Hello Internet, my name is Patrick. I am 18 years old, 6’3 and about 140 pounds. I live in Ontario, Canada and I am reaching out to the internet because my injury pretty much took over my life over the past 2.5 years. I am going to tell my whole story start to present time because I am losing hope that I will ever live a normal life again.
January 2013: Skiing was one of my favourite things to do every winter up until 2013. I loved hitting jumps and being in the terrain park almost every night during the winter months. One day in January I made a day trip up to Mount St. Louis Moonstone and ended up falling pretty hard on a rail and I remember landing on my hip extremely hard. I called into work that night and went to the hospital where they did an X-Ray on my hip and said everything was ok. I recovered from that injury pretty quickly but I wanted to include that in this post just incase.
Summer 2013: My friend got me into the gym for the first time because he and his brother had started working out. I wanted to start as well so my mom signed me up and I was eager to start lifting weights. The first couple months past and I was seeing progress and learned a lot about working out. This is when my injury began. I went to the gym one day and decided to do some deadlifts. I loaded up 185 onto the bar which was way too much for my 16 year old self but I thought I was Ronnie Coleman because I was seeing gains for the first time in my life. I ended up doing 2 sets of 8 and on the second set is when my life changed. I was pulling as hard as I could to get that weight up when I heard a violent pop in my left hip/buttock area. I racked the weight and thought [EDIT] just happened. I went and got changed and went home hardly putting any weight on that leg. For weeks I remember I could put hardly any weight on that leg and the hardest task was going up stairs. I made a doctor’s appointment because this pain wasn’t going away and he pretty much said that it was a hamstring tear and in 6 weeks I would be ok.
August 2013: I did physio for a hamstring tear where they got me to do an assortment of stretches and some strengthening. None of this worked so after a month or so of physio I gave up. I saw another doctor who said that the physio wasn’t working because I hadn’t gave my hamstring enough time to heal yet and the physio was just aggravating it
September 2013: I decided I was going to play house league hockey again for the first time in years. I was already signed up before my injury so I went to a couple practices and quickly realized that my hip could not handle that kind of activity. I ended up quitting that and never playing a sport since then.
Winter 2013/14: I wanted my hip to heal so I only went skiing once or twice and both times I was in serious pain. I just kept giving it time because my doctor said if I reinjure it in the 6 weeks that it will take another 6 weeks to heal so I pretty much gave it all winter to heal and it never did.
What was the pain like? It was a sharp pain deep in the buttocks feeling like it originated at the sitting bone or joint. The pain was more apparent when twisting the leg and it was almost impossible to do any sports or physical activity. I am calling this pain ‘hip’ pain instead of hamstring pain because it was always painful at the hip, sometimes on the side, sometimes on the front but mainly deep in the buttocks.
2014: Throughout 2014 I didn’t really seek out much help because I started smoking weed and that helped a lot with my pain. It would pretty much numb the area and although I knew it was still there, it wouldn’t interfere with basic things like sitting and walking. I look back now and I wish I had started seeking more help earlier but the weed was too easy to escape this aching in my buttock.
Throughout 2014 I was still going to the gym almost everyday but only working out my upper body because I could not deadlift or squat. I loved lifting and I started to see some serious gains on my upper body throughout the summer and into the fall. This is when I stopped lifting weights all together because I was starting to look un-proportionate and I hated it. I was blessed with some pretty good genes when it came to working out, a tiny waist and decently broad shoulders so it really hurt when I had to give it all up because of my injury.
Early 2015: I had continued to smoke in 2015 but I started seeking more help when better weather started coming around. I had dealt with a bunch of terrible doctors who didn’t really care for what I was going through so I started doing a lot of research on my own.
At this time I remember I had no pain while walking, but when sitting I had the worst sciatica-type feeling going down the back of my hamstring and I would always sit on my hand when in class or kneel instead of sitting. The feeling was like there was something always aggravating a muscle in my sitting bone which caused pain down the leg. When I would stand up the pain wasn’t as severe. This is when I read about piriformis syndrome. I started doing some piriformis syndrome stretches and rolling a ball into my buttock area and this helped a lot for a day or so but then the pain always came back. I then thought I had a serious form of piriformis syndrome where the sciatic nerve runs through the piriformis muscle so I got a provocative EMG which I read is what diagnoses this syndrome and the EMG came back negative.
Spring 2015: At this point I am seriously seeking help for my undiagnosed condition because I was getting fed up with not having answers. I went to a chiropractor to see if she could help me and she said my left si joint was locked up and she unlocked everything and my back and hips were feeling great. I thought I was finally fixed and this was right around when I graduated highschool and it was summertime.
Summer 2015: I started playing a lot of basketball with my friends after this chiropractor loosened my hips up because I was simply feeling good again. After a couple weeks of doing this however I started having lots of trouble walking and I ended up having to quit my job at Best Buy because it was too painful to walk and I was just limping around the store. Everyone could tell I had something wrong with my leg but I would just say it was a deadlift injury that never healed. I was planning on going to Queens university in the coming weeks for engineering so I quit my job a bit early to rest up so I wouldn’t have walking problems when I went. I ended up not thinking I was ready for university so I pulled the plug on it 2 days before move in day. My hip injury definitely played a part in this decision because I was limping a lot at this point.
It may sound like the chiropractor messed something up in my hips/back at the beginning of summer but I think she just loosened me up to where I was supposed to be which brought out the injury much more. The year of smoking weed and neglecting my health resulted in my hips/hamstrings/back tightening up to compensate for this injury. (Just my opinion)
Fall 2015: I saw an orthopedic surgeon in Guelph, Ontario who read over my imaging and just said I had a hamstring tear that never healed. She told me to do a physio in which I did which again did not help anything. She said if physio doesn’t work then get another MRI on the hamstring area. I will go over my imaging now
Summer 2013 – MRI on the Pelvic area (high hamstring), came back perfect
Early 2014 – MRI on the Lower back to look for any disc buldges. Came back perfect
Mid 2014 – Bone scan on the high hamstring/ pelvic area. Scan showed increased blood flow to the high hamstring area.
October 2015 – Another MRI on the pelvic area/high hamstring. Just had this done and I will update you on the results on them.
November 2015 (present time): I am still dealing with this injury and I really am losing hope. I moved to my Dad’s place in Mississauga and I just got a job at Best Buy down here. I am starting soon and I am super scared I won’t be able to walk around all day because of this injury and am going to have to quit. My Dad hates seeing me do nothing which really sucks because I want to make him proud and make some money during this year off but I am scared that I won’t be able to do even a simple job that doesn’t require any lifting or physical work.
I will now explain what my pain is like currently, movements that hurt, what relieves pain, ect.
When walking the pain comes from deep in the buttock and feels as if it is coming from the joint. It radiates down the leg and the whole leg seems very weak and unstable. Lateral movements are very painful because my leg feels as if it has no stability while my other leg is completely fine. When walking for more than 20 minutes I begin to feel a serious limp because my leg is so weak. My gluteus medius (the muscle that feels as if it is coming off the side of the hip) is always very tight and feels completely different than my other side. I feel like it is trying to hold my hip joint in place. Sitting is fine and does not hurt anymore. The movement that best describes my pain and area of discomfort is say you sit in a chair and keep the knees touching. Then let the feet slide out from each other so the ground, knees and legs form a triangle. Now leave the feet in the same spot and put pressure on the outter sides of the knees with your hands. Now while doing this try and open the legs so the knees aren’t touching anymore. When I do this there the sharpest pain deep in my buttock. It feels as if it is coming from this hip joint. It is a sharp pain on both sides of my legs but on the affected side it is a lot worse. I feel like this is where my injury originates but it is so hard to explain. I hope someone can understand this and help me out. If you are still reading this I thank you so much and would appreciate your feedback.
If anyone even knows a doctor around the GTA they could refer me to that would be a blessing.
Thank you, Patrick