Many readers are interested in the following topic: Causes of Female Groin Pain. We are happy to note, that our authors have already studied the modern research about the topic you are interested in. Based on the information provided in the latest medical digests, modern research and surveys, we provide extensive answer. Keep reading to find out more.
In the meantime, switch to a new activity that won’t put too much stress on your groin muscles. For instance, runners could try swimming.
Pulled or Strained Groin: What to Know
A groin strain is an injury or tear to any of the adductor muscles of the thigh. These are the muscles on the inner side of the thigh.
Sudden movements usually trigger an acute groin strain, such as kicking, twisting to change direction while running, or jumping.
Athletes are most at risk for this injury. Groin strains usually aren’t serious, although a severe strain may take a long time to recover from.
Immediately after injury, the goal of treatment for a groin strain is to reduce pain and swelling. The first few days of treatment follow the protocol for any muscle injury:
- nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
Depending on the severity of your strain, you may need additional treatments to speed healing. These could include:
- physical therapy
- massage therapy
- heat and stretching
If you have a grade 3 strain, you may need surgery to repair the torn fibers, especially where the tendon is involved.
Recovery time for a groin strain injury depends on the degree of the injury.
In general, you can gauge the level of your recovery by your level of pain. As your adductor muscle is recovering, avoid activities that involve pain.
Resume activities gradually. This will enable your muscle to heal fully and prevent you from developing a recurrent groin strain injury.
The length of time you need to recover will also depend on your level of fitness before the injury. There’s no definitive time frame, since it’s different for everyone.
However, as a general guide, you can expect to rest several weeks before you’re able to return to full activities after a groin strain.
Depending on the grade of your strain, here are the estimated recovery times:
To diagnose whether you have a groin strain, your doctor will first want to know how your injury happened and whether the circumstances indicate a groin strain.
They’ll ask you about the activity you were doing when the injury happened, your symptoms, and whether you’ve had a similar injury in the past.
Next, your doctor will do a physical examination. This could involve stretching your adductor muscles to determine if stretching is painful, as well as testing your leg’s range of motion.
Any pain you feel during the exam will help your doctor identify where your injury is located.
In addition to identifying the location of the strain, your doctor will evaluate how serious your injury is. There are three degrees of groin strains:
A grade 1 groin strain occurs when the muscle is overstretched or torn, damaging up to 5 percent of the muscle fibers. You may be able to walk without pain, but running, jumping, kicking, or stretching may be painful.
A grade 2 groin strain is a tear that damages a significant percentage of the muscle fibers. Walking might be difficult, and it also might be painful to bring your thighs together.
A grade 3 groin strain is a tear that goes through most or all of the muscle or tendon. This usually causes a sudden, severe pain at the time it happens. Using the injured muscle at all will be painful.
There’s usually significant swelling and bruising. You may be able to feel a gap in the muscle when you touch the injury.
Could it be something else?
A groin strain can be confused with other problems. You might experience similar symptoms with:
- a stress fracture (a hairline break in your pubic bone or femur)
- bursitis of the hip (inflammation of the sac of fluid in the hip joint)
- a hip strain (inflammation or injury to the tendons or muscles of the hip)
Your doctor will often start with an X-ray and follow up with an MRI to confirm the diagnosis and rule out other injuries.
Symptoms of a groin strain can range from mild to severe, depending on the degree of the injury. They can include:
- pain (usually felt in the inner thigh, but located anywhere from the hip to the knee)
- decreased strength in the upper leg
- difficulty walking or running without pain
- snapping sound at the moment of injury
Groin strain is most common among both professional and recreational athletes.
It’s often caused by straining the adductor muscle while kicking, so it’s more common in the athlete’s dominant leg. It can also be caused by turning quickly while running, skating, or jumping.
Movements that require your muscle to both lengthen and contract at the same time usually cause a groin strain. This puts stress on your muscle and can lead it to overstretch or tear.
Although sports are the most common cause, a groin strain can also occur from:
- lifting heavy objects
- other types of exercise, such as resistance training
Any overuse of a muscle can lead to a long-term strain.
The primary risk factor for groin strain is playing a sport that involves kicking, turning suddenly while running, and jumping. Needing to change direction frequently is also a risk factor.
The most common athletes to get groin strain are soccer players and ice hockey players. However, athletes in many sports can be at risk. This includes basketball, football, rugby, skating, tennis, and martial arts.
Among athletes who play these sports, an additional risk factor is how much they practice during offseason.
Athletes who stop training during the offseason are more likely to lose muscle strength and flexibility while they’re not playing. This puts them more at risk of injuries if they begin training without taking first building up muscle strength and flexibility.
Previous groin strain is another risk factor, since the muscle is weakened from a previous injury.
It’s important to immediately stop doing the activity or exercise that caused the groin strain, but there are other exercises that can help heal it. It’s best to do these exercises after the pain begins to go away.
Four exercises that can help heal your groin and build strength are the hip adductor stretch, hamstring wall stretch, straight leg raise, and resisted hip flexion.
A hernia occurs when an organ pushes through a weak spot in the muscle or tissue around it. An inguinal hernia occurs nears the groin. It can be mistaken for a groin strain and vice versa. Pain in the groin area could be an indication of either a groin strain or a hernia.
The main sign that you have a hernia and not a groin strain is a bump or multiple bumps on the side of the groin. You’ll be able to feel the bump, although it might go away at some angles, like when you’re lying down.
If you suspect you have a hernia, see your doctor. Hernias may cause serious complications, and the only way to treat a hernia is with surgery.
The best way to prevent groin strain is to avoid using the adductor muscle without proper training and preparation. Regularly stretch and strengthen your adductor muscles, especially if you play a sport that’s likely to cause groin strain.
Continue training throughout the year if possible. If you take a break from training, work back up gradually to your former level of activity to avoid straining muscles.
Groin strains are not usually severe, but they may take a long time to heal depending on the degree of injury. Severe grade 3 groin strains can take over 4 months to heal. With appropriate care and treatment, your symptoms will get better over time. Speak with your doctor about a treatment plan for your groin strain. If you are experiencing intense or prolonged pain, seek medical attention.
Last medically reviewed on December 14, 2021
How we reviewed this article:
Healthline has strict sourcing guidelines and relies on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We avoid using tertiary references. You can learn more about how we ensure our content is accurate and current by reading our editorial policy.
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- Kiel J, et al. (2021). Adductor Strain.
- Hernia (2020).
- Self-help for groin strain. (2018).
- Tak I, et al. (2017). Is lower hip range of motion a risk factor for groin pain in
athletes? A systemic review with clinical applications.
Our experts continually monitor the health and wellness space, and we update our articles when new information becomes available.
Causes of Female Groin Pain
Tim Petrie, DPT, OCS, is a board-certified orthopedic specialist who has practiced as a physical therapist for more than a decade.
Updated on October 05, 2022
Monique Rainford, MD, is board-certified in obstetrics-gynecology, and currently serves as an Assistant Clinical Professor at Yale Medicine. She is the former chief of obstetrics-gynecology at Yale Health.
Table of Contents
Table of Contents
Groin pain in females is most often caused by muscle strain. There are many other possible causes, however, including urinary tract infection, ovarian cysts, kidney stones, and osteoarthritis (OA). Groin pain can also be related to pregnancy.
This article discusses 14 common causes of female groin pain and how each one is treated.
One of the most common causes of pain in the groin is muscle strain.
A strain (also known as a pull) occurs when a muscle is overstretched and either partially or completely torn. When this occurs in the groin, it typically involves a group of muscles called your adductors, which are located on the inside of your thigh.
Any of the five adductor muscles may be involved. These include the adductor magnus, adductor brevis, pectineus , adductor longus, and the gracilis .
This type of injury typically occurs while performing a sport or exercise that involves:
- Cutting maneuvers (such as rapid side-stepping in soccer)
In addition to pain in the groin, a strain can make lifting your leg or moving your thigh closer to your other leg painful.
You may hear a popping noise during the strain depending on how serious it is. You may also develop bruising or swelling.
Mild strains typically only limit your ability to do more advanced exercises or activities. Severe sprains can cause pain while you walk or even while you are at rest.
Groin Strain Recovery
Most groin strains heal on their own. However, healing can take up to eight weeks for more severe injuries.
To help with recovery, your primary healthcare provider may suggest:
- Using the RICE principle (Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation)
- Prescription anti-inflammatory medication to help reduce pain or swelling
- Physical therapy to help improve your strength, increase your flexibility, and help guide your return to exercise
Another common cause of groin pain is osteoarthritis of the hip.
OA in the hip occurs when the smooth cartilage on the end of the ball (femoral head) and socket ( acetabulum ) portions of the hip joint begins to thin and wear away. This causes increased friction with hip movement and can lead to a build-up of excess bone.
Over time, OA can also lead to pain in the thigh and buttocks.
Who Is at Risk for OA?
Osteoarthritis typically occurs in middle-aged or older people. It is more common in females compared to males.
The pain from OA is typically worse in the morning and after a long period of activity.
Other symptoms that make it different from a muscle strain include:
- Joint stiffness (particularly when you wake up)
- Popping or snapping with hip movement
- Limitations in the hip’s range of motion
OA can usually be treated by your primary healthcare provider, who may suggest managing your symptoms with:
- Heat or ice
- Weight loss, so less stress is placed on the joint
- Physical therapy to aid in strengthening the muscles that surround and support the hip
- Low-impact aerobic exercise (like walking or swimming) to help reduce pain and stiffness
If these types of treatments fail, you may need surgery. In this case, an orthopedic surgeon typically performs a resurfacing procedure. This is done by covering or capping the femoral head with a metal shell. Another option is a total hip replacement.
Hip impingement, also known as femoroacetabular impingement (FAI) is another bone-related condition that can lead to groin pain.
This occurs when extra bone growth on either the acetabulum or femoral head portion of the hip causes the joint to take on an irregular shape. This, in turn, causes pain and joint damage when you move your leg.
The pain from hip impingement is typically centered in the groin, but it can also extend to the outside of the hip.
The soreness is usually deep within the joint and is frequently made worse with movements like bringing your knees toward your chest or crossing your leg. Tasks involving squatting or twisting may also be painful.
Treatment can include:
- Modifying your activities to avoid movements that may contribute to joint damage
- Taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (if directed by your healthcare provider) to help reduce your symptoms
- Physical therapy to help decrease the pain by improving the strength and flexibility of your hips
In more severe cases, an orthopedic surgeon may need to perform surgery on the joint itself. This procedure typically involves removing the excess bone growth on the femoral head or acetabulum and cleaning up any damage it has caused within the hip.
In some cases, the pain in your groin could be caused by a condition called a sports hernia. This is also known as athletic pubalgia . This is a broad term referring to any strain or sprain of a ligament, muscle, or tendon in the lower stomach or groin region.
Sports Hernia vs. Other Types of Hernias
Although it is similarly named, a sports hernia differs from a hiatal hernia or an inguinal hernia. These involve the bulging of fat or organs through a weak area of muscle or connective tissue.
Sports hernias, like adductor strains, traditionally occur while playing activities like hockey or soccer that involve a lot of cutting or quick changes in direction. The groin pain associated with athletic pubalgia is usually severe while playing sports or exercising, but better with rest.
Unlike a hiatal hernia, there is no palpable bulge in the area of injury (though sports hernias may eventually lead to a hiatal hernia if left untreated).
The typical treatment for this condition is similar to the treatment for an adductor strain, including:
- The RICE principle
- Over-the-counter (OTC) pain medications
- Physical therapy to build strength in your core, improve flexibility, and gradually reintroduce cutting and sports-related activities.
If you’re middle-aged and, especially if you have already gone through menopause, you’re at a much higher risk of developing osteoporosis. Because this condition causes decreased bone density throughout the body, you are more likely to get a bone fracture. And the hip is the most common place for this to occur.
Fractures in the hip area typically affect the femur bone in the region just below the femoral head. This type of bone break (called an insufficiency fracture) can occur even after a small fall or twist injury. In some cases, the bone is so brittle that even standing or walking can break it.
Hip fractures typically lead to immediate, sharp pain in the groin or upper thigh region. This extreme pain usually makes it nearly impossible to bear weight on your leg.
If you suspect a fracture, you should have your hip looked at by a healthcare provider right away.
This type of injury is diagnosed with an X-ray. It usually needs to be surgically stabilized within a day or two by an orthopedic surgeon to prevent further damage.
Urinary Tract Infections
Urinary tract infections (UTI) occur when bacteria enter the body via the urethra (the tube through which urine leaves your body) and infect your urinary tract. Several factors increase your risk of developing a UTI:
- Just being female because your urethra is shorter than a male’s
- Being sexually active
- Going through menopause
- Age: older people are more likely to experience a UTI
UTIs can cause a cramping sensation in your groin or the lower portion of your stomach. Other symptoms of a UTI include:
- Burning with urination
- Frequent urination
- Blood in the urine
Most urinary tract infections are easily treated with an antibiotic, so it is important to speak to a healthcare provider if you suspect you have one.
The appendix is a small, tube-shaped structure located in the lower portion of the right side of the abdomen. While this organ serves no useful purpose, in some cases, it can become infected or inflamed. This condition, known as appendicitis, usually affects people in their teens or 20s and is considered a medical emergency.
The pain from appendicitis is typically located on the right side of the lower portion of the stomach near the groin. The pain may come and go at first, but as it progresses, it becomes severe, especially if the appendix ultimately ruptures.
Along with sharp pain, appendicitis can cause:
- Swelling in the belly
Once appendicitis is diagnosed with an MRI or CT scan, the appendix is typically removed by a general surgeon with a laparoscopic procedure.
If the organ ruptures, however, a more complex abdominal surgery may be needed. Because of this, it is important to see a healthcare provider immediately if you think you may have appendicitis.
Enlarged Lymph Nodes
Throughout your body, a series of bean-shaped nodules called lymph nodes form the lymphatic system. This complex network helps transport nutrients and waste in lymph fluid between the body’s tissue and your bloodstream.
Occasionally, infection or injury in the body causes the lymph nodes to become swollen and painful to the touch. Rarely, swollen lymph nodes may indicate a tumor.
One location where this lymph node enlargement is frequently seen is the groin. Nodes in the groin region (called the inguinal or femoral lymph nodes) may grow in size due to an injury or infection in your foot, leg, groin, or vagina.
Swollen lymph nodes are frequently able to be felt under the skin.
Size of Lymph Nodes
While lymph nodes can vary in size, a severely enlarged one can grow to the size of a small olive.
Usually, treating the underlying injury or infection helps to reduce lymph node pain and swelling. Occasionally, however, you may need to see a physical therapist who is skilled in treating lymphedema (swelling of the lymph nodes) to resolve this condition.
A kidney stone is a small mass of miniature, crystal-like structures that originates in the kidney. These structures occasionally travel from the kidney to the bladder via a tube called the ureter .
Because the ureter is quite narrow, the sharp edges of the stone can scrape against the tube’s walls and cause excruciating pain in the groin or vaginal area. You might also experience sharp pain in your stomach or on the side of your back.
The severe pain from a kidney stone can come and go. It’s frequently accompanied by blood in the urine.
In addition, when you have a kidney stone, you may notice that you pee less. In rarer cases, fever, chills, nausea, or vomiting can also occur.
In most instances, smaller kidney stones can pass through the body on their own. Staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water can help with this process.
If passing a stone is painful, you healthcare provider may recommend over-the-counter (OTC) or prescription pain medication.
Sometimes, the stone is too big, and a urologist may need a procedure to break it up or remove it. Because of this, it’s best to speak to a healthcare provider immediately if you suspect you have a kidney stone to ensure you get the appropriate treatment.
Osteitis pubis refers to the pain and swelling that can occur when the area where your pelvic bones meet (called the pubic symphysis ) becomes inflamed.
Osteitis pubis can be caused by overusing the core, hip, or groin muscles that attach in the pelvic bones area. This may result from:
- Repetitive jumping
Surgeries to the pelvic area or childbirth may also cause osteitis pubis.
Osteitis pubis pain is typically located in the groin, lower abdomen, or just above your vaginal area.
Normally this soreness comes on gradually and bothers you only with strenuous activity. However, as the condition progresses, the pain can become more intense and impact daily tasks like standing or walking.
In most cases, your symptoms will resolve by:
- Modifying your activity
- Taking OTC pain medication
- Icing the area on and off
It can take months for the pain to go away completely, In more severe cases, physical therapy and a cortisone injection may be needed to help you get rid of your symptoms.
Ovarian cysts are fluid-filled pockets that can develop on one or both of your ovaries.
The ovaries are located on each side of the lower part of the abdomen. This is where female hormones are produced and eggs develop. Cysts in this area are actually quite common and may develop during ovulation.
Cysts don’t usually cause symptoms. Most of the time they go away on their own without treatment.
In some situations, cysts can cause pain in the lower abdomen or groin region. This pain is usually only on one side and can be either sharp or dull. It may also cause:
- Abnormal menstruation
Most cysts, even those that cause pain, will go away on their own in one to three months.
If a cyst isn’t going away, you may need surgery to remove it. In some cases, your gynecologist may prescribe medication to help reduce the formation of a new cyst.
A pinched nerve in your lower back or thigh can cause groin pain.
The lower (lumbar) portion of your spine contains spinal nerves that run from your spinal cord down your leg to the feet. These nerves control the feeling and strength in your legs and can cause pain when they are pinched, or compressed.
Many things can cause a pinched nerve. These include a bulging disc in the lower back or narrowing of the spinal canal (called stenosis). One of the most common nerve conditions that causes groin pain is meralgia paresthetica . This issue arises when a nerve called the lateral femoral cutaneous nerve (which provides sensation to the front and side of your thigh) becomes compressed. This is more likely to occur if you’re overweight or pregnant, but other factors that can increase your risk include:
- Having diabetes
- Being exposed to lead paint
- Experiencing a seatbelt injury in a car accident
Occasionally, wearing tight-fitting clothes or belts could also cause a pinched nerve.
Meralgia paresthetica usually causes pain in the outer thigh that extends from the hip to the knee, but you may also feel groin pain, burning, numbness, and tingling. The symptoms are almost always on one side only. They’re typically worse when standing or when the area is touched.
Weight loss and wearing non-restrictive clothing can often help resolve the symptoms of this condition. Occasionally, physical therapy, a cortisone injection, or anti-inflammatory pain medications may also be necessary if the pain persists.
Pelvic Floor Dysfunction
The pelvic floor is a group of muscles in the base of your pelvis that helps support the organs in that area (like the uterus and the vagina). These muscles also play a role in your bowel, bladder, and sexual function.
Pelvic floor dysfunction can occur if you lose the ability to properly coordinate these important muscles.
Many different things can cause this type of condition, including:
- Advancing age
- Surgery in the pelvic area
- Being overweight
In some cases, however, it can be difficult to find a direct cause.
Pelvic floor dysfunction can result in groin, genital, rectal, or lower back pain.
Difficulty controlling your bowel or bladder function is another common complaint, and you may experience incontinence of stool or urine, or you may have constipation. In addition, pelvic floor dysfunction can lead to pain during sexual activity.
People with pelvic floor dysfunction are usually treated with pelvic floor physical therapy, which teaches you to effectively contract and relax your pelvic muscles. Biofeedback, which uses sensors to help you visualize these muscle contractions, can also be used. Sometimes surgery is needed to treat pelvic floor dysfunction.
In addition, stool-softening medications may be prescribed by your primary healthcare provider or gynecologist to help reduce any constipation.
There are several other pregnancy-related issues that can lead to groin pain. One example is round-ligament pain.
The round ligament is a supportive structure that spans from your uterus to the groin region. As your uterus expands during pregnancy, this ligament stretches and becomes thicker to support the excess weight.
This ligament expansion can cause sharp, stabbing sensations in the groin or lower abdominal region. The pain can occur on one or both sides of your body and is most frequent when:
- Getting up and down from a chair
- Transferring in or out of bed
- Sneezing or coughing
You may also feel a duller ache in the same areas after a long day of activity.
Round-ligament pain is typically relieved with rest (lying on your side with your hips bent can be beneficial). Occasionally, your OB-GYN may also suggest applying heat or taking pain medication, though it is best to check with them first.
The expansion of your pelvis and relaxation of the body’s ligaments during pregnancy can also cause another issue known as symphysis pubis dysfunction (SPD). This condition occurs when the joint that connects the pelvic bones (the pubic symphysis) becomes inflamed and irritated due to pregnancy-related changes in the area.
SPD causes pinching or aching pain in the groin or inner thigh. The pain can occur on one or both sides of the body and is typically provoked by activities like:
- Moving the legs apart
- Getting in or out of bed
- Climbing stairs
- Getting in or out of a car
During pregnancy, modifying your activities and wearing a support belt can help reduce the frequency and intensity of SPD symptoms. The issue frequently resolves itself after birth.
Groin pain will likely affect you at some point. There are many different causes of groin pain, including muscle strain, a urinary tract infection, osteoarthritis, kidney stones, and pregnancy. Some of these conditions are related to physical activity, some to aging, and others to underlying conditions.
Treatments of groin pain depend on the specific cause and symptoms.
A Word From Verywell
Groin pain can be debilitating in some cases. It can also be hard to pinpoint what exactly is causing the pain.
Be sure to speak to your healthcare provider about your groin symptoms. They will perform a thorough evaluation. Once you have a diagnosis, your provider can design a treatment plan that is right for you.
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
- Johns Hopkins Medicine. Groin strain.
- Arthritis Foundation. Osteoarthritis of the hip.
- American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Femoroacetabular impingement.
- American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Sports hernia (athletic pubalgia).
- American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Hip fractures.
- Cleveland Clinic. Urinary tract infections.
- Cleveland Clinic. Appendicitis.
- Michigan Medicine. Swollen lymph nodes.
- Penn Medicine. Kidney stones.
- Tufts Medical Center. Pubic bone stress injury (osteitis pubis).
- American Academy of Family Physicians. Ovarian cyst.
- Cleveland Clinic. Meralgia paresthetica.
- Cleveland Clinic. Pelvic floor dysfunction.
- Marshfield Clinic. Round ligament pain – its causes, symptoms, and treatments.
- Lamaze International. Seven things to know about the pain from pubic symphysis.
By Tim Petrie, DPT, OCS
Tim Petrie, DPT, OCS, is a board-certified orthopedic specialist who has practiced as a physical therapist for more than a decade.
A groin pull — or groin strain — results from putting too much stress on muscles in your groin and thigh. If these muscles are tensed too forcefully or too suddenly, they can get over-stretched or torn.
Groin pulls are common in people who play sports that require a lot of running and jumping. In particular, suddenly jumping or changing direction is a likely cause. Groin pulls often appear in people who play soccer and football, and they make up about 10% of all injuries in professional hockey players.
What Does a Groin Pull Feel Like?
Here are some symptoms of a groin pull:
- Pain and tenderness in the groin and the inside of the thigh
- Pain when you bring your legs together
- Pain when you raise your knee
- A popping or snapping feeling during the injury, followed by severe pain
Groin pulls are often divided into three degrees of severity:
- 1st degree: Mild pain, but little loss of strength or movement
- 2nd degree: Moderate pain, mild to moderate strength loss and some tissue damage
- 3rd degree: Severe pain, severe loss of strength and function due to a complete tear of the muscle
To diagnose a groin pull, your doctor will give you a thorough physical exam. Tests like X-rays and MRIs (magnetic resonance imaging) may be needed to rule out other problems.
What’s the Treatment for a Groin Pull?
Happily, a groin pull will usually heal on its own. You just need to give it some time and rest. To speed the healing, you can:
- Ice the inside of your thigh to reduce pain and swelling. Experts recommend doing it for 20 to 30 minutes every 3 to 4 hours for 2 to 3 days, or until the pain is gone.
- Compress your thigh using an elastic bandage or tape.
- Take anti-inflammatory painkillers. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), like ibuprofen and naproxen, will help with pain and swelling. But studies show their effects are controversial especially if taken long-term. Additionally, these drugs can have side effects; they should be used only occasionally unless your doctor specifically says otherwise.
To assist tissue healing, your medical provider will guide you in active stretching and strengthening exercises. Depending on grade of injury, this can start immediately or may require several days of rest. Pain is used as a guide. Too aggressive and further damage may occur.
Groin pulls can become chronic if the reason it happened is not determined and treated. Your physician or physical therapist should evaluate your core, hips, and lower extremities for potential sources such as weakness or instability that may be adding stress to the groin. Treatments that address not only the groin but also dysfunctions affecting the groin speed up recovery and minimize the risk of recurrence.
Most of the time, these conservative treatments will do the trick. But not always. If these techniques still don’t help, you may want to think about surgery. While surgery may give you relief, it’s a last resort. Not everyone can return to their previous level of activity afterward.
So talk over the pros and cons of surgery with your doctor. You should also consider getting a second opinion.
When a Groin Pull Feels Better, What Then?
Everyone wants to know how quickly they can get back in the game after a groin pull — and how soon the pain will go away. But there’s no easy answer. Recovery time depends on how serious your groin pull is. It may take 4 to 6 weeks, but that’s just a rough estimate. People heal at different rates.
In the meantime, switch to a new activity that won’t put too much stress on your groin muscles. For instance, runners could try swimming.
Whatever you do, don’t rush things. Don’t try to return to your old level of physical activity until:
- You can move your leg on the injured side as freely and as easily as your other leg
- The leg on your injured side feels as strong as the leg on the uninjured side
- You feel no pain when you walk, the jog, then sprint, and finally jump
If you start pushing yourself before your groin pull is healed, you could re-injure yourself. And if you get further groin pulls, they may be harder to treat and take longer to heal. They can even lead to permanent disability.
How Can I Prevent Groin Pulls?
Given that groin pulls can be painful and debilitating, the best advice is to prevent them. You should:
- Always warm up your legs and groin muscles before physical activity. A light jog or other activities to increase body temperature have been shown to reduce risk of muscle stains.
- Wear shoes with good support that fit well.
- Always increase the intensity of your physical activity slowly — no more than a 10% increase a week.
- Stop exercising if you feel pain or tightness in your groin or the inside of your thigh.
- Do regular strengthening exercises for your thigh muscles, especially if you’ve had a groin pull before.
Groin injuries can result from added stress due to weakness elsewhere. If involved in athletics and you have a history of groin injuries, ask your medical professional about activities that can help reduce your risk.
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