When you tense or tighten the muscles that stretch from the inner thigh bone to the inside of the pelvic too quickly or forcefully, it can result in a groin strain, also known as a groin pull. These muscles, known as the adductor muscles, pull the legs together. This injury is most common among athletes who run and jump a lot or who close their legs forcefully, such as in hockey, swimming, football, sprinting and and soccer.
Symptoms of a groin pull include pain and tenderness when you bring your legs together or lift your knee, and pain in the thigh and groin area. Usually, a groin injury heals on its own if you give it rest, apply ice to the area, compress the area and take an anti-inflammatory pain medication such as ibuprofen. Still, if you think you have strained your groin, it’s best to consult a sports medicine specialist, both to rule out other causes of pain and because a groin pull can actually tear the muscle and cause long-term pain that interferes with everyday activities. He or she may also recommend physical therapy to help the groin heal and prevent future injuries.
If these basic measures don’t foster your groin’s recovery, and you suffer from pain for more than six months, you may want to discuss the possibility of surgery with your sports medicine specialist. However, surgery is a last resort, and you may not be able to return to your original level of activity even after completely healing from the surgery.
Once you’ve recovered from a groin strain, prevent it from coming back by stretching the area before exercise, and by performing strengthening exercises for your groin and the core of your body through exercise. Also, increase your activity gradually once you resume your training.