I came down with sports hernia playing basketball in late February 2009, around 3-4 months ago. I attempted rehab a couple of times in March and April, thought I was succeeding, but then crashed and stopped -- the emotional roller coaster we all know so well.
After the bending, stooping, the boxing up before moving to Florida on April 29, and then the bending, stooping and unboxing, I was feeling right back to square one, when I had stopped playing basketball completely about March 1, two months before. Actually worse, because the pain in my lower abdomen came more frequently and sharper. And my abductors became more irksome, irritated by any kind of bending over, such as brushing teeth. So I tried to be as inactive as possible starting about May 7. After a few days, my adductors calmed down, but only to a certain degree.Started rehab of core on May 18
Three weeks ago, on Monday May 18, 2009, I first began my core rehab by taking my surfboard to the beach on a very calm day. It was the first time I had set foot in water with sports hernia. Quietly wading into water only 6 inches deep, I felt like I was about to trip in wet concrete because my adductors were so shocked or surprised.
My reasons for using surfboard paddling was based on a discovery for me surrounding this exercise, courtesy of Mike in Va:http://www.halfsquare.net/shetler_071505.php
The discovery for me was that using the curl-up I could exercise my abdominal without irritation or further damage as long as I kept a curve in the small of my back
. I tested this over and over. By lucky coincidence, it occurred to me that surfboard paddling absolutely insures that there will be a small curve in the small of your back while you’re paddling. Of course the paddling stroke works your abdominals. Just what I needed.
Importantly paddling also works one’s back muscles, including upper back, middle back and lower back. I’ve come to realize that the strength of those muscles influences one’s posture. And the posture, especially the lower back, has a direct, noticeable influence on the mechanics of my sports hernia groin pain.
While in the water, I've also started doing an on-back flutter-kick, propelling myself through the water, my surfboard in tow, attached to my ankle by its leash. This works my thighs nicely without irritating things. Both the surfboard paddling and the on-back flutter-kick finally allow me to do something that gets me winded without rattling my sports hernia.
I’ve also tried on two occasions using 30 lb. dumbbells, one in each hand. I do a standing press, alternating, left, right, left, right. This gives my back muscles a very nice workout, as well as my side muscles, and doesn't irritate my sports hernia.Results so far
Today, June 7, it has been 3 weeks
since that first day in the water. I’ve adopted a pattern of paddling the surfboard and doing some gentle water-walking 3 days per week, MWF. I also walk every day, but only short walks. I’m trying to avoid too much sitting, following the reasoning in the article posted by SH in SC, here:http://www.cbass.com/Sitting.htm
So, I try to get up and walk outside for a few minutes as often as possible, perhaps 10 times per day, maybe just 50 yards or 100 yards, or something. I also try to lie down for 10 minutes once or twice during the day to avoid fatiguing anything.
To date, I’ve been doing this 3 weeks.
- Abdominal muscles are substantially stronger now, although still not as strong as pre-sports-hernia. Still it is a very good feeling mentally.
- My back muscles (upper, middle and lower) are much stronger, this helps me keep my posture athletic (small of back curved in slightly, one’s butt slightly out – the opposite of an old man)
- I still get about the same amount of groin pain, which comes and goes every day, as always. That has not changed at all. But before rehab I used to get that same amount of groin pain while I was living a very inactive day, but would get more severe pain whenever I tried to become active.
- I clearly don’t get the sharpness of pain in my lower abdomen, however. This is a noticeable improvement. Instead, I seem to get little mild pains in multiple locations in the upper part my lower abdomen. I'm guessing that since my main wound is beginning to heal, other parts of the lower abdomen, which had adjusted for the missing strength of the weak spot, are now perhaps adjusting for it's slowly increasing strength. Sort of how Den's conjoined tendon had begun to widen even before his surgery.
- Adductors not so sensitive. On my first contact with water, my adductors froze up, but now I can wade through waist deep water much easier. My adductors still trouble me, and just as often, it seems. But they’re beginning to become less sensitive. One surprising thing – When I’m in neck-deep water, I can begin to relax and do full running motions in slow-motion. I notice that my adductors are very supple. I can really spread my legs very wide. But when I get back to shallower water, they immediately become shortened.
- If it’s dead calm, I can actually straddle the board, i.e., sit on it normally. This is something I was convinced I would never be able to do again in my life.
- About 6 days ago I lightly jogged about 30 feet in soft grass. First time in almost 4 months. Two days after that I jogged about 50 feet very gently in agility pattern. I waited 2 days to see how much irritation, but was ok. I’m hoping to start doing a gentle S-pattern agility jog in soft grass 3 times per week so that all my fascia tissues, in abdomen and in adductor end points, that are currently healing will know the appropriate directions of future forces.Conclusion
Yesterday my car broke down, so I had to walk about a mile carrying some tools and a battery booster, then bend over to fiddle with this and that. Before my rehab, that would have knocked me back and got things inflamed. But with stronger core muscles, I sort of feel myself slowly getting into a path of physical ability that is becoming slightly more resilient to the everyday challenges of ordinary life. I think I may be evolving/healing toward a point from which I can live a reasonably happily daily life, while my body slowly mends itself over the coming year.
Also I think that being active does, as many have mentioned, help increase the blood flow to wounds, helping them heal faster.
I could be wrong. But this is how it apprears to me today.