Groin injury prevention; why they occur and four ways to prevent them
As we get into the warmer weather, many athletes are becoming more active in sports such as baseball and soccer and of course running, groin injuries can sideline you for weeks.
Most people assume that these types of injuries just occur, however, there is always a mechanical basis for this type of injury. Last year, a patient had a very bad groin injury that resulted in an abdominal hernia after he ran a race in pain and attempted to run through the pain.
Groin injuries are a byproduct of over and under striding, something that happens when the body is asymmetrical. Over and under striding occurs when one side of the body strides one way and the other side compensates. The effect is the core (mid section) distorts and created a problem called tortipelvis. Since a torqued pelvis distributes weight poorly, and since it is responsible for about half the force the body produces while walking, a torqued pelvis will cause the person to have a shorter stride and the feet hit the ground harder.
Typically, understriding is caused by foot overpronation (low or flat feet that toe out). When one side under strides (tightens up in the back resulting in a shorter forward stride), the other leg will over stride (have a longer stride). This will also tighten the core further as the legs tighten. When the over striding leg moves backward, it will strain the groin on that side. If you attempt to accelerate too fast, after this region has become tighter over time due to the myofascial surrounding the inguinal ligament, the tightness of the psoas muscle and a shortening of the pectineus which inserts into the pubic region, an additional impulse into the area can cause a muscle tear. The tear usually can effect the adductor, the pectineus, and even the oblique muscles (see diagram above).
Four things to do now to prevent a future groin injury.
1. If you feel pain when you run, slow down. Accelerating further is likely to cause an injury.
2. If you are built asymmetrically, wear foot orthotics. Foot orthotics is the simplest way to level a pelvis, improve core function and decrease over and under striding in a runner.
3. Foam roll if you feel tight before you run. You can see our foam roller video’s on our youtube link here http://www.youtube.com/user/ChiropracticNJ. These video’s can be helpful in understanding how to get the most from your foam roller.
4. See your local Sports Certified chiropractor. Look for someone who uses myofascial release, Graston or another soft tissue method. Doctors who are certified or diplomate in sports injury are most likely the ones who can help you. Find someone who also understands runners since groin injuries are a side effect of running with altered body mechanics.