What is a groin injury?
A groin strain is a muscular tear or rupture to any one of the groin muscles, usually one from the hip adductor muscle group, of which the most common to be strained is the adductor longus.
What are the signs and symptoms?
There are different types of groin injury – acute and chronic. The symptoms of an acute injury may occur immediately after a kick or something similar in the form of a sudden sharp pain in the groin. Signs of a chronic injury would be pain that is slowly building week on week after each training session, gradually worsening.
What are the causes?
There are two main causes of groin injury. Firstly, having had a previous groin injury means a higher risk of getting another injury in the area. Secondly, if the muscles of the groin are not strong enough to support the sport you want to do, then the risk of injury is also increased.
How is it diagnosed?
The doctor will perform a thorough physical exam to diagnose a groin injury, and an x-ray of MRI may be used to rule out other problems.
How is it treated?
For athletes there are four main kinds of groin injury: abductor related groin pain, iliopsoas related groin pain, inguinal related groin pain, and pubic related groin pain. Treatment will vary depending on which of these is diagnosed, but generally rehabilitation will begin first. Acute adductor injuries are usually with active rehabilitation: gently, increasing exercise from the day of the injury to strengthen the muscles. Recovery times range from a week to around 4 months depending on the severity.
How can it be prevented?
There is new evidence to show that strengthening the groin muscles with some simple exercises can reduce the risk of groin injury.