After numerous visits to a sports Doctor, a physiotherapist and several means of imaging while in British Columbia, I was given a clear diagnosis and told I did not have any permanent or lasting muscle or bone damage in my hips, groin or legs. I had pulled three muscles on my left side – the groin, the abductor (runs down the inside of the leg to the knee) and the abdominal muscle – or what is known as the sport triad. Apparently, this type of injury is not too common among cyclists, as cycling doesn’t usually involve sudden lunging movements like one might see in soccer or hockey. So it is hard to explain how I managed to find myself with this diagnosis, seeing as I was quite comfortable on my bike after three months of touring leading up to my injury.
Most likely, it all goes back to being born with a condition known as hip dysplasia. To resolve this issue, as a child I was placed in a leg/hip brace, which was a common remedy 30 years ago, but is no longer used today due to further complications that usually surface when the patient reaches their late twenties. Seems like that timing is spot on, eh? Not really all that funny, though.
I starting having numerous hip, pelvis, and knee problems between pregnancies, and during my pregnancy and recovery with Harper, and I visited several different physiotherapists to try to find a solution. It wasn’t until Harper turned one that I found a method that relieved the pain I was experiencing both on and off the bike. During a visit with Scott Hadley, a physical therapist based in Michigan, before we took off on a two-week tour of that state last year, I discovered that my left hip was not rotating properly, and that there were three areas in my left leg that were very tender to the touch – around my lower calf muscle, my abductor and the muscle on the outside of my hip. Scott demonstrated how I could give myself a deep tissue massage in these areas with the use of a rolling pin to help release the build up of lactic acid in these muscles. When the lactic acid is released, receptors near the sore spots tell my brain to rotate my hip properly and relieve the pain immediately. I took a makeshift rolling pin along on that tour last fall, and did the rolling exercises several times a day with great success. The relief lasted longer and longer with each rolling, and when my pain completely subsided, I slowly discontinued the exercises.