A groin pull injury happens when the muscles in the groin and thigh are put under too much load, if they are stressed either too heavily or too forcefully, they can become over-stretched or torn. Groin pull (strain) injuries occur mostly in sports that require a lot of running, jumping, and direction changes. Soccer, football, hockey, basketball, and baseball are some of the most common sports in which a person might suffer a groin injury.
Symptoms of a groin pull
-Pain or tenderness along the inside of the thigh and near the pubic bone
-Pain when you lift your knee towards your chest
-Pain when you bring your legs towards each other
-A “popping” or “snapping” sound or sensation followed by pain
-Swelling or bruising on upper, inner thigh muscles
Like calf strains, groin strains are graded on a severity scale from 1 to 3. A first degree groin pull involves pain, but hardly any loss of motion or strength. A second degree groin pull involves pain and some damage to the tissue. A third degree groin pull (complete tear) is characterized by pain and loss of muscle function.
Treatment of a groin pull
-Ice inner thigh/groin for 20 minutes every two hours
-Compress upper thigh with elastic bandage
-Avoid aggressive stretching
You might feel like you need to stretch your inner thigh to get relief from the pain and tightness. While gentle stretching can be helpful, it’s important to avoid strenuous or vigorous stretching of the groin muscles while your injury is healing. When the muscle becomes injured, the body throws down scar tissue (also called adhesion) to help heal the muscle. The scar tissue in the muscle is analogous to a knot in the middle of a piece of rope. In a normal rope with no knots, if you pull on the two ends, you will get an overall stretch. In a rope that has a knot in the middle, if you pull on the two ends, you may get some overall stretch, but you’re just tightening up the knot (the adhesion) and making the situation worse. The best way to reduce that adhesion is to choose a hands-on treatment technique such as Active Release Techniques.
Other treatments for groin pulls include Graston technique and Kinesiotaping to decrease swelling, increase circulation, and decrease pain. Once the adhesion is reduced, specific rehabilitation exercises can be started to restore strength to the injured leg.