How to safely get back to running after groin pain
Groin pain is very common. If ignored or managed incorrectly it can lead to ongoing pain and increased time away from running or sport
Groin pain may arise for many reasons and a combination of:
Tight or strained adductors (inner thigh)
Tight/ over working abdominals
Reduced core strength
Decreased hip mobility
Referral pain from hip or low back
Want to get back running but just don’t know how much, how soon, how hard?
It is important you take note of how you are feeling during, immediately after exercise and the next day. Pain lasting the next day is an indication of recovery and very important in helping you gauge whether or not you need to reduce your running, keep the same or are able to increase.
Here are some helpful tests you can do at home to help guide your return to running!
Do these tests before each run to help you determine how well you recovered from the previous session and therefore whether or not you need to change the amount of running you do.
Complete a dynamic warm up (10 mins)
High - knees, grape-vine, side gallop, backwards jog, heels to bottom
Pain during, after or next morning - no running
Slight pain after but does not last next morning - able to run - but do not increase
No pain during, after or next morning - may start to gradually increase running - distance/ time
2. Groin squeeze test - perform before run, after run and next day
Lay on your back, knees bent with soft ball or fusion between your knees
Squeeze as hard as you can - squishing the ball
Notice when your pain comes on and how strongly you are able to squeeze the ball
You can also do this with legs straight, or hips and knees bent to 90 degrees with feet off floor
Pain very quick to come on, unable to get full strength - no running
Pain, but improved from when tested immediately after run - keep run the same, closely monitor your pain
Slow increase in pain during squeeze, able to achieve near maximal strength immediately after, foo pain full strength on day after run - able to run, slight increase in running if able
No pain during, after or next morning - increase running, continue to monitor
This is a quick guide to helping you test your recovery from running and is by all means not an exhaustive list or one answer fits all.
Depending on the source of your groin pain several other areas may need to be managed koto help ensure longevity in your running and sport.
Always start small with straight line running only. Monitor your pain during, immediately after and the next morning to determine your recovery. As you recover you will be able to increase your running distance, time, speed and then begin to add in more agility and direction changes into your running.
For specific advice for your situation, you can book in to see Megan for a physiotherapy consultation by clicking here
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Brukner P, Khan K. Bruckner and Khan’s Clinical Sports Medicine 4th Edition. Mcgraw Hill, Sydney 2012.
Hogan A, Lovell G. Pubic Symphysis Stress tests and rehabilitation of osteitis pubis. In: Spinks W, Reilly T, Murphy A, eds. Science and Football IV. London: Routledge 2002.
Hogan, A, 2012, An Important Rehab Decision for Athletic Groin Pain, ASPETAR Sports Medicine Journal, vol. 1, no. 2, pp.120-127