The Minor Injury That Can Really Knock You Off Your Feet

A groin strain is a tear or rupture to any one of the five adductor muscles. The most common muscle to be injured is the adductor longus muscle which connects from the pubic ramus to the medial (inner) surface of the femur (thigh bone)and it can really sideline a person from their activities if it suffers a strain.

The main function of this set of muscles is simply to pull the legs back towards the midline, a movement termed adduction. When walking normally, the muscles pull and help swing the lower limbs and maintain the balance of the body. A rupture or tear in the muscle usually occurs when sprinting, changing direction or in rapid movements of the leg against resistance such as kicking a ball.

What are the symptoms of groin strain?

* Tightening of the groin muscles and this may not appear for up to 24-hours after the initial injury.
* A sudden sharp pain in the groin area or adductor muscles during exercise.
* Bruising or swelling is common a 1-2 days after the injury.
* Inability to contract the muscles by squeezing the legs together or possibly lifting the leg out in front.
* Pain on stretching the muscles.
* A lump or gap in the adductor muscles themselves may be felt.

There are three grades of muscle strain:
Grade 1 is the mildest with only mild discomfort and a little tenderness.
Grade 2 is more severe and is painful with movement or touch and often there is marked swelling of the area.
Grade 3 is the most severe muscle strain and will be extremely painful with a complete loss of the ability to run and sometimes even walk.

Groin strain treatment

* Apply R.I.C.E. (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) immediately.
* Rest and use crutches for support if you must move and need assistance.
* See a sports injury professional and get an exercise program to slowly rehab those strained muscles and get yourself back into activities a lot sooner.

Common exercises for rehab of the strain include stretching exercises that are very gradually increased as the healing occurs to build up strength and endurance in the groin muscle.