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Groin Strain

  For an Illustrated Exercise Guide and Exercise Video's for Groin Strain click here: 


Groin Strain - Why does this happen?

The hip adductor muscles (groin muscles), are a group of six muscles which run from the bony prominence on the pelvis, in the groin, to the inside of the knee.  These muscles help to stabilise the pelvis during activity.


Groin Strain is a tear in one or more of the hip adductor muscles at the point where it meets the pelvis.  This is often due to overstretching or repeated stress of the muscle fibres.  This injury is often and is associated with a powerful sideways movement.  The muscle will repair itself with scar tissue which is not as flexible as muscle tissue and may tear again. Muscle imbalance between the quadriceps and hamstrings, weak core muscles, poor warm up and tight adductor muscles may also be contributing factors.

What are the symptoms?
  • Pain and tenderness in the groin and inner thigh.
  • Pain is worse on exercise particularly sideways movements of the leg.
  • Pain is relieved after a period of rest.    
  • A change in walking pattern as a result of the pain.
  • Weakness in adductor muscles.


Diagnosing a Groin Strain

Your GP or Physiotherapist can usually diagnose a Groin Strain by simply examining your leg and hearing where the pain is and how it started.


X-rays and other tests are not usually necessary.
What is the treatment?

Groin Strain will usually recover with some simple changes to daily activity and exercise.  By trying to avoid or reduce the activity which causes the pain, you will allow the damaged muscle time to recover and heal.


While it is important to stop activities that make the pain worse, to let the muscle recover, you must not stop using the muscles. Muscles need some activity to keep them healthy. Modifying activities to incorporate less strenuous ones, such as swimming instead of running, is important to aid recovery.


To help reduce the symptoms an 'ice pack' can be placed on the painful area for 15 - 20 minutes, twice a day.  Do not place the 'ice pack' directly on the skin.  Wrap the 'ice pack' in a damp towel before placing on the painful area to ensure you do not burn the skin.


During the initial painful stages it is important to manage the pain. 

Painkillers and anti-inflammatory medications  -  These may be prescribed by your GP if the pain is costant.  This is a temporary measure to break the pain cycle, but can continue as required.
Exercise  -  Exercise is important to help regain full ankle movement in the acute stage. Once the pain has settled it is important to strengthen the surrounding muscles and work on your balance to help prevent reoccurrence.  Click here for a list of exercises suitable for Groin Strain.

Biomechanical Analysis  -   If there are significant mechanical problems insoles or specific trainers may improve your leg position and help avoid further injuries.  A biomechanical assessment by a Podiatrist or Physiotherapist will determine whether insoles or specific trainers would be of benefit.

Physiotherapy  -  If exercise alone does not improve symptoms then physiotherapy treatment may be required.  A physiotherapist can use specific treatments including, ultrasound, deep friction, massage, interferential, acupuncture or taping to help relieve pain and aid recovery. Click here for more information about Physiotherapy.
Injections  -  In some cases your GP or Consultant may recommend an injection.  These can be used to reduce inflammation and pain when the symptoms are severe and constant.  This is not a 'cure' and it is important to follow the exercises and modify activities.  A 'Cortisone Injection' can help reduce inflammation in the tendon, whilst a 'PRP Injection' (Platelet Rich Plasma) can help to stimulate healing.
Surgery  -  This is not common for Groins Strain.  In some cases when symptoms are persistent surgery may be considered.    
Remember an important part of treatment for Groin Strain your home exercises and modifying activities.