Thursday, August 25, 2011

Off season slump, still not recovered

My abdominal pain persists when attempting to jog or do abdominal exercises. The symptoms seem to indicate a "sports hernia" - the medical term: athletic pubalgia. According to info I've read, the injury may result from an imbalance in strength between the core and lower leg muscles. It is not detectable as a lump or breach in the abdominal wall - like a traditional hernia. My physician cleared me of a hernia early in Aug. Since then, I continue to have pain, not severe or acute, just annoying.

Everything I've read about sports hernia seems to point to my symptoms:
  • the pubis (pubic tubercle) being the main site of muscle/tendon disruption
  • pain at the insertion of the conjoined tendon at the pubic tubercle with mild exercise
  • pain is deep, not accute, and hard to pin-point the exact location
  • pain migrates to different locations in the area
The pain is most obvious when doing a left lunge and seems to be not in the adductor, like a classic groin injury, but just above the pubic bone in the lower abdominal. It seems to be more on the left side.

I contacted and made an appointment with Dr. Jeff Hoadley, the regional expert in this injury. I'll be evaluated next week. His treatment protocol calls for 6 weeks of physical therapy and if that does work, possible surgery - which I am not too keen on. I recall the story of Bill Collins severely rupturing his hamstring, (so severe that a 'pop' was actually audible according to his book). Collins was told by 2 physicians he would never run again, in any fashion let alone sprint or race, and that he would need surgery to repair his tear. He refused surgery and rehabbed the injury himself in 2 years. He went on to set world masters sprint records after the devastating injury.

So, I need a plan for rehabbing this injury. I do miss running but I need to remember, I never started really training last year until January and had a decent first season. So, if I must delay training until Nov., so be it. There's a lot of info on rehab out there.

Whatever I do, cross training needs to begin soon as I am getting fat eating the 'forbidden foods' ... including desserts. I'm nearing 150 lbs and I have definitely added a small layer of fat on my middle.

The surgical option to a sports hernia is not somewhere I want to go. As strength coach Mike Boyle put it:
Surgery should be the last resort. ... some therapists theorize that the forced lay-off and attention to rehab post-surgery rather than pre-surgery is what actually helps. If athletes were willing to take time off and listen to the trainers and therapists, innumerable surgeries could be avoided. I have seen at least three professional athletes who were scheduled for surgery avoid it by committing to a proper rehab program of exercises and soft tissue work.
This article on sports hernia prevention and rehab is the best and most complete I can find. It contains so many exercises I've never heard of. I need to get a slide board. With this info, I wonder why I am going to the Dr. since I'm pretty against surgery. I also got a response from a Nashville Dr. Rummo, who is the team physician for the Nashville Predators NHL team. He also has offered to evaluate me. I may see him for a second opinion.

1 comment:

  1. Hello,

    I may or may not be of some use to you as a resource about sports hernia's/athletic pubalgia/gilmores groin or whatever you want to call it. I used to have it, and now don't, but even now I'm not too sure how that happened. It seems to be becoming a very common injury as Tyson Gay has had a lot of problems with it, and Asafa Powell just pulled out of the world champs this year due to a recurrent groin injury which probably has some links to the sports hernia issue in some way. Anyway, yes maybe I can give you some possible direction. You can e-mail me if you want to shoot me some questions: