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RE: Anyone ever had a "Sports Hernia" aka: "Sportsman's hernia", "Gilmore's groin", or &
I posted in this thread a couple weeks ago about the importance of the psoas muscle and how a tight psoas can ultimately lead to sports hernias and I’d like to talk a little more about the true causes of SH’s through what I’ve personally experienced.
As a brief background again—I was a competitive high school runner 10 years ago but always had a “hitch” in my stride. One winter both of my rectus femoris muscles began to hurt during every run and I ended up severely tearing my left RF. Apparently my RF’s were the weakest link in my body as opposed to my pelvic floor, groin, etc. If some variables were different I truly believe that I would have gotten a full blown SH at age 16.
Since then I’ve become a competitive road cyclist, but experienced major pelvic balance issues during the past several years. Basically, I never corrected the imbalances that led to my running injury. Through extensive research and diligent rehab, however, I am currently more comfortable walking and more comfortable riding than I’ve been in 15 years.
How bad was my pelvic imbalance?? Very bad- and very painful. My pelvis was literally rotated 2 inches forward and 2 inches up on the right side. My pants and shirts were crooked on my body. I had pain in my pubis symphasis and over a month of steady pain in my left and right adductors/gracilis muscles. How long has it taken me to straighten things out? Over 2 years, and I think I have another year to go to get to 95% symmetry. How functional am I now? About 90%-- I raced a full road cycling season in 2006 and ride upwards of 300 miles a week when I have the time. In November 2004 I could not ride for 2 minutes without pain and I was super super crooked.
So here are some things I’ve learned about pelvic symmetry, psoas muscles, etc:
A sports hernia will develop if your biomechanics are incorrect and you are recruiting the wrong muscles during the running motion. Your hamstrings and glutes and balanced mid-ab area need to absorb the impact during running.
Good biomechanics start literally with your toes and feet. If your toes on your left and right feet do not “grab” the ground equally during a balance test, then your whole chain of balance and proper biomechanics if off.
A functionally short leg or tight psoas is a major indication that there are grand imbalances in your body. Basically your body is using the back muscles, psoas, quads, and adductors to stabilize itself instead of using the abs and glutes.
I keep reading about the adductor release that is involved with SH surgery. This totally makes sense to me—I have extremely tight adductors. This happens because you are stabilizing yourself with your adductors instead of your glutes, hips, mid-ab area.
Running is very bad for the human body. If you add imbalances and the stubbornness to run through pain on top of that, then I can absolutely see how a SH can develop. My imbalances and stubbornness is what ended my running career.
If you get your “blown out” muscle repaired through surgery (could be ab floor, could be RF), you are not cured of your SH. You need to train your body to use the right muscles again. This starts with the toes and feet and nerve signals sent to/from the brain.
In the end, you really need to think about the true cause of the injury as opposed to just focusing on the repair of the symptom. Symptoms = torn pelvic floor, pain in groin, pain in symphasis. Focusing on correcting the cause will ultimately help and cure the symptoms.
The human body is truly changeable can recover from massive injuries. You may experience 6 months of depression and pain before realizing that the body is fixable—but it truly is. It really takes telling yourself that you will work every day to correct the problem and in 2 years you will be 95% recovered.
95% of PT’s, chiros, and other doctors will have no idea what to do with your condition. If I were a dr and saw you in my office I could give you the proper diagnosis: “Your biomechanics are flawed and you have been using the wrong muscles to stabilize your body during running for thousands of miles. This injury and the related pain in your groin, pubis, etc occurred because your weak link in your chain of improper biomechanics has finally given out. Let’s get the tear surgically repaired, and start working on re-training your body to use the right muscles. In about 2 years you will be breaking our 5K PR’s, but you need to be patient.”
Sorry if this post is a bit long of rambling, but I wanted to get some of my personal experiences/thoughts out there. Feel free to ask any questions in this forum and good luck recovering from your injuries.
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