Groin Strain

A groin strain is a partial or complete tear of the small fibers of the adductor muscles. The adductors are a group of muscles located on the inner side of the thigh. They start in the groin area and run down the inner thigh to attach to the inner side of the knee. Groin strain is a common sports-related injury. Treatment depends on the severity of the strain.

  • Causes

    A groin strain can be caused by:

    • Stretching the adductor muscles beyond the amount of tension they can withstand
    • Suddenly putting stress on the adductor muscles when they are not ready for stress
    • Overusing the adductor muscles over time
    • Getting a direct blow to the adductor muscles

  • Definition

    A groin strain is a partial or complete tear of the small fibers of the adductor muscles. The adductors are a group of muscles located on the inner side of the thigh. They start in the groin area and run down the inner thigh to attach to the inner side of the knee.

    Groin strain is a common sports-related injury. Treatment depends on the severity of the strain.

    Muscles of the Groin
    Groin muscle
    Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

  • Diagnosis

    The doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done.


    Most groin strains can be diagnosed with a physical exam. Your doctor may want images of the area if severe damage is suspected. Images may be taken with
    MRI
    .

    Muscle strains are graded according to their severity:

    • Grade 1—Some stretching with micro-tearing of muscle fibers.
    • Grade 2—Partial tearing of muscle fibers.
    • Grade 3—Complete tearing of muscle fibers. This may also be called a rupture or avulsion.

  • Prevention

    To help reduce your chance of getting a groin strain, take the following steps:

    • Keep your adductor muscles strong to absorb the energy of sudden physical stress
    • Learn the proper technique for exercises and sports
    • Warm up your muscles slowly and stretch them properly

  • Risk Factors

    Factors that may increase your chance of developing a groin strain include:

    • Participation in sports that require bursts of speed. This includes track sports like running, hurdles, or long jump. Other sports include basketball, soccer, football, or rugby.
    • Previous strain or injury to the area.
    • Muscle fatigue or weakness.
    • Tight groin muscles.
    • Poor conditioning.
    • Imbalance of musculature
    • Abnornality of bone structure

  • Symptoms

    Symptoms may include:

    • Pain and tenderness in the groin area
    • Stiffness in the groin area
    • Weakness of the adductor muscles
    • Bruising in the groin area if blood vessels are broken
    • Popping or snapping sensation as the muscle tears

  • Treatment

    Talk with your doctor about the best treatment plan for you. Recovery time ranges depending on the grade of your injury. Treatment steps may include: