Groin pain treatment can be a slow and tedious process. It needs to focus on the underlying cause of the groin pain. But the cause of groin pain can be hard to identify. It’s a vicious cycle.
Groin pain is one of the most common injuries in agility sports, such as football or ice hockey. It’s in the top 3 for both most common and most debilitating injuries.
Groin pain in daily life
After flaring it up during sport, people can experience groin pain when walking or they might have lower back pain and groin pain together. It can be a pretty miserable time.
Groin pain can be caused by so many injuries. Lower back injuries can refer to the groin. Hip joint injuries can cause groin pain. Adductor muscles can send pain up to the groin. Then there’s inguinal hernia, pelvic conditions and bone stress injuries, just to add to the mix.
If that wasn’t confusing enough, research tells us that after a few months, it’s likely that you have at least two different pathologies affecting the area. So doing rehab that worked originally may not be as effective any longer.
Groin pain rehab programs
So your rehab approach needs to fix the most likely causes while not bothering other potential causes.
Actually, simple is the key. Often programs start on the right track but then flare up the injury when they try to progress or add complexity.
Here are a few examples of the progression of exercises and restrictions across each phase of groin pain treatment rehab.
Groin pain rehab – phase one
- Avoid lunges and single leg exercises
- Don’t do deep squats
- Avoid stretches
- Reduce activities that irritate symptoms (eg. Run slower or less distance)
- Half depth box squats
- Crab walk
- Hip bridges
Groin pain rehab – phase two
- Avoid stretches
- Avoid full depth squats
- Increase exercise loading as tolerated (eg. Each week, try running a little further, or faster, but not both)
- Half depth lunges
- Single leg kettlebell squat to one third depth
- Side plank
Groin pain rehab – phase three
- Increase exercise loading as symptoms allow
- Begin higher load exercises gradually eg. Sprints, agility running
- Power (high speed) step ups
- Hopping exercises
- Jump lunges