When Can I Run Again After Hurting My Left Groin?

by Katie
(San Diego, CA, USA)

I pulled my left groin about two months ago (at least I think I pulled it). I run on a regular basis and was training for a half marathon. Two months ago when I started one of my runs my left groin instantly started hurting. I mean it started hurting on the first step I took.

I continued to run through the pain and barely finished my 4 mile run. I let it rest about 5 days and tried running again, the pain came back.

I have been doing this for a while because the pain starts when I'm running and goes away after a few days depending on how hard I push myself. A little more than a month ago I ran in an 8 mile hilly run and made it but with a huge amount of pain.

I finally saw the doctor three weeks ago because it wasn't healing and he told me to do some pilates because my muscle there was tight and to lay off running for a month. The problem is that I can't see the same doctor again because I'm not eligible to be seen there anymore. But when I saw the doctor he noticed that my lymph nodes in my left groin area were swollen and about 2-3 times larger than the ones on my right.

How do I know when i can run again and when the injury is healed? I want to run again soon but I don't want to re injure myself or cause permanent damage.

What would you recommend? Have you ever heard of this type of injury before and what did you do?

Answer by Dominique:

Hi Katie,
Thanks for your running injury question. I have pulled my groin muscles a few times before. This is usually caused due to ignoring my stretching routines (weakening groin muscles) or overuse/overtraining.
This type of injury is solved by taking some rest and strengthening exercises for the groin area.

It seems like what your doctor prescribed is exactly that: rest and pilates.
What I find confusing in your doctor's assessment is that he also mentions swollen lymph nodes, which I didn't know were connected to pulling a muscle. I thought they were more a sign of some kind of infection. Given that some time has passed and you are still battling with this injury, I highly recommend you pay a visit to another doctor, given you cannot go to this guy anymore, and get this assessed once more.

Hope this helps.
Kind regards,

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