Frustrated with ongoing hip or groin pain….?
Ongoing groin pain is one of the most frustrating injuries for sports people.
The lack of a definitive return to play timeline and the loneliness of ongoing rehab sessions can drain the life out of you. Maybe I’ll take up walking instead……..
The standard approach to groin and hip pain in Ireland has several flaws, one being that it’s too generic and often you ( a fit athlete in their 20s/30s, maybe 40s ) get prescribed the same exercises as your granny would – how can you expect that to work? Your body shape (the position of your hips, pelvis, ribs etc), your injury history, your conditioning levels etc should all dictate a bespoke rehab plan. Also, some of the exercises prescribed by your well intentioned therapists can actually be making things worse!
The symptoms of groin and hip pain are more often to do with position rather than any structural pathology.
Unfortunately in some cases poor treatment advice, choices and management can lead to months of frustration and frequently unnecessary operations and procedures!
Natural asymmetries occur throughout the body and the pelvic area is no different – often time’s one side of the pelvis is rotated forward resulting in an increase in load on the adductor muscle group on the opposite side.
The traditional route for groin pain would be to strengthen the muscles through isometric rehab exercises such ball squeezes, however, in order to offload the tissue and create more space on the painful side activating the adductor and glute muscles of the opposite side is required to position the pelvis more favourably for offloading the painful side.
Each person needs to be individually assessed. Below are some sample exercises that can help:
1. Lie on your right side with your feet on the wall, hips and knees at a 90-degree angle. Place a small folded towel or foam roller between your legs.
2. Keep your back rounded and place your left foot on the wall with your left ankle much higher than your left knee.
3. Place your right arm or a pillow under your head and keep your back and neck relaxed.
4. Press your right foot into the wall.
5. Inhale through your nose and slowly pull your left hip back feeling a stretch in your left outer hip (buttock).
6. Exhale through your mouth and squeeze your left knee down into the towel, feeling your left inner thigh muscle engage.
7. Continue this sequence until you have completed 4-5 breaths in and out.
8. Relax and repeat 4 more times.
1. Lie on your left side with your hips and knees bent at a 60-90-degree angle.
2. Place your ankles on top of a 3-5 inch bolster (Foam roller or towel) and place your feet firmly on a wall.
3. Place tubing around both thighs slightly above your knees.
4. Shift your right hip forward until you feel a slight stretch or pull in your left outside hip.
5. Keeping your feet on the wall, raise your right knee keeping it shifted forward. You should feel your right outside hip (buttock) engage.
6. Hold this position while you take 4-5 deep breaths, in through your nose and out through your mouth.
7. Relax and repeat 4 more times.
1. Place a band around both your legs slightly above your knees.
2. Stand facing away from a wall or door and place your right foot flat against it by bending your right knee.
3. Align your knees together by adjusting your body’s position and distance from the door.
4. Shift your right knee down towards the floor. Your right knee will be below the level of your left. You should feel your left outer hip engage.
5. While standing on your left leg, push your right foot firmly into the door or wall as you maintain steady control and balance of your trunk.
6. Turn your right knee outward. You should feel your right outside hip engage along with your left outside hip.
7. Balance in this position while you take 4-5 deep breathes in through your nose and out through your mouth.
8. Relax and repeat 4 more times.
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