A groin strain is an injury to the groin—where the body where the abdomen meets the leg and the inner thigh muscles attach to the pubic bone.
Typically, groin strains occur in the muscles of the upper inner thigh near the pubic bone (refer to picture) or in the front of the hip.
This injury tends to be more common in athletes (due to nature of sports) and men; however, certain activities can increase the risk for anyone to experience a groin strain - groin strains can occur during sprinting or any type of activity requiring forceful movement of the leg, such as
Groin strains account for 10% of all hockey injuries and 5% of all soccer injuries.
Our senior physiotherapists treat groin strains by
A groin strain refers to an overstretch or tearing injury to the muscles of the inner thigh or front of the hip. Groin strains makes it difficult and painful to
Groin strains can occur from overuse of the muscles, or from a sudden contraction of the muscles.
Groin muscle injuries happens when the muscles are either too forcefully contracted or too forcefully overstretched and they are classified/graded according to the amount of muscle damage that occurs:
When groin muscles are strained or torn, muscle fibers and other cells are disrupted.
Bleeding can occur, which causes bruising. Within a few minutes to a few hours after the injury, swelling can occur, causing the injured area to expand and feel tight and stiff.
Although groin strains most often occur in athletic activities such as
they also can occur during everyday activities, such as lifting heavy items or slipping while walking.
A groin strain causes sharp pain or spasms in the groin area or lower abdominal region.
The groin pain can quickly resolve, or it can linger/persist, and can develop into a throbbing pain at rest with sharp stabs of pain whenever you try to move your leg or walk.
A mild lower-grade groin strain can be relatively pain free with everyday activities and walking, but aggravated with quick movements of the legs such as
Higher-grade strains can cause the muscles to feel tight or weak. Simple movements that involve
can provoke pain, and even cause the groin muscles to spasm. If the groin strain involves a Grade 3 (complete) tear, a "pop" may be felt or heard when the muscle tears at the time of injury, and using the leg at all can be extremely painful.
With a groin strain, patients may experience one or more of the following symptoms in the groin area or lower abdomen:
You might also experience one or more of the following symptoms:
If you see our senior physiotherapists first, we will conduct a thorough evaluation that includes taking your health history. Our first physiotherapy goal is to exclude any other serious conditions causing your symptoms that would warrant a referral to a doctor (we have a medical network).
Since groin pain can be present with other diagnoses involving your hip, pelvis, or lower back, we may ask specific questions or use additional tests to assess the possible contribution of these other regions to your pain.
We may ask you:
We will perform special tests to help determine a diagnosis of a groin strain, such as:
To provide a final diagnosis, we may collaborate with an orthopedic doctor or other health care provider. The doctor may order further tests—such as an X-ray or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)—to confirm the diagnosis and to rule out other potential issues.
These tests, however, are not commonly required for groin strain.
We will design a specific treatment program to speed your recovery. This program will include exercises and treatments you can do at home to help you return to your normal lifestyle and activities.
The First 24 to 48 Hours
Immediately following your consultation, we may advise you to:
We will design an individualized treatment plan for you based on your unique condition and goals. Your plan may include treatments to:
We can use different types of treatments and technologies to control and reduce your pain, including
These treatments can lessen the need for pain medication, including opioids.
We will choose specific activities and treatments to help restore normal movement in the leg and hip. These might begin with "passive" motions that the therapist performs for you to gently move your leg and hip joint, and progress to active exercises and stretches that you perform yourself.
Certain exercises will benefit healing at each stage of recovery; we will choose and teach you the appropriate exercises to steadily restore your strength and agility. These may include using
Speed recovery time
We are trained and experienced in choosing the right treatments and exercises to help you heal, return to your normal lifestyle, and reach your goals faster than you are likely to do on your own.
Promote a safe return to activities
We will collaborate with you to decide on your recovery goals, including your return to work or sport, and will design your treatment program to help you reach those goals in the safest, fastest, and most effective way possible.
We will apply hands-on therapy, such as massage, and teach you exercises and work retraining activities. We also may teach you sport-specific techniques and drills to help you achieve any sport-specific goals.
Prevent future reinjury
We can recommend a home-exercise program to strengthen and stretch the muscles around your hip, upper leg, and abdomen to help prevent future re-injury of your groin. These may include strength and flexibility exercises for the leg, hip, and core muscles.
If Surgery Is Necessary
Surgery is rarely necessary in the case of groin strain, but if a groin muscle fully tears and requires surgical repair, we will help you