A friend of mine recently asked me how I was getting on with my hip and what was I using for pain relief? If you’re new to this blog, I contracted Lyme’s disease last summer which set-off an auto-immune reaction in my right hip and an x-ray and talk with the doctor revealed that the hip needs replacing. For the time being, running ultras has been replaced with an average weekly running volume of around 20 miles a week at a much slower pace and intensity.
The truth is, I have never been one for pain killers, so even though the hip generates a dull pain and tires quickly, not taking pain killers is a straightforward choice for me. The UK National Health Service lists the following possible side effects of taking too many painkillers;
- Itching or sweating
- A weakened immune system
- Tolerance, meaning that over time, your body needs more of the drug to get the same effect
- Addiction, meaning you want to keep taking these drugs even when you don’t need them anymore
For me, beyond the health risks listed above, it is important to be able to exercise an element of control on at least how I feel and how I react to my current situation. So, it is my choice not to take pain relief for my hip pain and for me, it feels good to exercise this control and to be better in touch with what my body is telling me.
Think about it, we often cannot change the situation or environment we find ourselves in, but we can make good choices and decisions on how we choose to think about what is happening to us. And I find exercising this control and deciding not to be negative or ‘glass half empty’ helps me to remain positive in most situations.
Trust me though, if the pain is sharp then I walk 😊
My coping strategy involves; walking; running as much as possible on grass or trails when I’m having a bad week and changing my gait, as I find that by moving weight over the front of my feet provides my body with improved ‘suspension’ to iron out the sharper pains.
Please share your thoughts and views on pain relief and what has worked well for you. Be that good management with the pain killers you use; other forms of exercise; stretching or changes to your diet. I’d love to learn more on this.
Happy running and stay safe, cheers
3 thoughts on “How to handle pain relief?”
Andy, I’m 59 and was also fairly recently diagnosed with hip osteoarthritis. Like you, I reluctantly decided to eventually stop running so as to postpone the seemingly inevitable hip replacement. However, because I was already signed up for MdS, I decided to continue training for and competing in ultras but as a walker rather than a runner. A little research on the Web has disclosed many ultras like MdS whose cut-off times are generous enough to be achieved by fast walkers. It’s been about six months and I’ve accepted my situation so much so that when I see someone running now I no longer feel envious. I’m much less concerned now about things like my HR, my average pace, or my finishing position and instead am able to focus on the experience and the accomplishment of completing the challenge. In a way, this unexpected change has been quite liberating. Please don’t feel like you necessarily have to give up on ultras!
Thanks so much Jeff for sharing your story, super inspirational! I am still running (slowly) but had resigned myself to dropping ultras until the hip is replaced; you have changed my perspective. Thanks and wishing you success in your journey.