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Icy conditions may cause groin pain

The two circles at the bottom are the obturato...
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Groin pain may often come on suddenly after slipping, stepping off the second to last step when you thought it was the last step, or stepping in a hole.  In addition to pain, symptoms often include increased pain with transitional movements such as moving from sit to stand, lifting your leg to put on your pants, getting in and out of the car, or going up and down stairs.

The inguinal ligament, the ligament of the groin, runs from the front of the hip bone to the side of the pubic bone.  It usually is not happy when the orientation of these two points are altered.  It is fairly easy to have an anterior or posterior hip rotation in the winter as we are all slipping on the ice.  If you slip and your leg goes forward or back with some force, this can cause the hip bone to move out of position causing a posterior or anterior rotation.  This causes the inguinal ligament to be stretched, or loosened, which it doesn’t like.  Many times these hip rotations will reduce on their own as we walk around, but if they don’t they are easily treated.

After slipping on the ice many of us end up falling.  Ouch!!  This can cause a hip rotation and/or tail bone dysfunction.  The hip rotation is easily treated with muscle energy technique.  I place the hip in the correct position then ask the patient for a small muscle contraction in the opposite direction, then relaxation to take up the slack from the muscle relaxation.  We repeat this process 3 times and usually all is well.  This treatment usually doesn’t have to be repeated.  The tail bone is treated like many other joints of the body.  I place my finger under the tail bone as the patient is sitting, then move it front to back and side to side looking for restrictions.  Restrictions are released as I hold the tail bone in the restricted position.

If you have any problems with the ice that result in groin, buttock or low back pain, you may want to visit your favorite Physical Therapist or massage therapist.

Mary Boyd, MS, PT is a member of the Sandpoint Wellness Council and owner of Mountain View Physical Therapy.  She can be reached for questions at 290-5575 or on the web at www.MtnViewPT.com.

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