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Sore Upper Outer/Back Thigh

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Old 01-07-2008, 12:56 PM   #1
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Question Sore Upper Outer/Back Thigh

I ran longer than usual on Saturday, and had some soreness in my knees/feet yesterday, but today that's cleared up. Yesterday I did some light resistance leg work and also went for a long walk, but late last night my upper outer/back thigh started getting sore. It was a very dull pain that came on gradually, and didn't seem sparked by anything in particular.

Today it's more sore than yesterday, but not a sharp pain or anything, and is sore when I am walking but is fine when I'm sitting or not moving it. After looking at some pictures of muscle groups online, it looks like it's the rectus femoris? But that's just a guess.

I'm surprised that this is only in the left leg, as everything I did was done on both legs, and I don't think my gait was uneven when I was running. Any ideas what might cause this and/or what kinds of stretching I can do to make it better?
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Old 01-09-2008, 11:38 PM   #2
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It could be that your piriformis muscle is a bit sore and has swollen. I had a similar pain (although mine was a little higher, in my butt, but like yours, was only on the one side) and I was told (by someone in the Featherweights forum, not a Doctor or anything) that this is a fairly common injury for runners. Apparently the muscle lies along the sciatic nerve, so when it swells, it can pinch the nerve and cause pain, which can be in the butt or lower down in the thigh (but is typically only on one side). In my case, the pain was particularly pronounced when I got in and out of my car. It was just something about that motion.

I took Ibuprofen, tried to drink more water, slightly altered the way I got in and out of my car, and it went away in a few days. But if it isn't getting better in a few days, you should probably see your doctor.

I barely remember it now, but it must have been bad because I went back and looked at my post and I had started taking Ibuprofen even before anyone suggested it to me. I'm loath to take Ibuprofen because I'm convinced it makes me retain water, so I must have been desperate. But the pain must have gone away fairly quickly, but it didn't interfere with my workouts at all and I barely remember it now.
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Old 01-10-2008, 09:40 AM   #3
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Mine was bad on Monday, slightly sore on Tuesday, and yesterday it was better. Then I went for a very short (1.4 mile) run last night, and it's sore again. Not nearly as bad as either Monday or Tuesday, but definitely sore. I just want to exercise and not worry about it!

My plan for now is to keep alternating rest and short runs to see if it goes away completely. If it hasn't within a week or so, I'll visit a doctor.
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Old 01-11-2008, 12:37 PM   #4
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That sounds like a reasonable plan. I hope it starts to feel better.
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Old 01-11-2008, 05:04 PM   #5
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Laura,

Since it happened again, you may want to find out if your stride is as symmetrical as it feels.

Jack Rabbit Sports is a wonderful store in NYC (info below). I don't know if posture is causing your pain. But, they have a camera attached to a treadmill so that you can check out your stride. My doctor sent me there because I used to have a really bad phonation to one side that was causing pain in my knee and left glute. They found a pair of running shoes that corrected it for me. The staff is wonderful and I'm sure they would be glad to help you out (even if you are not looking for shoes).

Jack Rabbit
42 West 14th St (between 5th and 6th Aves)
New York, NY 10011
(212) 727-2980
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Old 01-11-2008, 09:21 PM   #6
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Thanks so much! I'll stop by tomorrow and see what they say. I wanted to pick up a stick/foam roller (haven't decided which yet) anyway, so I can buy that there and then not have to feel bad about getting their help but not buying anything
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