T Nation

Injured Again - Hip Flexor (?)

I haven’t posted here in quite some time. I have been a runner since 2001 and have done four marathons, including Boston. I started lifting weights in 2002 and continue to do so.

Last year I went through a series of injuries that kept me from running or lifting weights for some time. The last injury in that sequence was an inguinal hernia that required surgery in November 2005. Upon receiving the okay to run, I cautiously tried it out.

I had some groin and quadriceps pain and saw my surgeon several times for follow-ups. After some physical therapy in May, the pain vanished. I began slowly increasing mileage and finally added weight training. Things were going well, and three weeks ago, I topped 30 miles in a week for the first time in 18 months.

Two and a half weeks ago, I noticed a pain deep in my groin. Since then, the pain has come and gone (my running slowed and then stopped along the way). It is worst when I wake up, late at night, and when I train.

Stretching seems to do no good, and icing helps, but minimally. The pain migrates from deep in the groin to the site of my incision along the top of my pelvis.
My self-diagnosis is a hip flexor strain. I have been checked to make sure it’s not a recurrence of the hernia.

I switched jobs recently and don’t have insurance coverage to go back to a doctor for another month, so I’m trying to decide how to proceed.

I have been resting it, but I feel I should probably try to do some strengthening exercises for the hip flexor as well. Additionally, I’d like to do some upper body training so long as it won’t hurt the hip flexor. I’ve also considered hitting the pool as an alternative to running for the next few weeks.

A few questions: does my self-diagnosis seem logical/feasible? If so, what can/can’t I do? Will swimming hurt or help? Any direction on strengthening exercises for the hip flexor? Would/will ART be of any help to me?

I know, I know, I need to stop running marathons. I’ll take it into consideration, but in the meantime, I need to heal.
As I said, I can’t go to a doctor until October 1, and I’d like to try to solve this before then. Help is appreciated.