If you are reading these lines, it is probably 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 a groin strain , although it is more commonly known as a groin pull.
A groin pull is a physical discomfort that occurs when the muscles in the groin are overstretched so that they tear. 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 to this part of the body. Groin strains usually go away on their own with a few days of rest at home.
Causes of a groin strain
A groin strain, also known colloquially as a groin pull, is an injury in which there is a tear (either partial or complete) in the muscles near the groin, specifically the pectineus , the short adductors ( that go from the pelvis to the femur) and the long adductors (that go from the pelvis to the knees).
Groin pull is usually caused by three main causes: overstretching of the adductors until they start to tear, 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:
- Playing sports where you have to run and stop for very short periods of time or where you change direction abruptly, such as track and field, soccer, and hockey, among others.
- Failure to warm up before training: If you haven't warmed up your muscles correctly beforehand, they are likely to get stiff and tear.
- Poor physical condition: it is more likely to suffer a strain when we are not used to exercising frequently.
- Returning to exercise too soon after an injury: If you don't rest long enough to recover, you're bound to get a groin strain again.
Types and Symptoms of a Groin Pull
A groin pull can be milder or more severe depending on both the symptoms that accompany the injury and the intensity of those symptoms. Therefore, below, we will explain the different groin strains according to their severity:
- Grade 1 Strain or Mild Strain: At this stage of the injury, the person often has no problem walking and doing physical activity. The main symptoms of a mild groin strain are fairly subtle pain and a bit of stiffness in the muscles.
- Grade 2 Strain or Moderate Strain: During this phase, the person with the strain may have difficulty walking and find it virtually impossible to run. The most common symptoms in this case are moderate pain and stiffness in the groin, swelling and bruising in the affected area.
- Grade 3 Strain or Severe Strain: At this grade, the strain will make the injured person virtually unable to walk. It is very likely that you will feel a kind of indentation in the muscle and other symptoms such as severe groin pain, bruising and swelling.
How to cure a pulled groin – treatment
To cure a groin pull, it is important that you first identify what degree of groin strain you suffer from, 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 groin strain is rather mild or moderate, you will have to spend approximately 4 to 8 weeks in rehabilitation and, in addition, it is recommended that you follow the following tips that will help you heal a groin pull faster. :
Use of ice
A widely used remedy to relieve the pain and swelling of groin pulls is the use of ice , since its refreshing power will help reduce inflammation in 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 to the adductors for 20 minutes every hour on a daily basis.
Compresses with hot water
Just as cold is a good remedy for bloating, heat can also be quite an effective trick if ice hasn't brought down the swelling.
Place a wet towel with hot water on the affected area for half an hour. When you notice that the temperature of the skin returns to normal, you will have to apply another towel with ice for 20 minutes. The change from hot to cold can help you both reduce inflammation and reduce pain.
rest as much as you can
To heal a strain in the groin or in any other part of the body, it is essential that you rest and avoid walking as much as possible. Although we know that there are work or family commitments that prevent us from resting, it is recommended that you postpone them as much as possible, since if you start walking as soon as possible, the only thing that will achieve is that the strain does not heal completely and, in addition, that you have consequences later.
Use of elastic bands
Compression of the groin muscles will also help both reduce swelling 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 bands to compress the groin.
If you don't have any of these items, 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.