GROIN STRAIN

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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. 

Cause

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.

Symptoms

  • Pain with motion

  • Swelling or bruising

  • Limping

  • Redness or warmth

  • Over tight muscles or weakness  

Treatment

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.

Groin stretch

Below are three stretches that can help your adductors once out of the acute stage of injury.

Standing Adductor stretch

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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)

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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

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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) 

  1. https://www.moveforwardpt.com/SymptomsConditionsDetail.aspx?cid=a718efd4-8b6c-4b7b-af9c-adeb8a5e7745

  2. https://workoutlabs.com/exercise-guide/bodyweight-side-steps-lateral-lunges/

  3. https://workoutlabs.com/exercise-guide/butterfly-stretch/

References (retrieved 5/2/19)

  1. https://www.healthline.com/health/groin-strain#treatment

  2. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/321007.php

  3. https://www.summitmedicalgroup.com/library/adult_health/sma_groin_strain/

  4. https://www.verywellhealth.com/diagnosing-and-treating-groin-pulls-exercises-and-tips-4142070

  5. https://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/groin-pull#1

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.

Copyright © Vidal Sports LLC 2019

The Lower Anterior Leg: 3 Stretches and 3 Self-Massage Techniques

The lower anterior leg (the shin) contains a group of long, tendinous muscles that are responsible for dorsiflexion and eversion of the foot, extension of the toes, and assist with ankle stabilization. Specifically, the Tibialis Anterior is the largest and most superficial of the shin muscles, and runs down the length of the shin in front of the tibia bone. Overuse, over extension and improper conditioning entering endurance activities such as downhill running or running on uneven surfaces can overload in the Tibialis Anterior, and thus the muscle is often associated with running pain.

Here are a few examples of stretches and self-massage techniques if your muscles feel sore and tight after activity.

Three Stretches:

Standing stretch

Supporting yourself with your left hand, step into a forward lunge with your right leg. Gently gently flip your left foot into plantar flexion.  Lower into a deeper lunge to increase the stretch.

 

Seated stretch

Sit in a chair with your right foot firmly planted on the ground. Carefully slide your left foot backwards unto plantar flexion underneath the chair.

 

Side-lying stretch

Supporting yourself with your left forearm, lay on your left side on a yoga mat. Keeping your right leg straight and planted on the floor for support, flex your left knee and catch your ankle with your right hand. Pull your knee into a deeper flex to increase the stretch. 

 

Three Self-Massage Techniques:

Longitudinal Roll

Place the foam roller on the floor. Carefully place your lower leg on the roller. Internally rotate the leg to avoid rolling directly on the tibia bone. With your other leg on by your side for support, gently roll up and down to massage the muscles lengthwise. This can also be done using a roller stick or a tennis ball.

 

Cross Fiber Roll

Sit on the floor with you leg extended. Using a roller massage stick, start at the ridge of the tibia and work laterally towards the floor, being careful not to roll over the bone. This can also be done using a tennis ball.

 

Pin and Stretch

Sit on the floor with your leg extended. Place your roller stick on a trigger point. Hold firmly, and gently dorsiflex and plantar flex your foot. This can also be done using a tennis ball.

 

These techniques, along with regular sports massage sessions, can be used as preventative care against shin pain as you amp up your spring training!

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.

Copyright © Vidal Sports LLC 2019