Please help me recover from a frustrating groin injury.
February 26, 2012 12:26 PM   Subscribe

Please help me recover from a frustrating groin injury.

I hurt something in my groin when I moved into my new apartment in Vancouver, Canada in September (5 months ago). I was doing a lot of heavy lifting that I wasn't used to, and noticed the day after that I had an achey pain on the left side of my groin, right at the pubis, that was especially present while sitting.

My primary physician told me to rest/ice, and sent me for an ultrasound that was negative for a inguinal hernia. Rest helped it a bit, but it always flares up when I do anything beyond sedentary activities. For instance, three weeks ago I helped babysit a tiny baby (involving lots of carrying and soothing), and since then it's been much noticeable and tender to the touch.

I started seeing a physiotherapist 2 months ago, who diagnosed it as a oblique/adductor injury and had me do a series of strengthening exercises. Some of these seemed to hurt if I overdid it, and combined with my recent babysitting adventure recently it's been the sorest it's ever been. We've scaled back everything a few times, but recently I have not been doing of the exercises other than ice since it's been so sore.

At this point, I'm starting to feel very frustrated that it's not healing, and that I haven't done really any exercise for 5 months and am atrophying out of the mediocre shape I was in before this (I was doing some light walking, which has helped, but lately that too seems too painful).

Have you ever successfully recovered from a groin injury that seemed to drag on? What worked for you? Alternative treatments (massage/actupuncture?) that help speed things along?

Physiotherapists/doctors, are there any questions I should be asking my physio/doctor? What's a normal window of recovery for non-hernia groin injuries? Are there surgical options I should be considering? Am I at risk of developing a chronic issue through the development of scar tissue/etc?

I live in Canada and have benefits that cover paramedical expenses up to a point, if that matters.
posted by beepbeepboopboop to Health & Fitness (4 answers total)
Could it be that it isn't related to the heavy lifting? Maybe an infection of some sort, and the move is a red herring? Prostatitis or the like?
posted by backwards guitar at 1:03 PM on February 26, 2012

Wellll. I've had a groin injury that dragged on, and hurt a lot when I sat for long periods. It turned out to be a torn labrum that required surgery to fix, and a year later it is mostly better but will never be what it was before the injury.

Hopefully in your case it really is just a muscular strain. In which case, rest, time, ice, and PT are your friends. This is a hard area to have an injury because you use it so much in the course of daily life. I think these things just take a lot longer to heal than desired. You have to be really religious with your PT, stretching, icing, and joint care.

I would say though, given that it's been 5 months and despite PT and rest it hasn't gotten better, it might be worth trying to get an MRI to see if it is joint-related damage. I don't know how hard that is to do in Canada. My labral tear presented exactly the same way you are describing. It wasn't a sudden pain, but the day after some heavy front squats I had a terrible ache in the front of my hip that got worse when I was sitting for long periods. I'm obviously not a doctor but it is something to consider.

The only alternative therapy I had was mobility work (Active Release Therapy from a chiropractor, as prescribed by my surgeon) after my surgery. That was nice. Also I find self-massage with a lacrosse ball in the right areas can really help relieve pain caused by other muscles, like the psoas, overworking to compensate for the injury.
posted by ch1x0r at 1:09 PM on February 26, 2012

Try doing this stretch every day for a few weeks. It does take a lot of time but I've found it incredibly helpful.
posted by fshgrl at 1:28 PM on February 26, 2012

Yeah, seconding that this is pretty much exactly how my labral tear felt in my hip. I am too scared to have the surgery, but extensive PT has given me a lot of relief.
posted by elizardbits at 3:10 PM on February 26, 2012

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