Sunday, April 10, 2011

Groin Pains

I wrote this early last week but didn't post because I felt dumb about it. I ran some but also rested to let the pain subside. But after 70 minutes of soccer and an hour of frisbee (against my better judgement) this morning, my muscles are re-aggravated and I'm back to square one. I guess my groin research wasn't in vain and I should take it more seriously this week...

I have had too many aches and pains to complain about recently. And I feel that I've done my share of complaining. So, now that new muscles are bothering me- my groins, I aim not to complain but to be productive and to learn something.

The problem: Pain in both my groins any time I lift a leg.

The cause: Groin injuries often occur during a sudden change of direction while running and when quickly starting and stopping. They are especially common in field or court sports. According to the Soccer Training Guide, the groin is one of the most common soccer related injuries and really hard to avoid. So it makes sense that joining a more competitive team than I've been used to, and playing an intense game on Sunday morning, would have irritated these muscles. 

My Solution (before doing research): Don't run. Instead, spend an hour with Josh walking through residential neighborhoods of Cleveland Park, gawking at the marvelous, historic houses lining it's streets, reading some of their history along the way.

Ingrid's Solution: Lay flat on your back with both legs straight out in front of you. Imagine that you're lifting one leg without actually lifting it. This is intended to strengthen the hip muscles to take pressure off the groin.

Internet Research's Solution:
  • Rest. Not doing so will prolong the injury. Rest until you are pain-free.
  • Gentle stretching but not so much that it is painful
  • Ice the injured area after any activity to calm inflammation and stimulate blood flow
  • Apply heat before activity to loosen the muscles
  • Avoid aggravating activity for the first one to two weeks and gradually return to sports
Preventing injury going forward:
  • Groin stretches
  • Strengthen the hips and pelvis like this
  • Increase core stability- exercise with a ball like this

I'm not going to lie, I'm a little embarrassed by my bodies incompetence recently. I was always such an athlete and I always prided myself on being injury free. Maybe I'm overcompensating for my recent complaints by bragging about my strong and healthy history. Maybe it's just part of getting older. Or maybe it's just an attitude change. Perhaps I'm overreacting and getting nervous about pain and discomfort that, years ago, I would have just played through because I was tough. Either way, the internet (and my body) tells me to rest. But I don't like to sit still. I have two soccer games to play in each weekend. I have more runs and bike rides to train for. And I have many upcoming springtime evenings during which I'd like nothing more than to take a romantic stroll through my new neighborhood. But I'm optimistic.  I know how to get better. And now you do too if you ever find yourself with an irritated groin. How useful.

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