“A strained adductor muscle or tendon can be a tenacious, enduring injury, causing persistent pain in the inner thigh…. Proper treatment can eliminate this injury in a relatively short period of time, but without treatment, it can plague the person for many years”
What is Groin Strain?
Groin muscles span from the pelvis to inner thighbone. The groin muscle group (also known as the ‘adductor muscles’), are a group of 6 muscles responsible for pulling the legs together (adduction), and supporting hip joint movements in any activity that requires rapid directional changes. Groin muscle strain (also known as groin pull or adductor strain) occurs when an adductor muscle has been stretched beyond its limit. Cases range from mild in nature (where there is no muscle fibre tear, and it there may be discomfort when walking ), to severe (where there is a complete tear of muscle fibre, causing sharp and sudden pain). Treatments vary depending on the extent of the injury. (Somatic Massage)
How Groin Strain Occurs
Groin strain is most commonly a result of sports injury, where too much stress has been put on the adductors, or the muscles have been tensed too forcefully or quickly.
The injury results from activities that require sprinting, jumping, sudden changes in movement, and rapid movement of the leg against resistance ie. a footy. (Sinew Therapeutics).
Everyone from Aussie rules, soccer, basketball and hockey players to gymnasts, dancers, cyclists and martial arts enthusiasts are at risk of groin strain. Forced stretching, and improper use of an adduction machine at the gym is another common cause of pulled groin muscles (ABMP).
Other factors that increase the risk of sustaining a groin strain include:
- Not enough of a warm up.
- Weak adductor muscles
- Tight adductor muscles.
- Previous injuries (ie. lower back injury/dysfunction)
- Biomechanical factors (ie. overpronation of the foot).
What Does Groin Strain Feel Like?
- When you pull a groin muscle, you experience:
- Pain when you lift your knee
- Pain when you use the adductor muscles, which bring your legs together
- Tenderness and discomfort in the inside of the thigh
- Swelling or discoloration in the groin area
- Loss of strength or function if the muscle has completely torn
Chronic groin strain also results in short sharp pain in the affected area.
Best Treatment for Groin strain
The best massage for groin strain depends on whether it’s acute or chronic (Sports Injury Clinic). If acute, treatment initially means rest, ice and compression; followed by a rehab program including stretching, strengthening and targeted groin strain exercises to restore full function. During the rehab of both acute and chronic groin strain, physical therapy is integral to optimal recovery. Remedial massage releases tension in the muscle, reduces swelling, relaxes muscle spasms, stimulates blood circulation and realigns the muscle fibres to promote healing. Equally important, remedial massage and prevention exercises (ie. functional workouts involving running, hopping and directional change drills) are a key aspect of pre- and post- training prevention strategy (Somatic Services).
If you are experiencing symptoms of groin strain, first visit your GP to assess the underlying causes, then on the advice of your GP visit your physical therapist for targeted relief, and an ongoing treatment plan (including home exercises between appointments). A single appointment will most likely provide immediate relief but there is no magic bullet for chronic aches and pains. Long term improvements will happen only with ongoing therapy and an active treatment plan.
Book an appointment with a therapist today on 03 8598 9804 or online.