View Full Version : Anyone got any advice re: "groin pull"?

David Wood
01-07-2003, 08:05 PM
Hello all:

Anyone have any particular advice for re-habbing / dealing with / working out around a moderate level strain in the groin?

The genesis: went snowboarding with my 11-year-old (my first time on a board, I'm 47), was having a great time, generally beating her down the mountain (been skiing for 20 years).

But . . . when you're getting off the lift you have your lead foot still in the binding and your rear foot out of the binding. You're supposed to just plant the rear foot on the board just ahead of the rear binding and gently coast down off the lift out of the way.

Unfortunately, I managed to plant the rear foot just OFF the board, firmly planting it several inches down into the soft snow (making it impossible to extract quickly). Meanwhile, the board (with my lead foot still firmly attached) was blissfully following its destiny, sliding forward down the slope that clears the exit area for the chairlift . . . but my rear foot wasn't budging.

The resulting forced split (mostly a side split) was NOT fun. It wasn't even all *that* deep . . . I pitched forward hard to take the pressure off, but too little, too late to completely avoid damage.

(This was all about 6 days ago by now).

The result has left me with some truly spectacular purple and vaguely green/brown discoloration in the groin and down the right leg (which was the planted rear foot). I presume the colors down the leg are from blood pooling down there, since the technicolor show goes almost down to the knee, but there's no pain outside the immediate groin area.

But . . . there's still some moderate pain in that area.

I tried a workout (not the WOD, alas) yesterday (4 days post injury). Lots and lots of bodyweight squats done slowly (not really doing them fast enough to call it a Tabata) . . . seems to be ok).

Chins . . . fine
Dips . . . fine

Overhead presses . . . well, not so fine.
Tried a sumo-style loaded deadlift . . . NOT.

Anybody got any particular advice? I've already done RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression (well, not really) and Elevation (again, not really . . . this is the groin, not the easiest part of the body to elevate).

600 mg ibuprofen twice a day helps the pain . . .any reason NOT to be doing that?

I've heard some claim that supplemental bromelain (the protein-digesting enzyme derived from pineapple) taken AWAY from meals will be absorbed through the gut and help the body "digest" the pooled blood and reduce swelling. . . sounds like hogwash, but it's cheap and unlikely to do any harm . . . anybody ever tried that?

Thanks for any feedback,

warren costa
01-12-2003, 03:37 PM

I heard that there is a homeopathic medicine called Arnica montana that is supposed to be good for helping the body heal. You can get it at your local health food store. I never tried it myself.
The best thing that you can do is to be patient with yourself while your body heals. Try some gentle stretching when the pain goes away. Good luck!

Robert Wolf
01-12-2003, 08:00 PM
Dave- arnica is good stuff. Try Zyflamend instead of the ibuprofen it is by a company called Newchapter...most health food stores should have it. Do passive range of motion only to the point of pain for at least two weeks...be very wary of stretching for a while. if the inflamation is down do alternating hot and cold packs (that is going to be a party!) timing should be about 5min hot and 2-3 min cold...naturally avoid frost bite and scalding!
Good luck

matthew ohl
02-03-2003, 08:01 PM
arnica is great i use it all the time for bruising and strains recieved from trg

David Wood
02-04-2003, 10:25 AM
Hello Matt, Robert:

Yeah, I've used arnica before. I've found that it helps, but is no miracle cure. Actually, I was using it on this problem, but was still really hampered two weeks post-injury. . . . couldn't do hardly anything that involved the legs, even if only as stabilizers.

I eventually began "treating" it pretty aggressively, with a combination of just about everything the health-food store could offer.


Ice for 20 minutes / day. (Didn't do the heat part, Robert . . . like you said, that would have been an interesting party.)

Glutamine powder (1 tsp = approx 5 grams) 3 x / day (very bland, mild taste . . . you can just chew it, or mix it in anything). The theory is that glutamine is supposed to be THE amino acid for muscular tissue repair (don't ask whose theory, or what references, I'm sure there aren't any), so having an abundant supply of it couldn't hurt. Anyway, it's cheap.

Arnica cream 2 x / day . . . but with a kicker:

DMSO . . . this stuff is weird. It's essentially an industrial solvent, with no rational way of helping. But it's been around the health food subculture for a long time as really fabulous stuff for soft-tissue injuries. Essentially, you rub it on (for god's sake, don't eat it). The sooner after the injury, the better (it seems). In my case, I was way behind the curve, not starting with DMSO until 2 weeks post-injury.

But, one aspect of DMSO is the "industrial solvent" bit. It is absorbed quite well by the skin, and tends to carry anything on the skin into the body with it (hence, one should probably wash real well before using). In my case, I deliberately applied it OVER the arnica montana, with the desired intent of carrying it into the body.

I definitely would not want to use DMSO all the time . . . as I said, there is no known mechanism of action by which it ought to help, and lots of reasons to think that it basically just shouldn't be in your body . . . but it does seem to help.

One reason why it's never been satisfactorily tested is that it is difficult to do a double-blind study of its effectiveness . . . because an unfortunate side effect of using it is that your body begins to give off a vaguely unpleasant "funky" smell all the time . . . my wife describes it as "half garlic / half sweat" and not at all pleasant to her refined sense of smell. All of this makes the "double-blind" part hard to do in studies, and also damn near got me banished from the bedroom for a couple of days.

But . . . the net of all this "aggressive" treatment was that I got a hell of a lot better fast, after making no progress for what seemed like forever.

One week of that treatment was enough to get back to squatting. I stopped the DMSO and started gentle stretching. Tried the DL this week (good! (well, for me, anyway)) and ran for the first time since the injury doing todays WOD (boy, now *that* was that unpleasant).

Thanks to all who posted.

Robert Wolf
02-04-2003, 02:28 PM
DMSO is dimethyl sulphoxide...in the body it is metabolized to methyl-sulphanyl-methane (MSM!) which has some interesting antiinflamatory and connective tissue properties. What you outlined is what you find in a professional sports rehab setting. Agressive Tx works!

David Wood
02-04-2003, 04:07 PM
Oh, cool!

I had no idea about the metabolization to MSM! (At least, there's a rationale for its effectiveness. I won't have to use the "we have no idea why it might work" disclaimer anymore.)

I wonder if the direct application (topically local to the injury) makes it even more effective than oral MSM . . .

Thanks, Robb!

matthew ohl
02-04-2003, 10:20 PM
there is a product here in australia called sports cartilage repair it is made by a company called vital strength iam not sure if u can get it over there in the states.

however i found it to be one of the best remedys for soft tissue damage . i am very skeptical when it comes to miracle cures but this stuff really works.

u may be able to find some equivilant over there.

other than that i say rest it and don't try to train to early and risk injuring it again.

just my 2 cents

Ross Burke
02-22-2003, 01:58 AM
David, I know this post is a bit late, but for reference, the new and preferred technology is called 'MICE'....movement, ice, compression, elevation. And that's what you were doing with the modified workouts, not 'RICE' 'cause you were moving.