We often hear in various sports that an athlete has a groin strain. No doubt many of you have wondered what this is. I am sure the injury conjures up many and various visuals about this injury, with many really not sure what happens to our favourite footballer, runner, or team player. A groin injury normally relates to a rupture or tear of our adductor muscle group. There are five main adductors; these are the adductor brevis, adductor longus, the pectineus, (short heads) and the gracilis and adductor magnus (long head). The work of these muscles is to ensure the leg returns to our midline of the body. They also play a huge part in maintaining our balance. These muscles are used in sprinting in all sports. The injury can occur when there is a quick change of direction or rapid movements or a resistance is applied, like the kicking of a ball. In repetitive sports the athlete can be more susceptible particularly if they do not complete a thorough warm up. These injuries are normally graded as Grade 1, 2 or 3 muscle tears. A grade 1 injury may result in a little discomfort in the groin area or the inner thigh area. These muscles may feel tight and appear after an event but then quickly disappear. A grade 2 injury can appear as a sudden sharp pain in the area, tightening of the muscles in the area that persists the following day and some minor swelling. Some bruising may appear in a grade 2 strain along with some difficulty when walking. A grade 3 strain will appear as severe pain during exercise where you will be unable to squeeze your legs together, severe swelling, bruising, severe pain when trying to stretch the groin muscles. A lump can appear in a grade 3 strain.
Apply R.I.C.E (Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation) immediately.
Use crutches if needed.
Gently stretch the groin muscles provided this is comfortable to do so.
See a sports physiotherapist who will advise on rehabilitation of the injury.
For a suspected grade 3 strains ensure this is attended to by a professional.
Seek professional help immediately.
In some cases the use of ultrasound or laser treatment can be effective.
Taping the groin can also take the pressure off this area.
Use sports massage techniques after the acute phase. This is extremely important.
An operation may be necessary if the muscle has torn completely.
“Master’s In Education” (Disability) Newcastle University Australia
“Grad Cert Education” Newcastle University Australia
“Diploma of Sport and Recreation”
“Cert 4 Personal Training”
“Level 1 Strength and Conditioning Coach”
Member of ASCA (Australian Strength and Conditioning Association)