Chronic Groin/back injury


I'm sorry about the length of the post but I want to explain everything that has happened with my injury to see if anyone can offer advice or has had similar issues.

I was quite an active person playing football and running 4+ times a week. After training one week my right groin felt tight as if it needed stretching. The sensation was quite high, probably an inch or so below the pubic bone. By the next day the pain would be gone, but the next time I played or ran, after I cooled down the sensation would be back!

This went on for weeks but I carried on playing as I'm quite injury prone and (maybe stupidly) thought if I rest for every little niggle I'll never exercise again! After a few weeks the sensation turned into pain, but still it would be gone by the next morning.

A few weeks after this and one time in football training I broke down completely. My leg wouldn't function from the pain, and I was limping everywhere.  This pain didn't go the next day.

I rested for a month and the pain went, but as soon as I returned to training, I made one lateral movement and broke down again.

I went to a physio who thought I had tight psoas, underactive glutes and also a sportsmans hernia.  The hernia was confirmed and I had a sucessful operation.  I went back to physio when I was well enough and worked on strengthening my core, but an underlying pain in my groin remained. The physio referred me to my doctor to get an MRI scan on my groin so he could give me a steroid injection if needed.

My doctor referred me to an NHS physio who disagreed that I needed an MRI and instead instructed me to do more core work! Unsurprisingly this had no effect.  By this point I began feeling pain inside my right glute and on my iliac crest, also sometimes in my lower right side of my back. So much so that I struggle to walk for more than 10 minutes without pain, sometimes I lose function in my leg altogether with glute, crest and groin pain.

So eventually the physio sent me for an MRI, but not on my groin as he felt it was my lower back was the problem.  The scan showed more wear and tear than someone my age should have, but nothing abnormal.  So he referred me to pain management.

Pain management believed I was getting referred pain from my lumbar spine, and I ended up having facet joint injections to numb the nerves.  This made the pain slightly more bearable, but I still got pain.  After it was unsuccessful that Doctor has referred me back to my GP, non the better for my experiences.

It's difficult to pinpoint where the pain in my groin is. The only place I can describe is an inch or so below my pubic bone, on the medial side of my right leg but inside, not on the surface.  I also get the pain if I lift my knee up to 90 degrees and rotate my foot outwards (anticlockwise with my right foot).  This is the main time I can feel a noticeable difference between my left and right sides.

Apologies again for the long post, but a lot has happened, and I wanted to write it all down in the hope someone could give advice.  I'm 27 years old supposed to be in the prime of my life, but instead feel helpless!!

Thanks for reading.




  • I have exactly the same issue! 

    I trained for a half in October, completed it (it was a lot hillier than I expected) I rested for 3 days then thought I would start hill training to prepare for my next one... after 2 sessions I collapsed from pain in my groin, right hand side just below my pubic bone. Went to a physio who said it was my lower back - she worked on it, I couldn't walk then let alone run! Went to a sports physio who said I had a trapped nerve running from my ankle to my groin. He worked on this - again agony - I have now rested it for 2 months - just started back running this week, have done 2 x 5km and feeling ok, although my lower back aches... will persevere but really interested to find out what else I can do.... Pilates has also been suggested. 

  • PipesPipes ✭✭✭

    Sorry to hear of your groin/hip/ back/ back trouble.  Is there any chance of you pushing the GP for an MRI (with dye injection, perhaps) on your affected side?  I had hip trouble for over 2 years and it also gave me back/ glute pain.  My condition was diagnosed as femoroacetabular impingement with a tear in the labrum.  Your injury may not be anything like this, but your description of the 90 degree/ twist thing sounds like one of the tests they did on me.  My problem was misdiagnosed by a number of different medical experts, but they did take me seriously and put me on the waiting list for an MRI very quickly. 

    I hope you find out what's wrong soon and get some help to return to pain-free exercise.  

  • Thanks for the replies guys, I'm sorry it's taken a while to reply, but was waiting for my next test. Pipes, I've had a hip arthrogram, and had my results today. The arthrogram and MRI has come up negative. The doctor said they can't see anything wrong with my hip, so I'm back to square one. When I read the symptoms of a femoroacetabular impingement, it seemed to describe my feelings down to a tee! Could it be possible to have FAI without a tear or showing anything on my MRI? The first physio I saw 2 years ago said she believed I had tight hip flexor a and underactive glutes that this was pulling the femoral head out of the centre of the joint, and this was causing the groin pain due to it pinching. Is this similar to FAI?
  • Big_GBig_G ✭✭✭

    Hilton, sorry to hear of your woes.  Please note that I am not a doctor, but I just wanted to say that I have got FAI and it was obvious from a normal x-ray.  I don't know if I have it mild or what, but it doesn't stop me running and I haven't been operated on for it (the doctor advised against operating on it, which was fine by me!).  I had other issues with my back which were fixed by physio/core strengthening and the FAI was noticed as part of that diagnosis.

  • symptoms, symptoms, symptoms - you care, but they need to be respectfully ignored and the cause of the symptoms established.

    Poor gluts, overactive psoas, FAI - who cares (sorry!), you certainly don't just wake up with it one day.

    Betcha no one has even mentioned your tight thoracic spine being a cause of the above......

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