A strained groin is when any of the abductor muscles in the thigh become injured or torn. These muscles are on the inner side of the thigh. Abrupt movements are usually the cause of a strained groin, like kicking or quickly pivoting to change directions while running, which is why athletes are the people most at risk for the injury. Groin strains usually aren’t too serious. However, a severe strain can make for a lengthy recovery.
The symptoms of a strained groin can vary depending on the extent of the injury. More mild symptoms may include pain in the inner thigh, a loss of strength in the upper leg, swelling, and bruising. More severe symptoms could be difficulty walking or running without pain and a snapping or cracking sound at the moment of the injury.
Groin strains are most common in athletes, both professional and recreational. It can occur from kicking a ball, turning quickly while running, or jumping. Groin strain can occur during any movement that causes your muscles to lengthen and contract at the same time. Although sports are the most common cause, a groin strain could also occur from falling, lifting heavy items, or other types of exercise.
To make a diagnosis, your doctor will ask you what happened and what circumstances indicate your groin is strained. They will ask you about a specific event that caused your injury, your symptoms, and if you have ever experienced any groin injuries in the past. Your doctor will also ask you to help them identify the precise location of your injury and then evaluate the severity of the strain.
Directly after you suspect you have a groin strain, it is vital to stop any physical activity and seek treatment. During the first few days of treatment, you will want to follow R.I.C.E, which is the typical protocol following any muscle injury. R.I.C.E stands for rest, ice, compression, and elevation. You can also utilize over-the-counter medications to relieve pain. Then, depending on how severe your strain is, you may need physical therapy to make a full recovery in a timely manner. Your physical therapist will put together a plan catered to your situation, educate you on how to move while injured, and teach you exercises and stretches for recovery. In some instances, if your strain is exceptionally severe, surgery is needed to repair the torn fibers. Following surgery, you will still need to attend physical therapy to recover appropriately.