I posted this to the Training and Nutrition forum a few days ago, but didn't get much response. Maybe there isn't that much traffic over there, or maybe there isn't much for people to say on the topic.....
I'm looking for advice about a leg injury. If you've had something similar to what I'll describe, I'd like to know how you recovered.
I've been struggling for a couple of months with a minor but annoying injury that I attribute to a pulled hamstring. The pain is high on the back of my thigh, and deep into the muscle - not near the surface. There's no visible swelling or blemishes. The pain is not acute and initially I just kept riding with it - I"m not even sure I can say when the problem began, but it got more and more annoying and sore.
First, I took a couple of days off and the leg seemed to feel better, but when I started riding again, the pain crept back, from barely perceptible slowly to rather sore (but again, never acute).
So then I took 12 days off and went camping with my family and the leg felt much better (though perhaps not 100%, I could still feel twinges if I moved my leg the wrong way). On returning, I though I'd take an easy ride to see if I was better - 20 miles at modest pace, but even after a few miles it was clear that the soreness was going to return. Two days later I could still feel some soreness from that ride.
Reading about hamstring injuries on the internets, it seems that I have a minor (class 1) hamstring pull. These are supposed to heal on their own, albeit they take some time. But my concern is that the injury has something of a "permanent" feel. If I rest the soreness and inflamation go down, but the essential weakness seems to persist, such that any cycling activity will reactivate the injury. Apart from that one 20 mile ride, I've been basically off the bike for 16 days and I still feel it when I (gently) move my leg in just the wrong way. The info recommends icing the leg, but I don't really think that will help - the soreness is very deep in the leg, not near where ice will affect it. In the last few days I've taken some iboprufen, and that does seem to help.
I'm living overseas from my usual home until May, and this adds several problems:
1. It's not possible to be truly immobile. I have no car here, and Canberra is very spread out. I have a 2 mile bike commute (or walk) just to get to work. I put platform pedals on my bike and I take it very easy, and this seems to be OK, but it's not ideal. I don't know if a 2 mile walk would be better or worse. Around here even just going to the grocery store is a hike.
2. My health insurance situation here really only amounts to urgent care situations.
Being off the bike is driving me crazy. Has anybody had experience with this kind of injury? I'm thinking that I had better lower my seat once I begin riding again, but first I have to get over the problem. Advice is welcome (but "go see your doctor" won't help me here).