How to treat a years-old training injury?

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    How to treat a years-old training injury?

    Hi Darebees,

    Seven years ago, I injured myself in a martial arts class. The details now are fuzzy, but I was trying to kick too high or push the splits too hard or both, and wound up with burning pain in what appear--on the muscle map--to be my adductors(?) (i.e. uppermost insides of my legs).

    I ignored the injury at the time with the result that, today, I have greatly reduced flexibility. I used to be able to get very close to doing the splits. Now, I get about halfway down before my legs simply stop and any attempts to go further results in hints of burning pain similar to the original injury.

    Does anyone have any advice for what might help here? My wife suggests trying to find a practitioner of Active Release Techniques (ART). I am considering giving ART a try, but I would like to ask the hive as well. Is ART the way to go here? Are there other things I could do for this poorly-handled injury?

    Thank you for any advice you might have.

    dontmindlosing I am really sorry to hear that and I sympathize having suffered once a serious left adductor tear that took a year of rehabilitation to heal. Adductors are tendons and tendons left to their own devices after injury do not get any better unless they are rehabilitated. Unlike muscles they have few capillaries and limited self-healing power. Scar tissue formed by the injury will now impact on the mobility of the tendon so it is inadvisable to try and stretch it the way you would a normal, healthy tendon (your body is telling you that already with the pain signals). So what to do? ART may be the answer but there are zero credible studies that can attest to its ability to help so I suggest you go there only if nothing else works first.

    You will need to sit down on the floor, legs as far apart as you can get them, body upright and start bringing your legs together with your partner applying some resistance on your feet to make the movement harder but not stopping you. This allows the tendons to begin to work under load which starts to normalize the scar tissue. This is a chronic injury now so no telling how effective this will be. Add a little stretching to the point that is comfortable on top of this and do the exercise two-three times a day (between five and ten reps each time) and it might just do the trick. I hope this helps.


      Thank you for this advice, Damer. :sensei: I will give the exercise and stretching you suggest a try for some time and see how that goes.

      If I do eventually try the ART, I will be sure to report the outcome.

      Thank you again.


        dontmindlosing keep us posted and good luck with this.


          A quick update on this. It has been almost three months. I've been working on my adductors as you have suggested above, and it seems to me that I am experiencing small amounts of improvement.

          First of all, I no longer get the burning sensation or even hints of it when I try to do side splits. I still can't come close to getting all of the way down, but I can hold the side splits position with my hands on my waist rather than on the floor to support me, and it doesn't feel like a threat to my adductors.

          Also, I seem to be gaining a bit of flexibility back. My kicks are slowly making their way higher and higher, again without any burning sensation at all. In a recent workout, I was managing side kicks at about neck height with no discomfort!

          I think that I am making some progress here, so I think I will continue to carry on as you have suggested. Thank you, Damer !


            dontmindlosing it's all down to you, after all you're putting in the work Awesome to see you improve!


              Wow. I can't believe I created this post 3 years ago. Just wanted to give another update, because the info may be of interest. I had been continuing to make small improvements with the groin injury, bit by bit increasing my flexibility, bit by bit reducing the burning sensation from careful side leg raises and kicks and splits.

              Then, just over a year ago, my son and I started taking Taekwondo together. At first, my legs were pretty good from the exercises I had done. Eventually though, when being asked to do certain kicks higher, faster, harder, I re-pulled the pulled groin muscle and started experiencing the burning pain intensely all over again. I lost all the progress I had made, and I had to be very careful when doing any kick above the waist for fear of that burning pain.

              So, I figured I had nothing to lose and I would try ART. I went to see a guy close to where I live. He did a session of intense massage in the groin injury, apparently to break down the scar tissue that was making the area inflexible and prone to burning discomfort. After the first treatment, the difference was dramatic. There was tons less discomfort when I kicked. And after three ART sessions over two weeks, it is almost as if I never got injured 10 years ago. I am able to kick higher, faster, harder than I have in a decade. There is no more burning at all. There is just the slightest amount of pulling once my kick reaches about my head height. The ART was done in November 2018. Now, 4 months later, I continue to feel confident with my kicks.

              There may not be any good studies supporting ART, but it undoubtedly helped me a lot in this case.


                dontmindlosing the key here is it worked for you and you're able to do what you want! I think that's awesome. Well done!


                  Taekwon, Damer!