Every lower body movement connects in to your hips and pelvis. At the base of your pelvis are your adductor muscles, also referred to as your inner thighs. These muscles assist with adduction (pulling your legs together), flexion and medial rotation of the legs.
A groin strain usually occurs from a sudden, awkward movement and often occurs with athletes that perform a lot of jumping, kicking, turning, sudden or lateral movements. But it can also occur from lifting heavy objects or falling.
Types of strains
A strain occurs when the muscle is overstretched. There are 3 different types of groin strains from a simple over stretching of the adductors to partial or full tears. Less severe strains (grade 1) have no tears in the muscle fiber, moderate (grade 2) have some minor tears and the most severe (grade 3) tear more of the muscle fibers or all of them.
A doctor will diagnose a groin strain with a physical exam and tests such as an x-ray or MRI.
Pain with motion
Swelling or bruising
Redness or warmth
Over tight muscles or weakness
Right after the injury the main goal is to reduce pain and swelling. To aid in this it is recommended to use ice, rest, elevate and compression of the groin region. Your doctor may also recommend anti-inflammatories or ibuprofen.
After the acute stage of injury your doctor may recommend to start gently stretching the area (see some examples of stretches below), to apply heat to relax the tight muscles and may also recommend massage.
Sports massage can help work relax and stretch the groin and surrounding muscle groups to aid in recovery and to help regain motion and balance.
It is best to ease your way back into vigorous activities due to a higher recurrence rate with groin strains.
Below are three stretches that can help your adductors once out of the acute stage of injury.
Standing Adductor stretch
1. Stretch one leg out to the side, keeping your other leg under your torso.
2. Move into a lateral lunge.
3. Your outstretched leg should have a straight knee and should feel the stretch in the inner thigh.
Seated Adductor stretch (butterfly stretch)
1. Sit with your feet together and knees bent. Grab your feet with your hands and place your arms on your thighs.
2. Push your knees gently down toward the ground with your arms.
3. Feel the stretch along your inner thighs.[D]
Supine Adductor stretch
1. Lay on your back, legs against the wall, legs and butt touching the wall.
2. Let your legs fall to the side and relax in this position.
Picture references (retrieved 5/2/19)
References (retrieved 5/2/19)
This article/video is for educational purposes only; do not attempt without your physician’s clearance. If you are in pain or injured, see your physician.
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