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993 Views 1 Reply Latest reply: Oct 9, 2011 11:22 AM by JamesJohnsonLMT
JRRunsSlow Rookie 3 posts since
Aug 19, 2011
Currently Being Moderated

Aug 19, 2011 10:21 AM

Groin Pain - Intense

I have been running for a little over 18 months, have run everything from 10K fun runs, 1/2 and a full Marathon earlier this spring.  This question is more about a problem that I lived with over the past winter, but from time to time I seem to have a quick groin pain that comes and quickly goes, but reminds me of the injury I ran with all last winter and just want to hear if anyone has suffered anything similar.

 

Here we go, and bear with me as I tend to be a bit wordy at times.

 

The injury started in early winter and at the time I was logging about 30K a week.  Symptoms of the pain were a sharp burning pain in my groin that made it difficult to support weight on the leg (difficult to climb stairs, would have to start with my good leg, lift bad leg to step, then with good leg launch to next step (ie one step at a time versus step over step as a set of stairs would normally be climbed).  The pain seemed to be around the inside of the groin versus the outside of the hip.

 

In terms of running, getting going was stiff and painful, as a matter of fact some of my running friends indicated I had a bit of a limp from the get go, however after 3 or 4 km's the pain would subside and my stride would even out.  However making a brief stop (such as waiting at an intersection for a light to change, so we are talking less than two minutes), the pain and stiffness would return and running it out would be another 2 or 3 km's... that is how fast the pain would come on... just about instantaneous.  Plus after the run, walking or even putting weight on the hip due to the groin discomfort is difficult (as a matter of fact I don't think I could stand on that one leg).

 

I did several physio sessions and it was blamed on everything from weak gluets (spelling?) to tight hamstrings to I don't know what else.  I did curtail the running for a period taking up to a week off, but the injury would return within few paces of the next run.

 

Took iboprophein (spelling) which gave relief, but this is not a suggested remedy as this drug only masks the inflamation and associated pain, so you feel better, but run the risk of worsening the injury as you run through the pain that should have stopped or slowed you down.

 

Then in early March (about 8 weeks after the injury seemed to arrive), it disappeared, like over night.

 

I was chatting with a friend of a friend who happens to be a nurse (and I am seeking her down again) as she said she suffered the exact same injury and explained it was a tendon that runs from the inside of the leg, around the groin through the hip and terminates at the small of the back.  And as a matter of fact I have been having some back pain on my right side only at exactly the spot the tendon is suppose to terminate, this pain can be felt while at rest, but immediately disappears with motion (walking or running will stop it).  She said this is an associated pain.

 

The reason I am writing such a long winded question for an injury that I stated disappeared, is that I have noticed a few pings of pain similar to the injury over the last couple of weeks. Nothing as intense and not causing me to limp or pain in a run, but I am fearful of it returning and wondering if anyone else has suffered a similar injury, received a professional diagnosis and have had a successful recovery process or any excercises or stretches that are recommended to combat the return or repair if it reappears...

 

My current regime sees me logging about 50K a week at present as I am in the midst of Marathon training for a November event.

 

Thanks

 

Jeff





Running History.......

Aug 2011 - Taylor Milne 10K Fun Run - 46:47

July 2011 - NB Triathalon - Relay Runner 8.4K - :41:01

July 2011 - NB Canada Day 10K Road Race - 47:42

June 2011- Patrick4Life 1/2 Marathon - 1:47:39

May 2011 - Mississauga Marathon - Full - 4:10:24

May 2011 - Kaufman 10K Fun Run - 47:59

Mar 2011 - Hamilton Around The Bay 30K - 2:57:25

Dec 2010 - Running Room Sudbury Santa Shuffle 5K - 24:32

Oct 2010 - NB Hospital Fdnt 10K Fun Run - 49:50

Aug 2010 - Taylor Milne 10K Fun Run - 56:50

  • JamesJohnsonLMT Legend 1,163 posts since
    Aug 23, 2009
    Currently Being Moderated
    1. Oct 9, 2011 11:22 AM (in response to JRRunsSlow)
    Groin Pain - Intense

    Well, it's been over six weeks since your post. Sorry I was so busy, I never had time to reply until now..

     

    So... How goes it?

     

    Just a few comments based on your account and the advice you received so far...

     

    The groin is a focal point for the lower extremities, and pain there can often be traced to the soft tissue that manages your core, in addition to the legs themselves. It is true that tension can be applied at one spot via tendons that originate elsewhere, but it is important to shake up the nomenclature a bit. Tendons themselves do contain some sensory apparatus, but they serve to tie muscles to bone across joints, and the actual living, dynamic tissue that produces the tension in the first place too often gets no mention.

     

    As Dr. Janet Travell observed many years ago, "Muscle is an orphan organ. No medical specialty claims it." How tendons, ligaments, and bones ever got priority over the active tissue that controls them, I will never know, but we are stuck with that paradigm in conventional medicine still today. Even when tendons, or the bursa that cushion their movement, get blamed for chronic pain, it is common sense to ask what activating force is applied to that tendon, where it comes from, and why that force is a problem. Is it always there? Should it always be there, or should normal tissue be able to relax in its cycle of use? Even heart muscle, the busiest in the body, rests between beats, but some muscles involved in chronic pain do not rest. In fact, there are many intra-pelvic muscles that once cranked up, exert constant tension on the structures they control, radiating pain throughout the area they serve, sometimes intermittently, as surely as your arm would hurt if you held out a book for 24 hours a day.

     

    Why muscles, particularly impossible-to-reach intrapelvic muscles, sometimes experience seemingly endless contractions without relenting is not always easy to determine, as hard as the results are to ignore. Sometimes there is a neurological component, sometimes there is a skeletal misalignment that the musculature dutifully attempts to correct or stabilize, often without success, and sometimes an accident like a slip or fall, or an unfamiliar movement leads to chronic muscular tension and pain. Even corrective interventions like stretching have backfired and made things worse.

     

    There can be many causes, but there are often few safe solutions. There was a time when intrapelvic massage was not uncommon, but the technique was abused because it required entry through body orifices, and fell out of favor, sometimes banned by law. Other, more clinical techniques have been used, such as injections to interrupt intra-pelvic muscular spasms, but the techniques themselves tend to create more problems than they solve, like a game of whack-a-mole. Solve one problem now, and create another later, by introducing micro-trauma to previously uninvolved tissue. It happens all the time, unfortunately, but the religions of medical intervention, once formed, often ignore the popular aphorism (sometimes attributed to Einstein, Franklin, or various sport figures) that "insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting different results." In this case, repeatedly stabbing living tissue has consequences, since even a few cells can set up a permanent chain reaction of tension, in an area too small to be observed but large enough to produce pain, much like a single hair on your head being pulled.

     

    All is not hopeless, since you have already found that increased circulation via exercise can calm the injury somewhat. Counterintuitively, muscular spasms often increase when activity is stopped, as you experienced at traffic lights. This is one reason why exercise sometimes works to calm muscular spasms. In a case where the spasms may be due to a repetitive motion injury, however, the benefits of continued exercise can be short-lived, like an addiction.

     

    In my opinion, this problem and its solution, like many others in life, is multi-layered, requiring several interventions at different levels, some with short-term improvement, and some that yield their benefits after a long time, just as the injuries themselves often evolve over time.

     

    There may be pelvic or spinal misalignment involved, which should be evaluated by a professional. There may be a postural issue at fault, not only while running, but involving the way or amount of time you spend sitting, whether in chairs or a car seat. Almost all injuries can be based on a nutritional substrate, with everything from radical high/low carb, high/low protein, fat-free, sugar-free, or salt-free diets having an unplanned role in the etiology. Even the overuse of bottled, purified water can be blamed for vital mineral/electrolyte loss that leads to chronic spasms. The fat profile of the common Western diet, especially the versions once thought "healthy," has come under scrutiny for negative effects on cell integrity and chronic inflammation.

     

    There are common medications thought to be good for us one way, that can have negative effects on muscle integrity and function. Any time athletics are involved, the rules change from those of a sedentary population.

     

    From a lifestyle standpoint, we tend to segregate our work, play, and exercise into periods of prolonged inactivity and intense activity, rather than spreading it throughout the day as our ancestors did. There are so many factors to consider when treating chronic pain, it is hard for anyone to accept that the solutions may be a long time coming in any individual case. The easy strategy though, is to resolve going forward that no stone will be left unturned, and that every relevant intervention will be explored. You weren't born with this pain, and you do not have to live with it forever. It is not the product of aging, or we could all expect it.

     

    Once again, I am sorry that your post was left alone for so long, and I hope that I can revive some interest and attention in the community for a probem that is rare enough to pose many questions, but common enough to demand permanent answers.

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