Groin Injuries

A groin strain occurs when too much stress is placed on the muscles in the groin and thigh, especially the primary inner thigh muscle known as the adductor longus. These injuries occur most frequently in athletes who play a contact sport or whose sport requires them to jump, run, and change direction suddenly—as in basketball, football, soccer, and ice hockey. A groin injury can cause pain and tenderness in the groin and thigh; pain when the legs are brought together; and pain when the knee is raised. Some people report hearing a popping sound when the injury occurs and extreme pain immediately following. Most groin injuries can be diagnosed through a physical examination. However, imaging may be necessary to rule out the possibility of other conditions. Most groin strains will heal on their own with rest (five to seven days), ice, compression, and anti-inflammatory medication. Some gentle stretches and strengthening exercises may be beneficial to improve flexibility and prevent weakness from occurring as a result of disuse. Depending on the severity of the strain, recovery time can take anywhere from one week to eight. It is important to wait until the pain recedes before returning to any sport or vigorous activity.