Rebecca’s search for answers eventually led her to an osteopathic doctor, who diagnosed her with fascial distortion. The treatment involved painful manipulations of the fascia around her sits bones, leaving her with bruises and uncertainty about its effectiveness. While she hoped for relief, the treatment didn’t provide the long-term solution she needed. Her pain persisted, especially during prolonged sitting.
The Ongoing Struggle with Sitting
One of the most challenging aspects of Rebecca’s PHT journey was her discomfort while sitting. She shared how she had to cope with excruciating pain during long car drives and how she would use various methods, from ice packs to heating pads, to alleviate the pain. Sitting had become a major obstacle in her daily life, making her fearful of activities that required extended periods of sitting.
Despite her proximal hamstring tendinopathy struggles, Rebecca continued with her martial arts training, which had now shifted to mixed martial arts. Her determination to stay active and fit was evident, but the pain in her hamstrings and hips made it increasingly difficult to enjoy her training. She faced a significant setback during the winter, with her left leg experiencing a severe flare-up.
As Rebecca faced her worst PHT flare-up yet, she began to fear that she might be losing her ability to participate in the activities she loved. At the age of 47, she contemplated whether her condition was simply a result of aging. This realization was a significant source of concern, as she had always prioritized her fitness and desired to remain active for as long as possible.
Discovering Hope Through the Proximal Hamstring Tendinopathy Podcast
Rebecca’s journey took a hopeful turn when she stumbled upon the Overcoming Proximal Hamstring Tendinopathy podcast, hosted by Brodie Sharpe. The term “proximal hamstring tendinopathy” was unfamiliar to her, but it resonated deeply. For the first time, she encountered someone who understood her pain and shared knowledge about her condition. The podcast became a beacon of hope, and Rebecca felt encouraged to seek further guidance.
Impressed by the podcast’s information and the Shoe-Off Test mentioned in it, Rebecca reached out to Brodie for an Injury Chat. She was eager to share her PHT experiences and gain insights into her path to recovery. Within a week, they had their first conversation, and Rebecca was determined to take charge of her healing journey.
Rebecca’s journey with Brodie began with caution. They initiated her rehabilitation program by starting with a run-walk routine, consisting of one minute of running followed by two minutes of walking. At this point, even running was challenging due to her persistent pain and hip tightness. However, they persisted with patience and optimism.
Key Strategies in Rebecca’s Recovery
Rebecca highlighted the importance of incorporating strength training alongside running. This combination played a crucial role in her recovery. Brodie’s holistic approach allowed her to gradually regain her strength and mobility while continuing to enjoy running and other activities.
Incorporating strength exercises, like deadlifts and step-ups, played a crucial role in her rehabilitation.
Gradual Progression in Running:
Starting with a run-walk strategy, Rebecca gradually increased her running distance, balancing it with strength training.
- Managing Flare-Ups: Learning to handle flare-ups by understanding that pain does not always signify damage was pivotal in her recovery
- Activity Modification: Adjusting activities to avoid positions or movements that exacerbate pain.
- Ergonomic Changes: Implementing ergonomic solutions for those experiencing buttock pain when sitting, like using supportive cushions.
Dealing with Proximal Hamstring Tendinopathy Flare-Ups
Understanding that flare-ups are part of the recovery journey is essential. Strategies include:
- Reducing intense activities temporarily
- Modifying exercises to reduce strain
- Focusing on the psychological aspect of recovery to maintain a positive outlook
Conclusion: A Path to Recovery
Rebecca’s story is a testament to the fact that with patience, the right knowledge, and a tailored approach, overcoming proximal hamstring tendinopathy is possible. Remember, every individual’s journey is unique, and finding what works best for your body is key.
The Surprises and Challenges of Rehabilitation
Rebecca shared some surprising aspects of her rehabilitation journey. She mentioned specific exercises, such as standing hip extensions with a TheraBand, that initially caused significant discomfort. However, she was amazed when these exercises eventually alleviated her pain. The journey wasn’t linear, and different exercises progressed at varying rates, but the overall trajectory was positive.