Here at the physio clinic in Coquitlam, we treat many patients who’ve had the misfortune of picking up a groin strain. It’s a common injury, and with the right active rehab, you can get back to normal in no time.
Groin strains are more common in athletes and men, but specific activities make them more likely. Sprinters, soccer, and hockey players frequently suffer the injury.
What is a groin strain?
A groin strain is a tear in one of the adductor muscles inside your thigh. Physios treat many groin strain injuries using different techniques like soft tissue massage or sports physio. The groin is the area where your abdomen meets your leg. It’s also where your inner thigh muscles attach to your pubic bone. The three types of groin strains
Groin strains come in three different grades:
1: Is a mild or partial stretch where only a few muscle fibres get torn. You’ll feel fewer symptoms and no substantial loss of strength or inability to walk, although the muscle will feel tender.
2: Is a more moderate stretch or tear to a greater number of adductor muscle fibres. People experience more pain than with a grade one injury, and there is a loss of strength with possible bruising occurring. You may also have difficulty walking normally with a grade two injury.
3: Is a more severe tear of the muscle fibres. If you’re unlucky enough to experience a grade three, you may even hear a popping sound at the point of injury. There is much bruising, and walking is highly challenging, with any weight applied to the leg extremely painful.
How do people get a groin strain?
The injury is very common and relatively easy for a Coquitlam physio to treat. The condition typically occurs when you overstretch or contract the muscles in and around the groin. Runners and other athletes also often pick up a groin strain when turning sharply, kicking, and during a sudden burst of speed.
How does a groin strain feel?
When you experience a groin strain, you’ll feel sudden and sharp pain inside your thigh or elsewhere in the region of the groin. Some people even feel the tearing sensation as their muscle gets damaged. It’s important to get a groin issue checked out straight away because even when the condition initially feels relatively mild, further activity can cause pain to worsen with the resulting inflammation and bleeding in the injured muscle tissue. Additional symptoms of a groin strain include:
· Local stiffness
· Muscle weakness
· Muscle numbness
· Muscle spasms
· Pins and needles or a tingling sensation
How will a Coquitlam physio treat a strained groin muscle?
Your Coquitlam or Port Moody physio will most likely advise you to apply the RICE technique for the first one-two days after a groin strain occurs. That entails using rest, ice, compression, and elevation.
Physios use the RICE technique because it provides a sound basis for later treatment. It reduces inflammation and bleeding in the damaged area, and resting limits further damage. If your groin tear is particularly severe, your Coquitlam physiotherapist may even recommend you use crutches for a short period to keep weight off the affected area.
When you attend the physiotherapy clinic in Coquitlam or Port Moody, your therapist will perform a thorough assessment of the injury and determine an appropriate course of treatment to get you back on your feet.
To start, the therapist identifies exactly where and just how badly the muscle tissue is damaged.
The techniques they prescribe will depend on you and the specific nature of the injury but may include:
· Soft Tissue Manipulation
· Core Stability Exercise Program
· Exercises to strengthen the hips and associated areas
What should I avoid with a groin strain?
Your Coquitlam physio will recommend you avoid certain actions and activities in the week following a groin strain. These could include:
· Hot showers
· Stretching your groin
· Heat rubs
· Drinking alcohol
What are the long-term effects of a groin strain?
A groin strain or adductor muscle injury is rarely cause for too much concern in the longer term. If you get treatment from a professional physio as soon as possible, you can expect to recover fully within a few weeks. If your injury is particularly severe, however, the physio may prescribe a lengthier treatment plan. That’s because a big muscle tear can have a knock-on effect on surrounding tissues and muscles.
If that’s the case, recovery can take a while longer, so it’s important to book an appointment online and then listen carefully to your Coquitlam physio and only resume normal activities when it’s appropriate. Otherwise, you could risk making the injury worse or a recurrence.