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8 – Groin Pain

One of the top ten sporting injuries!

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A  groin strain in the adductor muscles is another common injury. Adductors are the fan-like muscles situated in the upper thigh that serve to pull the legs together. These strains evolve through  frequent in sports that require explosive sudden changes in direction. This is obviously common in sports such as  football,  hockey, basketball, racket sports, football and volleyball. Symptoms include sharp pain, swelling and sometimes even bruising on the inside of the thigh.



A groin strain is an injury to the muscles of the inner thigh. This condition is common in people who participate in sports that require explosive lower leg movement i.e running (with sudden changes in direction) or jumping. Groin injuries are therefore frequent in sports such as football (10-18% of all injuries), basketball, racket sports and hockey.

The groin muscles are the fan-like muscles situated in the upper thigh that serve to move the leg from an outside to an inside position from the hip.   The muscles are known collectively as the adductor muscle group and consist of six muscles that bridge the anatomical space from the pelvis to the inner part of the femur (thigh bone). Groin strains often involve the primary adductor muscle called Adductor Longus through a combination of overuse or sudden contraction or moving the structure beyond its normal excursion. Mild strains, most common, often involve only a few muscle fibres (Grade 1) and therefore most of the muscle tissue will remain intact. Clearly injuries can vary from partial (Grade 2) to complete tears (Grade 3) depending on the suddenness and force of the initial movement.

As with any sports injuries prevention is the best course of action and a thorough warm up routine is always advised in order to minimise risk of injury. Symptoms for a Grade 1 tear can take as little as week to vanish but a Grade 3 can take a couple of months and may even require surgical intervention. As with any injury the same basic rules apply where RICE (Rest Ice Compression and Elevation) and anti-inflammatories and analgesics (minimizing pain and swelling) are best treatment. In the case of Grade 1&2 tears training should be avoided for at least a week. A gentle progressive stretching and strengthening program can be undertaken as long as pain is absent. A return to activity should be a gradual process e.g. light jogging initially with a slow progression of building up speed and changes of direction. The most important thing is don’t try and come back too soon. An absence of symptoms in normal activities while performing daily activities is deceiving and different from forces applied in training and competition.


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