Mar 2014 22

Groin strain

By: Dave Wheeler

What causes a groin strain?

Groin strains are one of the most common injuries in sports like football, hockey and netball where there’s a lot of running, changing direction or jumping. Some people with a particular postural type are more prone to groin strains than others.

These muscles can easily become tight, and when one of these muscles stretches suddenly beyond the range it can cope with it tears, and is called a groin strain.

A typical offender for causing groin strain is the “open-gate, close-gate” that you see footballers and runners do. It’s a great stretch once you’ve warmed up, but doing it on cold muscles is kind of asking for trouble.

Warming up thoroughly is one of the best ways to avoid a groin strain.

The symptoms of a groin strain

A groin strain can be recognised by any of the following:

  • tenderness or pain in the inside of the thigh or groin area

  • tenderness or pain when you bring your legs together

  • pain when you raise your knee

Strains are graded from mild (grade 1) where there might be some pain, but no significant loss of movement, through moderate  (grade 2) where there will be pain and damage to the muscle which may affect movement, through to severe (grade 3) which is a complete rupture of the muscle accompanied by severe.

For more information on strains, have a look at this previous blog post.

What is a groin strain?

A groin strain is actually a strain in your adductor muscles which run from your pubic bone all the way down your thigh to the inside of your knee. So any pain down your inner thigh might be a groin strain, even though it’s nowhere near your groin.


What do the adductors do?

The 5 adductors muscles are used to pull the leg back towards the midline of the body.

When walking or running, they keep the leg from swinging outwards, and so help you keep your balance.

Treatment for a groin strain

During the first 48 hours of a muscle tear, the treatment for any strain is:

  • rest
  • ice
  • compression
  • elevation

Then get yourself along to a good remedial massage therapist. A combination of deep tissue and remedial techniques will help get you on the road to recovery. A few treatments should see you well on your way.

Your therapist will give you some exercises to do and will help you to stretch out your adductors to avoid re-injury.

If you think I can help, give me a call.