Member Case Study: Groin Pain while Running

author : AMSSM
comments : 0

Is my childhood groin injury to blame for my recent pain while running? It just hurts when I'm running, not during day to day activities.

Member question from mtnbike23

 

I have a question about what was a very old and presumably healed groin injury from when I was a kid. I never got it checked out, but when I was around 12 I hurt my right hand side groin. I thought I had just pulled it, but I really have no idea, and it was weeks before I could use that leg properly.

Anyways, it didn't bother me for quite a few years, but now that I've started running again it's acting up. It just hurts when I'm running, not during day to day activities. It also seems to get much worse on the uphills. I stretch before, after, and even during my runs, which seems to help, but the relief is only temporary. The pain is also definitely worse when I bring my leg up as opposed to when it's underneath or behind me.

That foot also tends to turn outwards fairly noticeably, and my knee has recently started bothering me (but the knee pain started with a cross-Canada bike ride this summer, so it may not be related).

Any help you can offer in understanding what might be going on and how to best address this would be amazing. I'm not the greatest runner in the world to begin with, and this is definitely not helping.

Answer from From Grant Morrison, MD

Member AMSSM


Your injury brings up a lot of possibilities. More information would definitely be helpful in trying to figure out how to help you. Certainly your injury as a 12 year old could be playing a role: A high impact force such as a car accident could have caused all sorts of problems, even a pelvic fracture. However, since your pain only resumed recently with running, the possibility that your suffering is unrelated to your youthful injury exists.

 

The groin is often the site where pain from hip arthritis may begin; simple x-rays may help decide that. A recent onset of pain with starting running brings up the possibility of a stress fracture, as well. Take a close look at your training regimen: Did you do too much too soon? A bone scan or MRI may be necessary to look into this. Even a classic groin hernia could cause pain here. Your regular physician could help you look into this.

 

A sports hernia is more difficult to diagnose and may require a visit with a doctor with special expertise in this field. Additionally, a tear of the hip labrum – a rubbery suction-cup-like structure inside the hip ball and socket joint - could cause similar pain; this would also require evaluation by a sports medicine trained physician or orthopedic surgeon.


Aside from the skeletal or non-hip related possibilities mentioned above, you may be suffering from a muscle imbalance tracing back to your old injury. You guessed at this with your foot turning out. In this case all the stretching in the world won’t cure the problem as the hip and pelvic muscles may be weak; strengthening the area involved is the solution. A good physical therapist who is current with concepts involving strengthening and stabilization of the hip and pelvis – your “core” – would be the next resource to turn to.


I’ve given you a long list of things to think about. I definitely think your injury would benefit from more evaluation, and I expect that you can get some relief. Good luck in your efforts!


From Grant Morrison, MD

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date: February 11, 2008

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The American Medical Society for Sports Medicine (AMSSM) was formed in 1991 to fill a void that has existed in sports medicine from its earliest beginnings. The founders most recognized and expert sports medicine specialists realized that while there are several physician organizations which support sports medicine, there has not been a forum specific for primary care non-surgical sports medicine physicians.

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The American Medical Society for Sports Medicine (AMSSM) was formed in 1991 to fill a void that has existed in sports medicine from its earliest beginnings. The founders most recognized and expert sports medicine specialists realized that while there are several physician organizations which support sports medicine, there has not been a forum specific for primary care non-surgical sports medicine physicians.

FIND A SPORTS MEDICINE DOCTOR

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