I have been experiencing a severe tenderness in my lower back, where the
kidneys are, for several weeks now. This tenderness was discovered by my
massage therapist whom I am receiving treatments from for a hip flexor
injury. The pain usually flares up after a longer run. It has been
suggested by others that I am somehow bruising my kidneys as I run. While I don't pee blood, I have had some in my stool before. My therapist believes the two injuries are somehow related because the kidney meridian (shiatsu massage) runs in the exact area of my hip pain. Is this a common injury and do you have any suggestions for relief? I am currently training for a marathon so I need to continue running the longer training runs. Thanks for your input!
Susie - it would be very unusual for you to have bruised your kidneys by running. Remember, these are vital organs, and as such, are very well protected by the lower ribs, muscles and fat. Your back pain sounds more like a lower thoracic spine dysfunction, and as such, should respond to typical musculoskeletal intervention - ice, mobilization, and exercise - while massage might not hurt, it is unlikely to help much either - that is not to say that it doesn't feel good, but there is no long lasting benefit in the case of a spine joint dysfunction.
With respect to your massage practitioners observation that the hip and kidney meridian are related, please understand that the kidney meridian and kidneys are different issues. One reflects an energy field, the other an actual organ. The relationship between the hips and kidney area of the back is well documented in western medicine as well, with the hip being in the pain reference zone of the third lumbar vertebrae.
My advice is to get a musculoskeletal assessment of your spine function, treat the dysfunction that seemingly originates in the upper lumbar spine, and you will be fine.