Groin strain is a relatively common condition that is characterised by tearing of some or all of the groin muscle fibres. When we talk about the groin we’re basically talking about the muscles on the inside aspect of your thigh, they are known as the adductor muscles. These muscles originate from the pelvis and pubic region and insert along the inner aspect of the leg bones (femur and tibia).
The groin muscles contribute to stabilising the pelvis when you’re on one leg and pulling the leg in towards the midline of the body. They are particularly active during running and kicking activities and groin strain commonly occurs when there is a sudden or strong contraction of the groin muscles from a lengthened or stretched position. This typically occurs during phases of rapid acceleration whilst running, particularly when changing direction or when a footballer takes a long kick.
These sorts of strains are commonly seen in running sports such as football, hockey and athletics (particularly sprinters, hurdlers, and long jumpers) as well as skiing, horse riding and gymnastics. Groin strains tend to occur more commonly in the older athlete and are particularly common following an inadequate warm-up.
Groin strains range from a grade 1 to a grade 3 strain and are classified as follows:
- Grade 1: a small number of muscle fibres are torn resulting in some pain but allowing full function.
- Grade 2: a significant number of muscle fibres are torn with moderate loss of function.
- Grade 3: all muscle fibres are ruptured resulting in major loss of function.
Treatment and management strategies implemented for a groin strain are important as this is one of those injuries that classically become chronic if not managed appropriately.
Some modalities that your Osteopath may include in treatment for this condition include:
- Soft tissue mobilisation
- Muscle energy techniques
- Thermal therapies
- Biomechanical correction / corrective exercises
- Strengthening exercises
- Injury education
- Advice on Anti-inflammatory strategies
With appropriate management, patients with minor groin strains can usually recover in one to three weeks. With larger tears, recovery may take four to six weeks or unfortunately even longer, depending on the severity.
Osteopathy for athletes with these sorts of strains can be a vital part of optimising the healing process to ensure the best outcome and reduce the risk of future recurrence,; so if you suffer from groin strains, give us a call on 8370 3044.