The inguinal ligament supports the area around the groin and thereby prevents an inguinal hernia from forming. In this following FitnessVigil article, we will jot down some exercises that can be undertaken to prevent the hernia from coming forth, as well as for treatment of the same.
Do not carry forth any of these exercises with force. Do them as cautiously as possible to avoid further injury.
The groin area is a very sensitive area and any injury to the same can cause not only severe and chronic pain and discomfort, but it can also interfere with the smooth functioning of the muscles in that area―thereby thwarting the mobility and action. The inguinal ligament (white band of fibrous, elastic tissue) is the main ligament that is responsible for supporting the area around the groin and keeping it safe. Its main function is that of preventing the onset of an inguinal hernia or the protrusion of certain portions of the intestine into the muscles of the groin.
An inguinal hernia comes about when a portion of the intestines spills out of its normal place and falls into the groin area. This can happen if there has been an injury to the inguinal ligament. While a surgery is often recommended for correcting the hernia, certain inguinal ligament exercises have to be brought into order as a part of the treatment as well. These help in strengthening the ligaments so that a relapse of this form can be prevented.
Range of Specific Exercises
In the following section, we will look through some of the exercises for inguinal ligament injury that can be carried out and comfort brought in thus.
1. Knee Stretch
- Lie on your back, place your hands on either side and let your head rest comfortably on the floor.
- Bend your knees at a 90º angle so that the soles of your feet are firmly placed on the ground.
- While the knee caps are touching each other, start taking the right knee to the ground and stop about 30 inches from the ground. Make sure that the left knee is upright.
- Hold for a count of 5 and bring back to the center position.
- Repeat the same procedure on the opposite foot and do 16 repetitions on both sides.
2. Hamstring Stretch
- Lie on your back and place your head on the floor.
- Extend both legs straight in front of you.
- Take an elastic band and take it around the sole of the left foot.
- Next, lift the leg straight up in the air at a 90º angle while holding onto the band.
- You’ll feel a stretch in the thighs and a slight stretch in the pelvic region.
- Hold for a count of 5 and then bring your foot back down.
- Then repeat the same on the other leg and do 10 stretches on each leg.
3. Pillow Squeeze
- Lie on your back (if you want, on an exercise mat) and place your hands on the sides. Your head should comfortably rest on the ground.
- Bend your legs at the knees so that the soles of your feet are firmly placed on the ground.
- Take a soft pillow and place it between your knees.
- Next, squeeze the pillow and hold the position for 5 seconds.
- Release, rest for 3 seconds, and squeeze the pillow again.
- Repeat 10 times.
4. Hip Rolls
- Lie on your back and bend your knees at a 90º angle, placing your soles flat on the ground.
- Extend your arms on the sides. This is your neutral position.
- Bend your hip to the right side as much as you can, such that your knees are touching the ground (as shown in the image above).
- Hold for 5 counts, then come back to the neutral position and do the same on the other side.
- Repeat 10 times on both sides.
5. Step Ups
- To begin, stand in front of a sturdy platform that is 2 – 3 feet high―something like aerobic steps or a bench.
- You can use dumbbells in each hand for an added stretch.
- Step on top of the platform with your right foot and push yourself up.
- Make sure that you do not hunch your shoulders or spine when you move.
- Once you’re up, extend your left foot behind you and let it hang (as shown in the image).
- Hold this position for 3 – 4 seconds.
- Return to the starting position and repeat 8 – 10 times. Do 3 sets.
- Repeat the same routine on the other leg as well.
Inguinal Ligament Workout
The first rule when carrying through any inguinal ligament exercise is to keep in mind that there should be no strain put on the groin region or the injury, lest the hernia worsens. This automatically translates into preventing any action that involves putting pressure on the area by lifting heavy weights, or bending way too much. However, the following exercises can be carried through with ease.
Walking is one of the most ideal exercises that can be started out on. It does not put any strain or pressure on the system and yet works to strengthening the body and muscles. Walking goes a long way in increasing the heart rate and burning off extra calories and fat. This then helps in getting the pressure off the system and strengthening the entire abdominal and pelvic region. For maximum effect, walk at a steady pace for at least 45 minutes and concentrate on maintaining a steady and brisk pace.
Swimming is another very effective cardiovascular exercise. The water provides for a medium that minimizes the impact of external forces on the inguinal ligament injury as well as leads to the strengthening of the entire body structure and thereby the ligaments as well.
Static cycling is done by using a machine which has a chair placed on a cycle and is used to carry forth a low intensity workout. If this equipment is not available, then air cycling (lying on the back with the knees bent at 90 degrees and carrying through the cycling action) can also be done. This exercise directly focuses on strengthening the pelvic region.
These are fairly simple exercises which can be carried out and will aid the treatment and recovery, as well as prevent the onset of other symptoms of inguinal ligament tear and injury. However, given the severity of the condition, which will change from one patient to the other, it is always recommended that one consult a doctor before carrying forth these exercises.
Disclaimer: This article is for informative purposes only. Always consult a physician before starting any physical fitness program in order to reduce the risk of injury.