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Groin strain

How do you get a groin strain? There are five adductor muscles, the pectineus, adductor brevis and adductor longus (called short adductors) go from the pelvis to the thigh bone and the gracilis and adductor magnus (long adductors) go from the pelvis to the knee. The main function of these muscles is to pull the legs together. They are also used quite a lot in sprinting, playing football, horse riding and hurdling. A rupture or tear in the muscle usually occurs when sprinting, twisting or when kicking something that doesn't move.

Symptoms include:

  • Tightening of the groin muscles that may not be present until the day after competition
  • A sudden sharp pain in the groin area or adductor muscles
  • Bruising or swelling (this might not occur until a couple of days after the initial injury)
  • Inability to contract the adductor muscles
  • A lump or gap in the adductor muscles
Grade 1, 2 or 3?

Groin strains are graded 1, 2, or 3 depending on how bad they are:
  • The athlete with a grade 1 strain might feel mild discomfort, possibly a little tenderness at a particular point but no swelling
  • A grade 2 strain might feel more painful with swelling, pain to touch, reduced range of motion and interference with running
  • A grade 3 strain may be very painful, lots of swelling and total inability to run or even walk
What can the athlete do?
  • Apply R.I.C.E. (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) immediately
  • Rest and use crutches if needed
  • See a sports injury professional who can advise on rehabilitation of the injury
  • For a grade 3 strain seek professional help immediately
What can a sports injury specialist or doctor do?
  • Use ultrasound or laser treatment
  • Use sports massage techniques after the acute phase (very important)
  • Operate if the muscle has torn completely
  • Advise on a rehabilitation programme consisting of soft tissue treatment, stretching,
  • strengthening and sports massage
  • A partial rupture of the adductor muscles will often lead to inflammation after the initial rupture has healed

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