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Groin Pain from a Groin Pull or Pulled Groin Muscle

Groin Pain from a Groin Pull or Pulled Groin Muscle

Groin pain is caused due to a strain or pull in the adductor muscles. This article covers all the aspects related to this type of pain.
Batul Nafisa Baxamusa
Last Updated: May 15, 2018
Groin pull is caused due to the partial tear of the muscle fibers located in the adductor muscles. These muscles are located on the inner side of the thigh, which start in the groin area and are attached to the inner side of the knee. The adductor muscles pull the upper and lower leg together when you bend your legs. Groin strain from a pull muscle occurs when adductor muscles are stretched beyond their limits. This causes localized pain and swelling in the small fibers. Sudden stress on adductor muscles when they are not ready for a sudden activity also causes groin strain. A direct blow to the adductor muscles or excess muscle exercise may also cause pulled groin.
Pulled groin muscle is a common injury in athletes, who participate in basketball, football, ice hockey, rugby, running, hurdles, soccer, cricket, tennis and many other games which involves sudden twisting, turning and kicking.
Pain in the Groin Area
Symptoms
The symptoms of a pulled groin include muscle pain, tenderness and stiffness in the groin area. A severe tear leads to sudden, acute pain. This pain is accompanied by swelling and bruising. The area becomes too painful to touch and the movements become restricted. The stretching of the inner thigh and hamstrings also becomes difficult. The adductor muscles become weak.
Diagnoses
The diagnosis of groin pull is based on the symptoms, medical history, physical activity and the injury. The muscle strain is graded according to the severity of the injury.
Grade 1
This involves groin strain with mild discomfort and no temporary disability. This injury does not limit physical activity. It is caused by stretching and micro tearing of muscle fibers in the upper leg. The recovery generally takes about 2 weeks. The symptoms of Grade 1 groin pull pain include:
  • Tightness around the groin
  • One can walk, but experiences pain with each step
  • Slight swelling
Grade 2
There is partial tear of the groin muscle fibers. One experiences moderate discomfort and limits physical activities such as running and jumping. There may be moderate swelling and discomfort. The recovery may take 1 to 2 months. The symptoms include:
  • Limping while walking
  • Pain when one tries to walk or move
  • Considerable swelling around the groin
Grade 3
This is the most severe form of groin pull. There is complete tear of muscle fibers and the recovery takes about 3 months. The symptoms include:
  • Inability to walk and one needs the help of crutches
  • Sharp and severe pain when pulling the leg in or moving it
  • Immediate, visible swelling
  • Significant bruising and muscle spasms
Treatment
The treatment varies according to the severity. Complete bed rest is the key to quick recovery. You cannot carry out activities that may aggravate the groin strain. You can apply an ice pack on the groin area for 15-20 minutes, four times a day and for several days. You should not apply the ice directly on the area, use a towel to wrap the ice pack. Gentle heating can help loosen the muscles. Apply heat only when you are resuming physical activity. Use heat compression before stretching or playing sports.
Doctors may prescribe oral anti-inflammatory medications like Ibuprofen, Aleve or Motrin to relieve the pain and lessen the inflammation. Doctors may also advise the use of elastic compression bandage around the upper thigh to prevent swelling. The best way to treat an injury is elevating the injured part. This helps in reducing the swelling. The doctor may also advice stretching, once the acute pain has gone. Do not overdo your stretching exercises. You can visit a physical therapists for therapeutic massages and specific exercises that help to treat the pain. Always remember the rule of thumb in treating a pulled groin - R.I.C.E, that is, rest, ice, compression and elevation
Prevention
You can prevent a groin strain if you take some care while playing. You should never forget to warm-up before a game. Adductor muscles should be kept strong so that they can absorb sudden physical stress. You should follow the proper techniques related to exercising and playing sports. Research has suggested that some exercises may help prevent this condition. These exercises include pelvic stabilization exercises, hip adductor strengthening, adductor stretching, abdominal and lumbar strengthening.
You should always seek the advice of your doctor if you are suffering groin pain from a muscle pull. In order to have a longer productive life as a sportsman, you must always follow caution, take good rest and follow the medical advice in case of a pulled muscle.