4 Tips for Coming Back Better Than Ever from a Sports Hernia
Unless you’re one of the fortunate few who are quickly diagnosed with a sports hernia and undergo sports hernia surgery to repair it soon after, it’s probably been a while since you felt 100%. Much less been able to give your sport or activity “your all.” If you’re like many sports hernia patients we treat, your injury was considered a groin pull and you’ve spent a lot of time on the sidelines waiting. Waiting for the pain to subside only to have it recur with a vengeance once you resume activity again.
In a sense, it can feel like you’ve wasted valuable time taking it easy, only to have to start your recovery all over again post surgery. Disappointment. Frustration. These emotions can take an emotional toll, but remember, the vast majority of sports hernia patients are able to return to their normal activities and competitive sports after a complete recovery.
Here are four tips for recovering from sports hernia surgery:
- Don’t ignore pain in the groin area. Over doing it is one thing, and that pain eventually goes away. Your physician should immediately check out any pain that increases or doesn’t respond to rest. The sooner you’re diagnosed the sooner treatment can be start and the sooner recovery can begin. From a sports hernia specialist’s perspective, the phrase “no pain, no gain” should be changed to “no soreness…” Pain is an indication of injury, not a badge of honor for pushing yourself too far.
- Carefully review the events surrounding the time of injury to avoid history repeating itself. If you have a clear understanding of the circumstances under which the sport hernia occurred, you can take measures to avoid the same happening again in the future. Make sure you and/or your physical therapist or trainer is aware of the events so you can work to strengthen that area or retrain your body to move differently than what caused the sports hernia.
- Speaking of physical therapists and trainers, post sports hernia surgery is an excellent time to work with one if you don’t already. The fact of the matter is that your body has suffered a serious injury. While you may have been your own best trainer pre-injury, you’re used to “training” a body in peak shape, or close to it. Recovery and getting back in the game will go much more smoothly with the guidance and support of a specialist. This specialist could also point out any old habits that could lead to re-injury.
- Continue eating and hydrating as you would when you’re training or in season. Doing so is more important now than ever since you’re not able to be as active. Recovery isn’t the time to slide on nutrients and if you haven’t done so already, consider including supplements like chondroitin.
Most likely, you’ll be cleared to resume activity within a few weeks after your sports hernia surgery. Start slow and build from there. Don’t push yourself too hard. Focus on rebuilding your strength, and endurance will follow. Pay particular attention to your core. A strong core will go a long way toward preventing re-injury in the future. Even if you feel 100%, continue in rehab mode until you receive the all clear. With proper care and post surgery rehabilitation, it can happen quickly.