I think i may have tweaked something in my lower abdominals during a max front-squat attempt just over a week ago. The pain is located the lower left area of the abdominals just above the hip and didn't surface until the day after, which led me to believe it was just DOMS.
Now, the pain was still present when I attempted a light turkish getup over a week later. It also hurts if I do any sort of extended ROM situp. From poking around the area and comparing it to the opposite side, there doesn't appear to be any discernable protrusions, although my understanding is that you can have a hernia without a noticeable protrusion.
Does anyone have any ideas whether this is a hernia, a strain or something completely different? With that in mind, what sort of rehab action might be appropriate or what sort of medical professional should I seek out to have it looked at? I'll probably head to a doc in any case but it'd be useful to have some info from folks from fitness circles.
Probably a hip flexor strain.
Any of the more upright torso positions (front squat compared to back squat and such) put more stress on the hip flexors than normal.
Light stretching + heat should help it improve. Don't do anything that harms it further.
It could be a hip flexor strain but you are correct that it could be a hernia as the area of the pain is consistent with the area for an indirect inguinial hernia.
I had one last year and i went to my GP who ordered an ultrasound. There was no protrusion but the ultrasound picked it up straight away.
If it's a hernia then the rehab is to have keyhole surgery where they shove a wad of plastic mesh in your abs. The good news is that once it's fixed recovery is only a few weeks and the area is stronger than before and you can get back to full training.
The bad news is a week of lying on the couch in the fetal position and not being able to drive etc plus a few weeks where full extension of the torso causes you pain as the scar tissue stretches out.
Bottom line, get it checked out properly and then you'll know what needs to be done.
Good luck, hopefully it's not a hernia
Don, I think I liked Steve's answer better as it won't involve having my insides shoved around :p! It's almost definitely an abdominal issue though. I'm seeing a doc about it later in the week. I'm still hoping it's a mild strain of some sort but it's best to get the issue cleared up.
I did some stretching over the last few days (I usually do the samson stretch as part of my warmup) and the hip flexors don't seem to be making much of a fuss about it. I also tried to tense them in isolation whilst leaving the abs slack through as much rom as possible and still nothing. Doing any sort of situp anchored or otherwise seems to aggravate the area but it's not awful and it has eased somewhat. What's bothering me is the length of time it's been hanging around.
To be a little more precise, the pain is a little bit above the inguinal ligament (I'll see if I can photoshop something indicating this).
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