nagging pulled hamstring-seeking advice or accounts of similar experiences
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 only feel very minor twinges if I paid close attention). I decided to take an easy ride to see if I was better - 20 miles at modest pace (I normally ride 200 miles/week), but even after a few miles it was clear that the soreness was going to return. Now, 2 days later I can 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. 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. 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. 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? Advice is welcome (but "go see your doctor" won't help me here).
Yeah, I've had that kind of injury. It took about 2 years to complete clear up, and didn't start improving until I fixed my bike position with a professional fit. For me, I needed to lower the saddle and move it forwards, and get my cleats lined up correctly. Of course, there's no way of knowing if any of that applies to you. If you have access to a professional bike fit, even a medical bike fit, it's worth spending the money out of pocket.