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Groin Pull

The most common type of groin injury is a groin strain, or pulled groin. This injury results when muscles in the inside of your thigh that connect to the pelvic bone, called abductor muscles, become overstretched or torn. A common injury among athletes, groin strains can be painful, and depending on how severe they are, may take several weeks to heal.

Groin Pull Hero Image 2

The most common type of groin injury is a groin strain, or pulled groin. This injury results when muscles in the inside of your thigh that connect to the pelvic bone, called abductor muscles, become overstretched or torn. A common injury among athletes, groin strains can be painful, and depending on how severe they are, may take several weeks to heal.

What causes Groin Pull?

Athletes, particularly those who engage in sports that require rapid starting, stopping and changing direction when running and jumping, are at increased risk for suffering a groin pull. This type of activity can stretch adductor muscles beyond their limit, tearing muscle fibers in the process. A direct blow to the muscle can also cause a similar type of injury.

Soccer and hockey players are particularly prone to this injury. In fact, around 10% of all injuries among professional soccer and hockey players are groin strains.

Overall, groin strain is common in these sports:

• Soccer
• Hockey
• Football
• Basketball
• Ice skating
• Wrestling
• Track and Field sports
• Gymnastics

Symptoms

Symptoms associated with groin strain depend on the severity of your injury. Common symptoms may include:

• Pain in the groin and thigh area (may be severe depending on extent of injury)
• Popping or snapping sensation at the time of injury
• Groin area is tight and tender to touch
• Bruising and swelling
• Limited mobility

When to see a doctor

Usually, a groin strain will get better on its own with time and rest. However, if you think you strained your groin and have symptoms that persist beyond one to two weeks, see a doctor to rule out other injuries and ensure you get the proper treatment. During your visit, your doctor will ask about your injury, the pain you are experiencing, and whether you have had similar injuries before. A physical examination will look for signs of injury, such as swelling and bruising, and the doctor may ask you to stretch your leg to see your range of movement.

After the physical examination, your doctor may recommend an x-ray or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) test. These imaging tests provide detailed pictures of the affected area. They help your doctor confirm the diagnosis, determine the severity of your injury, and help define best course of treatment.

Non-operative treatment

Groin strains generally heal on their own. However there are steps you can take to reduce pain and swelling. Your doctor may recommend a number of options including:

• Rest
• Ice
• Compression
• Elevation
• Over-the-counter medications, such as tylenol or a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) medication like ibuprofen

After your pain and swelling have subsided, your doctor may also recommend stretching and strengthening exercises to extend your range of motion and help you have a quicker recovery.

These exercises may be helpful for groin strain:

Groin Pull

Surgical Treatment

Groin strains are almost always treated non-surgically. Surgery for this type of injury is rarely recommended.

Recovery

Recovery time after a groin strain depends upon the severity of the strain and how much damage was done to the abductor muscle. Your doctor can guide you on when you can return to your normal level of physical activity. Give yourself the necessary time to fully heal from your injury before you return to sports. Pushing yourself too soon can lead to re-injury and an even longer recovery time.

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