What causes groin strains?
The area of the body known as the groin is the upper part of the inner thighs. The adductor muscles are powerful muscles which are situated on the inner thigh and they attach to the groin by the adductor tendons. A strain or small tear to the upper part of the adductor muscles or the adductor tendons is referred to as a groin strain. These injuries may occur slowly over a period of time or may occur immediately with forceful hip movements when playing sports.
At Circle Health, our physiotherapy team are experts in treating soft tissue injuries such as groin strains around the hip. Although sedentary individuals can develop a groin strain it is an injury often seen in sportsmen and sportswomen. As such, at an initial assessment our physiotherapists will take an in depth history of any sports training which has been undertaken and any schedule that need to be kept in terms of sports training.
Following the in depth assessment of your goals and needs our physiotherapists will conduct a physical examination to determine several factors. Firstly, an assessment of how severe the groin strain is will be established by using clinical tests which place the adductor muscles and tendons under load.
Secondly, the physical examination will focus on assessing the range of motion of the joints as well as the strength and movement control when in positions which may mimic sporting function. This may include squatting and lunging in to certain directions and at a more advanced level jumping, landing and a jogging analysis on the treadmill.
The clinical examination will form the basis of how to plan optimal manual therapy techniques as well as an optimal exercise regime for a rapid return to sport.
Manual techniques for groin strains may include soft tissue release and home stretches to improve the flexibility of the adductor muscle groups. Hip joint mobilisation techniques can also be used to reduce the strain placed on the adductor muscles.
A loading plan involving a gradually progressed phase of strengthening exercises aimed at the adductor muscles will also be a key component of rehabilitation.
Poor technique and specific areas of weakness picked up on the biomechanical analysis will also be addressed with challenging movement control and strengthening exercises.
Groin strains range from a minor ache on higher level injuries to significant pain during activities of daily living such as when climbing stairs. Low grade injuries may take between 4 to 6 weeks to entirely resolve and higher grade injuries may take several months. As the pain reduces to a lower intensity you will normally be able to continue to partake in sports.