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Question
Posted by: Frustrated | 2011/10/17

pulled groin muscle &  exercise

Hi Dr Ross

Can you please advise me regarding exercised that are ''safe'' to do whilst my pulled groin muscle heals? I love running and I learned the hard way that pushing oneself too far can be costly :-( I pulled a groin muscle about a month ago and I still can''t run without discomfort. I don''t know how long it''ll take to hear properly?? Obviously, I''m extremely frustrated because I can''t run and no other cardio exercise satisfies me - nothing like the runners'' high! However, I need to do something to prevent going crazy!! At the moment I''m cycling mostly and that muscle doesn''t feel affected. But cycling is SO BORING!! I''ve considered swimming a bit and bought the gear.. I just haven''t mustered the courage to try it out.

What do you suggest I do, Doc? And how long should I refrain from running? I can walk comfortably, so I do that a bit over the weekend. What can I do to help my muscle heal, if anything?

Thank you :-)

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageFitnessDoc

Hi there

I feel your pain - had a torn muscle for a long time. And the groin muscle is particularly stubborn. Running unfortunately is the one that puts the most strain on the muscle, and so sadly, that will be the last thing you return to.

As you've discovered for yourself, cycling is probably the best, because there's no real loading of that muscle. Have you tried cycling outdoors - it beats indoor cycling, that's for sure, but I think runners find this transition very difficult because they do get bored.

Swimming is good, but you may find it even more boring than cycling, sadly, because really there's only one view.

It might be that you have to get creative and build yourself a little circuit in the gym that gives you say 5 min of cycling, followed by 5 min on the stair machine (this shouldn't hurt as long as you stay on your toes), then 5 min with some weights (do some core exercise - not only will it help your groin heal, it'll also help make you more "injury proof" when you do start running, then come back to 5 min on the bike, maybe 5 min orbitrainer (though this depends on whether you feel any pain doing it).

That's about the extent of what you can do. You kind of have to figure a way to make lemonade, so to speak, so that you set a new goal, maybe to get really strong in the core, or do a bit of upper body work, or something goal-oriented, because gym is really a place where training just to train doesn't work for a lot of people, and you sound like one of them.

and finally, consider seeing a physio, even if it's just once or twice. The initial treatment can knock weeks of the time out, and they can also prescribe a programme that builds the strength up to help you return to sport sooner.

Ross

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Our users say:
Posted by: fitnessdoc | 2011/10/30

Hi there

I feel your pain - had a torn muscle for a long time. And the groin muscle is particularly stubborn. Running unfortunately is the one that puts the most strain on the muscle, and so sadly, that will be the last thing you return to.

As you've discovered for yourself, cycling is probably the best, because there's no real loading of that muscle. Have you tried cycling outdoors - it beats indoor cycling, that's for sure, but I think runners find this transition very difficult because they do get bored.

Swimming is good, but you may find it even more boring than cycling, sadly, because really there's only one view.

It might be that you have to get creative and build yourself a little circuit in the gym that gives you say 5 min of cycling, followed by 5 min on the stair machine (this shouldn't hurt as long as you stay on your toes), then 5 min with some weights (do some core exercise - not only will it help your groin heal, it'll also help make you more "injury proof" when you do start running, then come back to 5 min on the bike, maybe 5 min orbitrainer (though this depends on whether you feel any pain doing it).

That's about the extent of what you can do. You kind of have to figure a way to make lemonade, so to speak, so that you set a new goal, maybe to get really strong in the core, or do a bit of upper body work, or something goal-oriented, because gym is really a place where training just to train doesn't work for a lot of people, and you sound like one of them.

and finally, consider seeing a physio, even if it's just once or twice. The initial treatment can knock weeks of the time out, and they can also prescribe a programme that builds the strength up to help you return to sport sooner.

Ross

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