Groin injuries involve the adductor muscles that go from the pelvis to the knee and help to bring the leg in toward the body. These muscles are used a lot during sprinting, kicking a ball, horseback riding and hurdling. A rupture or tear in the muscle can occur during these activities, leading to groin strain. Symptoms are sudden, sharp groin pain, bruising or swelling and an inability to squeeze the legs together. In severe cases, walking may be difficult. As in all muscle tears, more severe cases will require physiotherapy intervention.
Another type of groin injury is inflammation of the adductor muscles that can result from a previous groin strain. Pain may begin at the top of the muscle and radiate down the leg. Pain is felt when the legs are pushed together with resistance or the hip is flexed (leg raised with knee bent) against resistance. There may be difficulty running, especially sprinting. For this type of groin pain, physiotherapy is indicated to prevent re-injury.
Inguinal hernias can also result in groin pain as the contents of the abdomen protrude through the inguinal canal. Men are 25 times more likely to experience this type of hernia. Groin pain is felt during exercise and when coughing or sneezing. There may be a bulge in the groin area which disappears when you lie down. Femoral hernias are more common in older and frail women. It manifests itself in a lump in the groin area and pain with exercise, but not as much with coughing or sneezing. Both types of hernia require surgical intervention.
Ostitis pubis (inflammation of the pubic bone) is a type of groin injury that causes radiating pain around the groin but is more significant in the front. It can result from overuse or from direct impact and may develop gradually and be mistaken for a muscle strain. Symptoms include groin pain when running, doing sit ups or squatting, or you may walk with a waddling gait. This type of groin injury requires rest from 3 days to 3 months, depending on severity. Rehabilitation will focus on pain management, adductor stretching and other exercises.
Rupture of the iliopsoas muscle is a rare occurrence, but when it does occur groin pain is likely to be felt where the muscle tendon inserts into the thigh bone. Symptoms include a sudden sharp pain which comes back when you try to lift your knee up to your chest. The knee feels weak when you try to raise it, and groin pain is felt when you raise the knee against resistance. This type of groin injury calls for rest and rehabilitation. Physiotherapy will focus on pain management with ultrasound or laser and stretching and strengthening exercises. If you experience any of these, please call us at Physiohealth. We can help.