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What is the recovery time for a groin strain?

Question: What is the recovery time for a groin strain?

Eleven weeks ago I strained by groin...took 3 weeks off from running and then ran a marathon. Ended up re-injuring my groin strain and added a hip flexor strain. Its been 8 weeks, I've been going to rehab and now my physical therapist is allowing me to run short slow distances. The therapist tells me that "achiness" is ok but pain is not okay. Each time that I run the achiness becomes worse and as of today it is now painful. Any idea as to how long it will take me to recover? I'm beginning to wonder if I've done more damage than what has been identified...have not had a MRI done. I have a marathon in 16 weeks, I'm getting nervous about being able to complete it. Thank you!
-Carly

Answer:

Hi,

Had many groin/hip flexor related injuries stemming from a bad football injury in my early teens - tearing off rec femoris at its origin on the pelvis.
You need to take some time off running (hard to do i know) as weakness in this area and constant jarring with limited pelvic control will only cause further imbalance in the lumber/pelvic/hip area.

Has the PT indicated where the adductor strain is? i.e. which muscle or group, or where the hip flexor strain occured - Rec Femoris/Iliopsoas?
One thing i would try and ask the PT and work out, is why did it happen? acute injury or more mechanical/overuse? This is important for preventing re-injury...

Take advice from your PT but things that worked for me and in rehabbing clients (guidance only and not to be against the advice of your qualified diagnostic therapist):

Rest and Ice for 3-4days - control inflammation
Go through the rehabilitation protocol to full functionality - this means allowing the tissue to heal, working on muscle length and flexibility, isometric contraction work for adductors and hip flexors building in intensity (all without PAIN)
Begin light isokinetic work on isolated muscle groups - i.e. for rec femoris lying single leg extended knee lifts or assisted with towell around the toes, concentrating on a slow return/eccentric portion.
All the time working on flexibility of the tissue - ice after exercising.
A good piece of work is to look at other muscle groups in the area particuarly those that may compensate or work opposing the injured tissue - an example would be the abductor group in respose to an adductor/groin injury - look up glute med exercises particuarly those that are non weight bearing. Actually working the opposing muscle groups can release/relax the injured muscle tissues... Exercises such as lying bridges, single leg bridges and progressions are great also

Once you are pain free with these activities then you could look at more functional adaptations of resistance exercise and building to full weight bearing activity - e.g. swiss ball squats, to standing free squats, to bosu squats - all with perfect form but increasing the proprioceptive challenges of the effected tissues in a functional way.
I would want you to be peforming pain free lunges before any long distance running, however short soft terrain running could be run in parallel to keep. Progress to fully functional resistance exercise such as single leg squats (assisted), lunges with high knee etc...

All of this could actually work quite quickly but would obviously be dependent on the severity of your current injuries - grade etc.... 3-5weeks out now could benefit your long term running goals

On returning to running, ensure a thorough functional warm-up, stretch tight muscles only, stretch well after the workout and ensure your running apparel is correct - look at shoes - pronation issues etc.
Keep up the glute med work - all runners should be conscious of this, plus this will provide excellent pelvic control for any adductor injury

All exercises should be with perfect form and supervision for progression would be recommended by a qualified person.

As a runner you should be looking at working a very functional core - a core that is not just abdominals but encompasses every aspect of your trunk and hip/lower back area and the interaction with your peripheral motion - look into progressive exercises for your TVA as part of your core workout - ask your PT!

Hope helps

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