Groin Pain & Injury

Groin Pain & Injury

Article by J.Miller, Z.Russell

What Causes Groin Pain?

Groin pain is a common sporting injury in high speed running, direction change or jumping and landing sports. The musculature is complicated with highly stressed anchor points and the involvement of pelvis joints plus your lumbosacral spine. These injuries can cause tendinopathy, such as adductor tendinopathy.

The joints most likely involved in groin pain include your pubic symphysis, sacroiliac joints, hip joints and your low lumbar spine. One example of excessive stress occurring through your pubic symphysis is osteitis pubisFemoroacetabular impingement is a bone impact condition that requires careful management to avoid surgery. Hip arthritis or a hip labral tear can also cause deep groin pain. A stress fracture can also occur, affecting either your pelvis or femur.

Muscle control is a vital component of the rehabilitation and prevention of groin pain. Your deep abdominal core muscles, deep hip rotators, gluteals, adductors and lower back muscles all work together to control your lower limb on your pelvis and pelvis on your spine. Any muscle imbalance or incoordination can lead to groin pain. The most common groin muscle injury is an adductor muscle strain commonly referred to as a groin strain. Hip flexor strains are also common, especially in kicking and running sports.

Other passive tissue such as your inguinal wall can be overstressed and result in conditions such as an inguinal hernia or sportsman’s hernia.

Systemic conditions can be a potential cause of groin pain. These include rheumatoid arthritisankylosing spondylitispsoriatic arthritis and osteoarthritis. Please discuss any concerns with your physiotherapist or doctor.

Groin Pain Treatment

Groin pain assessment and treatment can be pretty challenging, so an accurate diagnosis is crucial to provide you with the best rehabilitation.

A highly skilled hip and groin physiotherapist will assess, diagnose and treat traumatic groin and biomechanical related injuries. If you are suffering groin pain, we highly recommend that you seek the professional help of a practitioner experienced in assessing and managing groin pain. It can be very tricky! You wouldn’t want to undergo a hip replacement early in life due to mismanagement of your groin pain.

With accurate assessment and early treatment, most groin pain responds extremely quickly to physiotherapy allowing you to resume pain-free and normal activities of daily living quickly.

For a thorough assessment and the quickest relief from your groin pain, please contact your physiotherapist.

Acute Injury Signs

Acute Injury Management.

Here are some warning signs that you have an injury. While some injuries are immediately evident, others can creep up slowly and progressively get worse. If you don't pay attention to both types of injuries, chronic problems can develop.

For detailed information on specific injuries, check out the injury by body part section.

Don't Ignore these Injury Warning Signs

Joint Pain

Joint pain, particularly in the knee, ankle, elbow, and wrist joints, should never be ignored. Because these joints are not covered by muscle, pain here is rarely of muscular origin. Joint pain that lasts more than 48 hours requires a professional diagnosis.

Tenderness

If you can elicit pain at a specific point in a bone, muscle, or joint, you may have a significant injury by pressing your finger into it. If the same spot on the other side of the body does not produce the same pain, you should probably see your health professional.  

Swelling

Nearly all sports or musculoskeletal injuries cause swelling. Swelling is usually quite obvious and can be seen, but occasionally you may feel as though something is swollen or "full" even though it looks normal. Swelling usually goes along with pain, redness and heat.

Reduced Range of Motion

If the swelling isn't obvious, you can usually find it by checking for a reduced range of motion in a joint. If there is significant swelling within a joint, you will lose range of motion. Compare one side of the body with the other to identify major differences. If there are any, you probably have an injury that needs attention.

Weakness

Compare sides for weakness by performing the same task. One way to tell is to lift the same weight with the right and left sides and look at the result. Or try to place body weight on one leg and then the other. A difference in your ability to support your weight is another suggestion of an injury that requires attention.

Immediate Injury Treatment: Step-by-Step Guidelines

  • Stop the activity immediately.
  • Wrap the injured part in a compression bandage.
  • Apply ice to the injured part (use a bag of crushed ice or a bag of frozen vegetables).
  • Elevate the injured part to reduce swelling.
  • Consult your health practitioner for a proper diagnosis of any serious injury.
  • Rehabilitate your injury under professional guidance.
  • Seek a second opinion if you are not improving.

Article by John Miller

Elite Sports Injury Management

You probably already know that a sports injury can affect not only your performance but also your lifestyle. The latest research continues to change sports injury management considerably.  Our challenge is to keep up to date with the latest research and put them to work for you.

How we treated you last year could vary significantly from how we treat you this year. The good news is that you can benefit considerably from our professional knowledge.

What Should You Do When You Suffer a Sports Injury?

Rest?

Rest from painful exercise or a movement is essential in the early injury stage. "No pain. No gain." does not apply in most cases.  The rule of thumb is - don't do anything that reproduces your pain for the initial two or three days.  After that, you need to get it moving, or other problems will develop.

Ice or Heat?

We usually recommend avoiding heat (and heat rubs) in the first 48 hours of injury. The heat encourages bleeding, which could be detrimental if used too early. In traumatic injuries, such as ligament sprains, muscle tears or bruising, ice should help reduce your pain and swelling.

Once the "heat" has come out of your injury, you can use heat packs. We recommend 20-minute applications a few times a day to increase the blood flow and hasten your healing rate. The heat will also help your muscles relax and ease your pain. If you're not sure what to do, please call us to discuss your situation specifically.

Should You Use a Compressive Bandage?

Yes. A compressive bandage will help to control swelling and bleeding in the first few days.  In most cases, the compressive dressing will also help support the injury as you lay down the new scar tissue. This early healing should help to reduce your pain. Some injuries will benefit from more rigid support, such as a brace or strapping tape. Would you please ask us if you are uncertain about what to do next?

Elevation?

Gravity will encourage swelling to settle at the lowest point.  Elevation of an injury in the first few days is beneficial, especially for ankle or hand injuries.  Think where your damage is and where your heart is. Try to rest your injury above your heart.

What Medication Should You Use?

Your Doctor or Pharmacist may recommend pain killers or an anti-inflammatory drug. It is best to seek professional advice as certain medications can interfere with other health conditions, especially asthmatics.

When Should You Commence Physio?

sports injury

In most cases, "the early bird gets the worm".  Researchers have found that the intervention of physiotherapy treatment within a few days has many benefits.  These include:

  • Relieving your pain quicker via joint mobility techniques, massage and electrotherapy
  • Improving your scar tissue using techniques to guide the direction it forms
  • Getting you back to sport or work quicker through faster healing rates
  • Loosening or strengthening of your injured region with individually prescribed exercises
  • Improving your performance when you return to sport - we'll detect and help you correct any biomechanical faults that may affect your technique or predispose you to injury