How sitting is hurting my running and my recovery.

Do you have any idea how hard it is to do my job without sitting down? Well, it is.

In case you didn’t know it, I work at home and 100% of my work is done on the computer, which means I sit down, a lot. The problem is, sitting down is killing me. Not literally, or at least not that I know of, but it is killing my butt. Unfortunately, it’s a major problem and one of the reasons that I am not able to run right now.

runner jealousy

You might be wondering what the hell I’m talking about but I assure you, sitting down is part of my problem. I have classic piriformis syndrome. I probably started with a dead butt but it progressed because the primary reason for piriformis syndrome is weakeness in other hip abducting muscles especially the gluteus medius. So, after almost 3 weeks off, in a nutshell, when I raise my leg, squat or sit on my butt, I have pain and as I mentioned previously, I sit on my butt a lot.

Piriformis Syndrome is made worse by long periods of running or even walking but also by long periods of sitting, hence the reason I’m having a hard time doing my job and probably healing as well. Several people have asked me what I’m doing as part of my recovery and I have been hesitant to post anything because it wasn’t working as well as I thought it should have. Since, I now have a better handle on the problem and why it’s taking forever to heal, I thought this would be a good time to update because the whole approach to rehabilitating actually changed last week.

injured runners clean house

First of all, I am not doing any walking, running, or strength training at all this week and if I continue to have pain next week, I’ll avoid it even longer. I am also getting up several times during the work day to stretch and rolling the area out with a tennis ball once a day. Once all of my pain is gone, I have a training plan which will allow me to ease back into running without exacerbating the injury. But the most important part of my rehab is learning how to do my job all over again while standing up.

That may not seem like a big deal but trust me it is. Sometimes I put in 14-16 hours a day and that’s pretty hard to do standing at a computer. So I’m looking into purchasing a standup desk and also working while sitting on one of those sitting balls that you use instead of an office chair. If any of you have experience with either of these items, I would love to hear from you.

sitting ball

Over the past few weeks, a few people have asked me why I don’t just stop running and I’ll be perfectly frank here and just tell you that thought actually terrifies me, because I love to run and considering this is only my second real injury in many years, I don’t think I’m doing too bad especially since I also have scoliosis.

There are many reasons that I love to run and I hope I can do it my entire life. I realize that along the way my body may have limitations. I actually like discovering what those are and finding ways to improve my body to get past those limitations and become a better runner. I also love that there are so many other runners out there who understand and support me. So, if I need to stand up more when I work, or take additional days off, I will, because in the end, I’ll be back out there pounding the pavement and loving every single minute of it.

What’s the worst injury you’ve ever had?

What’s the longest amount of time you’ve had to go without running?

10 thoughts on “How sitting is hurting my running and my recovery.

  1. I have a couple of people in my office that sit on the ball instead of office chairs. They like it a lot. They don’t have the chair backing like your picture shows, just the actual ball. It helps them not to slouch they say. If promotes good posture. If you lean back or slouch forward, the ball rolls (and you fall). The longest I’ve gone without running was 6 weeks to heal a stress fracture. It was the hardest thing ever. You are not alone. YES! Do the swimming thing instead of pounding the pavement? While I wasn’t able to run, I was able to swim and still keep my lower body muscles engaged. It wasn’t the same as running, but it really helped me in the healing process both mentally and physically. Stay patient.

    • Uh oh, I’m now worried…..I’ve read the ball is better than the ball chair but after reading your comment and thinking about it, the ball may not work for me. I am THE MOST cumsiest person, like ever, really. If I get the ball I may have to deal with facial injuries….maybe not a good idea. hmmmmmm possibly the standing desk or I could ask my husband to fashion some ropes from the ceiling to tie myself too? Damn it, I’m overthinking again….

  2. Sitting is so bad for the body. I work 60% of my time at home and either sit on a fit ball or set up my laptap at our bar area so I can stand. At work, I raise my desk high enough so I can stand, too. I try to stretch throughout the day. Helps a lot.

    I hear you about the running. Stepping back from it has been hard to me, too. I am concentrating on walks, swims, bike rides and weights. Every time I have an injury I do question the running. I asked my PT yesterday if I should stop and he said no 🙂 Thinking April will be my rebuilding month and hope to start ramping back up in May.

    In 2009 I had two injuries — stress fracture in my foot and later that year a complete ankle ligament tear. Total of 6 months in a boot. Not fun

    I am sad not to be running but I also really don’t want to be one of those people in pain all the time. It’s not worth it to me and at 42 I need to think more about the future.

    Hang in there! Be strong. You will be back!

    • Thanks Susan. I knew it wasn’t good to sit too much but I had no idea how bad it was for my body. I have noticed it aggravated my sciatica tremendously and I slouch alot with my laptop on my lap on the sofa which is really bad. I’m going to try the ball and a stand up desk and cross my fingers it helps…

      • Good luck and keep us posted! Your body will heal. Give it some time and you will be amazed. We can do this together, lady 🙂

          • You are awesome, and thank you for taking us along on your journey. I find a lot of comfort talking into other runners/athletes. My husband is a sweetheart & super supportive but I am not sure he totally gets it so I try not to talk about it ad nauseum, even though I want to! And sometimes I feel frustrated to the point of tears, but again, trying to be a big girl 🙂

  3. I hear you! I hate sitting; it gives me so much pain. I am looking into a standing desk and just try to move a lot. I’ve tried sitting on balls before, but it caused me to slouch and compensate in other ways that hurt! 🙁 Are you walking? That always helps when I haven’t been able to run. And yoga, cycling, swimming, anything to keep moving safely. 🙂

    And yes–I can’t stop running either. I love it too much!

    • 🙂 I knew other runners would understand. I am walking in limited amounts. The doc wants me to take a complete week off and so I’m following his orders and crossing my fingers but I am going to go swimming this weekend 😉

      • I am so glad I can swim (thank you mom for making me learn when I was younger). It really is the one activity that actually heals my body as I am doing it. Such a nice balance with the running!

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