A pulled groin muscle strain or tear can cause frustration, affect mobility, make daily tasks more complex, and take a while to heal. Although athletes are most likely to sustain this injury, anyone who engages in any form of physical activity may also be affected.
The pull can occur after a fall, exercise, or just plain out of the blue. Continue reading to find out how to prevent a pulled groin muscle.
What is a Groin Pull?
A groin strain is a common injury that can occur when the inner thighs and adductor muscles are damaged or torn due to overextension. This type of injury is often associated with high-impact activities, such as running, jumping, and sudden changes in direction.
Athletes who participate in sports that require these types of movements are particularly susceptible to groin strains. However, anyone with an active lifestyle can experience this type of injury. It is important to seek medical attention if you suspect you have a groin strain to prevent further damage and ensure proper treatment.
Pulled Groin Severity:
A pulled muscle in the groin is graded according to its severity. The grading system will help you determine if your injury needs immediate attention.
Mild discomfort is experienced by a patient who has suffered a grade 1 groin pull. It is a mild tear that causes damage to less than 25% of the muscle fibers.
Grade 2 pulled muscle groin refers to a mild tear where 25% to 90% of the fibers have been damaged. The symptoms include sharp pain that may develop within a few days of the injury. They may not be obvious.
Grade 3 groin strains are the most severe and involve either a complete or almost complete rupture (90% or greater) of the muscle. The injury can cause severe pain that manifests within 24 to 48 hours.
Groin Strains Causes
A pulled groin muscle can be caused by
Overuse injuries to bony structures such as the hip, pelvis, hip, upper leg, and hip can lead to stress fractures. A groin pull could be caused by repetitive sprinting, jumping, or running uphill.
Short and intense training sessions
You may get a pulled groin quickly from intense training or too fast to progress to high-intensity exercises. It includes jumping, pivoting, and sudden changes of direction.
Not Resting After an Acute Groin Injury
Your acute groin injury could become chronic if you keep doing strenuous activities when you feel groin pain.
While pulling your groin may happen slowly or suddenly, some factors could increase or decrease the likelihood of sustaining a groin injury. These include weak adductor muscles and overactive hip flexors.
Pulled Groin Muscle Symptoms
A pulled groin can be characterized by:
- Tightening the inner thigh muscles
- Loss of flexibility
- stabbing pain
- Snapping or popping sensation and tenderness in the inner thigh
- It can hurt to stand, sit, or walk.
- Extreme cases of the pulled groin may cause bruising, urinary issues, loss of upper-leg strength and function, and a gaping or lump in the adductor muscles.
Treatments for a pulled groin muscle
The treatment for a pulled groin muscle typically includes:
- Rest: Avoiding activities that stress the groin muscle is important for healing.
- Cold pack: Applying Cold therapy pack to the affected area for 20 minutes at a time, several times a day, can help reduce pain and swelling.
- Compression: Compressing the affected area with an elastic bandage can also help reduce swelling.
- Elevation: Elevating the affected leg above the heart can help reduce swelling.
- Physical therapy: Physical therapy can help to strengthen the groin muscle and prevent further injury.
Most pulled groin muscles heal within a few weeks with proper treatment. However, listening to your body and rest when necessary is important. If you have any pain or discomfort, stop the activity and rest.
Groin Pull Diagnosis
To treat it properly, it is essential to diagnose the cause of a pulled groin correctly. Your doctor will diagnose whether you have a muscle strain injury or something more severe, like a pathological condition.
Medical History and Physical Examination
A complete medical history is the first and most crucial step in the diagnostic process. For medical advice and a customized physical exam, your primary doctor, sports medicine doctor, or physical therapist will all be the best healthcare providers.
Resistance Muscle Test
A resisted muscle test is the best way to diagnose a groin pull. Your doctor will use resistance to test your muscle injury. Your doctor will be able to identify the type and location of your muscle injury once the groin pain has been reproduced.
An X-ray can provide clear images of bones, which can help to rule out stress fractures.
An MRI scan is not often necessary to confirm the presence of a pulled groin. If the condition is severe, an order may be required.
Time to recover the pulled groin
Depending on the severity of your injury, the time it takes to recover from a pulled groin depends on how long it took. It usually takes between four and six weeks for complete flexibility to return. You can care for your pulled groin muscles with physical therapy, rest, stretching, strengthening exercises, and other home remedies.
Here is a general estimate of the recovery time for different grades of groin strains:
- Grade 1: 2-3 weeks
- Grade 2: 4-6 weeks
- Grade 3: 6-12 weeks
It is important to note that these are just estimates, and your individual recovery time may vary. It is important to listen to your body and rest when necessary. If you have any pain or discomfort, stop the activity and rest.
Returning to activity gradually after your groin muscle has healed is important. Start with light activities, such as walking and swimming, and gradually increase the intensity and duration of your workouts over time.
If you have any concerns about your recovery, be sure to talk to your doctor.
Groin Pull Care & Prevention
Conservative treatments for a pulled groin include pain medication, Cold therapy pack, groin support, and exercise. It's not expensive or difficult to heal. Knowing the risk factors that could lead to a groin pull due to your training volume and activity level is important to avoid re-injury. Talk to your doctor or physical therapist about any concerns to maximize your recovery and achieve the best results.