Another common sports injury we see here at West Pennant Hills Physiotherapy and Sports Injuries Centre is groin strains. Groin injuries most often occur in sports with high speed running, changes of direction, kicking or jumping.
A groin strain is an injury to any of your groin muscles, usually one of the hip adductor muscles, which are the muscles on the inside of your leg. They usually occur with high speed activities such as changes of direction, kicking or sprinting. Although sports are the most common cause of a groin strain, it can also occur with falls, lifting heavy objects or other types of exercise such as resistance training.
Symptoms Of A Groin Strain
Pain is usually felt in the inner thigh, but can also radiate down towards the knee
Swelling and/or bruising in more severe strains
Difficulty walking or running without pain
Hearing a snap or pop at the moment of injury
Decreased strength in the leg
Depending on the severity of the strain, groin injuries are classified as Grade 1-3.
A Grade 1 strain is a mild strain. This is when overstretching of the muscle fibres occur, however there are no tears. You will experience increased tightness in the muscle through range of motion and while stretching. You may be able to walk without pain, but running, jumping, changing direction or kicking may be painful.
Grade 2 strains involve a partial tear in the muscle. Your pain will be more immediate and more severe than Grade 1 strains, and you may also have some swelling. Muscle strength and flexibility will be reduced. The muscle is usually sore to touch, and you will likely have trouble walking without pain.
A Grade 3 strain is a severe or complete rupture of the muscle. You may be able to feel a gap in the muscle where the tear is. You will feel a sudden, sharp pain in the inner thigh and you may develop bruising. You will experience significant pain with walking. Some grade 3 strains may require surgical intervention.
What To Do When You Injure Your Groin?
Immediate treatment of a groin strain should follow the RICER protocol. That is, rest, ice, compression, elevation and referral to a healthcare professional. You may also take pain medication to help settle down the pain and swelling. After 72 hours you can start to apply heat to the injured area to help relax the muscles and relieve your pain.
You will need to resume your activities gradually to enable your muscle to heal properly and prevent you from injuring it again. You must also ensure you warm up before physical activity and include groin muscle stretches, especially before doing any sprinting or jumping.
How Can Physiotherapy Help With A Groin Injury?
Physiotherapy aims to relieve your pain through soft tissue remedial massage, ultrasound, hot or cold packs and TENS. We give you advice on how long you need to stay off sport, and when it is safe to return. We prescribe you with exercises that are safe to do while you’re off sport to help target your flexibility, strength and endurance. We make your exercises sports specific so that you are better able to handle all the challenges that your sport requires. It is important that groin injuries are rehabilitated properly, as they can reoccur if they aren’t treated correctly. The exercise program must include all aspects of fitness including flexibility, power and endurance. Our comprehensive rehabilitation program will help to return you to your sport or other activities as quickly as possible and help to prevent further recurrences.
As a general guideline, Grade 1 strains take two to three weeks to recover. Grade 2 takes six to twelve weeks, and Grade 3 can take three months or longer.
Tips For Preventing A Groin Strain
1.Make sure you warm up before sport or exercise. Your warm up should include dynamic stretches, light cardio and sports specific drills.
2. Daily stretching of the inner and outer thigh muscles. Your hamstrings should also be stretched to ensure good muscle balance.
3. Strengthening of the inner and outer thigh muscles to ensure they are able to cope with the demands of your sport.
4. Sports specific drills to practice change of direction and kicking, which commonly cause groin strains. This will help the muscles to adapt to performing these movements.
5. Avoid over-training and make sure to get enough rest between training sessions to prevent your muscles from fatiguing. When your muscles are fatigued, they don’t work as well which can predispose you to injury.
If you are suffering from a groin injury or have any further questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us, we would be more than happy to help! Give us a call on 9875 3760 or email us firstname.lastname@example.org.