What is it?
Also known as a sports hernia, a groin strain is an injury to any of the adductor muscles (inner thigh muscles). This can vary in severity from mild (muscle strain) to severe (muscle tear). It is an injury often associated with athletes taking part in sports that require rotation (kicking in martial arts, golf or tennis) or quick changes of direction (football, handball or ice skating).
The most common symptom of a groin strain is pain felt on the inner thigh, anywhere from the knee to the hip crease. It can be associated with swelling and / or bruising and often leads to difficulty in walking or running.
An imbalance in the rotational muscles of the body can lead to the adductors getting overly fatigued, causing an increase in risk for an injury. It can also be caused by sudden, unexpected movements that require rotation or changes of direction, as well as trying to prevent falling during slipping or tripping.
Who can suffer from it?
Although anyone can suffer from a groin strain, it is most prevalent amongst athletes, both recreational as well as professional. Some sports, such as football and golf, have a higher injury risk when compared to road running or swimming.
How to treat it?
As with most muscular issues treatment is often based on the severity of the injury. In the case of muscle tears, surgical repair of the muscle is often required. In the case of muscle strains some manual therapy and corrective exercise have a very high success rate. In either event, correction of any muscle imbalances that either caused the injury or resulted from the injury, is paramount.