If running has you suffering from groin pain, maybe you’ll be able to take comfort in the fact that it’s a fairly common problem for runners. Groin pain and running can go hand in hand if precautions aren’t taken.
What Is Groin Pain?
Groin pain is often felt on the inner thigh, the groin, or the lower abdomen, and it can cripple a runner’s goals. No matter what training goals you have planned, groin pain almost certainly means you’ll have to take a few days off from running.
If you have groin pain, you might also feel pain with increased activity like speed work or directional changes -- if you’re able to do any exercise at all. Even things like coughing or sneezing can trigger a sharp pain.
Overuse and Other Causes
Like many running injuries, overuse is one of the biggest reasons runners are stricken with groin pain.
As runners, many of us like to test our limits, and we don’t always like to do it on the timeline we should. Sometimes we are running with a new partner, and we want to keep the same pace with them. Perhaps, we are trying to compete in a race which we haven’t adequately trained for.
No matter what the reason, the results are the same. We’re setting ourselves up for injuries if we don’t carefully stick to some basic training principles, such as not increasing our weekly mileage by more than 10 percent of the preceding week.
Groin pain also can have many other causes besides overuse. It can be caused by injuries such as strains, tendonitis, and even stress fractures or problems with the hip joint.
There can be so many reasons for groin pain, and diagnosing it isn’t always easy.
Don’t forget to Stretch
We get it -- when you’re done with a run, sometimes you just feel like skipping your stretching or foam rolling exercises. You just want to hop in the shower. But stretching, both before and after a run, does more than you might think it does.
It helps work out the tight muscles in your body that running can cause. In turn, that can help prevent groin pain. And before you go on a run, you should do some quick dynamic stretching exercises to warm up your muscles and prepare them for the upcoming activity.
Add Some Strengthening Exercises
If you’ve consulted a doctor about your groin pain, ask him which exercises would be appropriate to help strengthen your groin muscles so you can hopefully avoid this problem down the road.
Whether you do hip flexor exercises or side lunges to strengthen your muscles, a few minutes of exercises like these a few times a week can work wonders over time.
Take a Break
If you’ve experienced groin pain, you may want to go to a doctor to see what grade he gives your pain. This can help you decide if you need to take days off, or potentially weeks off.
But no matter what grade your pain level is, you’ll need to take it easy for at least a little while. In the meantime, you could use your downtown to come up with a workable plan to try to prevent this problem from happening to you again.