I recently had someone ask me how come Michelle Kwan had to withdrawal from the Olympics because of a groin injury, but she is on “Dancing With The Stars” with no apparent affects?
The groin injury that caused the withdrawal of Michelle Kwan from the Olympics in 06’ is also a very common injury for amateur athletes and everyday Americans. The best way to prevent the injury is also the best way to get back on your feet after the injury, a properly established exercise program.
A groin injury is a strain to the soft tissue in the inguinal region. The inguinal region is identified as the depression between your thigh and trunk. Groin injuries can be caused by unfamiliar or excessive forces being place upon it or by overuse, which weakens tissues.
One key factor to preventing a groin injury is proper training techniques. Often an athlete or trainer can overlook training the muscles of the pelvic region from multiple angles. In sports it is easy for an athlete to get their hips and/or back into an awkward position. Although this position may only last a split second, it can place a great deal of unfamiliar stress on the groin. If an athlete trains through a variety of angles, a muscle is better able to handle unfamiliar stress.
The advanced training techniques used by top trainers can reduce the occurrence of all injuries, but it is a double-edged sword. Aggressive or improper training techniques in addition to the sporting activity itself can lead to over-training, which can breakdown tissue and lead to injury. It’s a balancing act that an experienced trainer can handle, but as seen with Kwan, even the elite athlete is not immune to injury.
Another aspect of injury prevention is proper warm-up and stretching. This aspect of injury prevention is more often overlooked in recreational athletes, as the more experience athletes have often learned the “hard way” of the importance of these preventative measures.
The time invested in a well-established program of warm-ups, stretches and exercises is well worth it considering a typical groin injury can last weeks, or even months if it gets repeatedly aggravated by continued activity. The pain from the injury can easily hinder an athlete’s performance to the point where they miss the season, or in Kwan’s case, miss what is possibly the last chance to pursue Olympic gold.