If you are reading these lines, surely, it is because you have ever exercised and, the next day, you have noticed pain every time you move in some parts of your body such as the groin. This type of discomfort is called groin strain, although it is usually commonly referred to as groin pulling.
A pull in the groin is a physical discomfort that occurs when the muscles in this area are stretched excessively so that they end up tearing. It can also appear when we subject the adductors to a physical effort that our body is not prepared to accept, or when we receive a strong blow in this part of the body. Groin strains usually go away on their own resting for a few days at home. However, if we do not know how to treat this muscle pain correctly, it could worsen to become a more serious injury. So, in the next article, we'll explain how to cure a groin pull. Take note!
Causes of a groin strain
An inguinal strain, also known colloquially as a groin pull, is an injury in which a tear occurs (either partially or totally) in the muscles that are near this area, specifically in the pectineus, the short adductors (which go from the pelvis to the femur) and the long adductors (which go from the pelvis to the knees).
The pull in the groin is usually caused by three main causes: an excessive stretching of the adductors until they begin to tear, a physical overexertion or a direct blow to this area of the body.
However, there are also some factors that increase the risk of suffering this muscle injury:
- Practice sports in which you must run and stop in very short periods of time or where you change direction abruptly, such as athletics, football and hockey, among others.
- Lack of warm-up before training: If the muscles have not been previously warmed up correctly, it is likely that they will be stiffened and a tear will occur.
- Poor physical condition: it is more likely to suffer a pull when we are not used to frequent exercise.
- Return to exercise too soon after an injury: if you do not rest the time necessary to recover, you will surely suffer a groin strain again.
Types and symptoms of a groin pull
A pull in the groin can be milder or more severe depending on both the symptoms that accompany the injury and the intensity of these. Therefore, below, we will explain the different inguinal strains according to their severity:
- Grade 1 strain or mild pull: at this stage of the injury, it is common for the person not to have any problems when walking and performing physical activity. The main symptoms of a slight groin pull are quite subtle pain and a little stiffness in the muscles.
- Grade 2 distention or moderate pull: during this phase, the person who suffers the pull may have complications when walking and will find it practically impossible to run. The most common symptoms in this case are moderate pain and stiffness in the groin, swelling and the appearance of bruising in the affected area.
- Grade 3 strain or severe pull: In this degree, the pull will not allow the injured person to walk practically. You will most likely feel a kind of cleft in the muscle and other symptoms such as severe groin pain, bruising, and swelling.
How to cure a pull in the groin – treatment
To cure a pull in the groin, it is important that you first identify what degree of groin strain you suffer, since it will not be the same to treat a minor injury than a more serious one. If, for example, you suffer from a grade 3 strain, you will probably need at least 8 weeks of rehabilitation and in the most severe cases, a surgical operation to treat the tear.
However, if your blood strain is rather mild or moderate, you will have to be approximately between 4 and 8 weeks of rehabilitation and, in addition, it is recommended that you follow the following tips that will help you heal a pull in the groin more quickly:
Use of ice
A widely used remedy to relieve the pain and swelling of pulls in the groin is the use of ice, since it’s refreshing power will help you reduce inflammation of the affected area.
To use it, you will have to take several ice cubes and wrap them with a towel, since direct contact can be annoying and even worsen the injury. When you have the towel ready, apply it by the adductors for 20 minutes during each hour on a daily basis.
Compresses with hot water
Just as cold is a good remedy to relieve bloating, heat can also be a pretty effective trick if the ice has failed to lower the swelling. Place on the affected area a wet towel with hot water for half an hour. When you notice that the skin temperature is back to normal, you will have to apply another towel with ice for 20 minutes. Switching from heat to cold can help you both lower inflammation and reduce pain.
Rest as much as you can
To heal a pull in the groin or any other part of the body, it is essential that you rest and avoid walking as much as you can. Although we know that there are work or family commitments that prevent us from resting, it will be advisable that you postpone them as much as possible, because if you start walking as soon as possible, the only thing that will get is that the distension does not heal completely and, in addition, that you have sequelae later.
Use of elastic tapes
Compressing the groin muscles will also help you both reduce inflammation and stabilize the affected area. To do this, you can buy an orthosis at the pharmacy, since it is a device that will adapt to this part of the body, or elastic tapes to compress the groin.
If you do not have any of these objects, you can also use some bandages. In any case, it is important that you do not adjust it too much, as it could worsen the discomfort. In addition, we advise you to consult the recommendations of the article How to avoid muscle pulls.