A groin strain (otherwise known as adductor muscle strain or tear) is an injury to the one or more of the muscles that are collectively known as the adductors. The pectineus, adductor longus, adductor brevis, adductor magnus and gracilis are located at on the inner part of the thigh. The muscles work together to adduct (or approximate the thigh) toward the midline (toward to opposite thigh). One or more of these muscles are commonly injured in sports that require explosive and dynamic movements such as sprinting, hurdling, basketball, field hockey, ice hockey, soccer, or football. In addition to ballistic movements, repetitive stress (engaging in the same movement over and over) injuries of this muscle group are also common. Injuries may be acute (sudden onset), or they may be chronic (especially seen in athletes who consistently stress the area). This type of injury may result in mild pain and limited disability or may cause severe pain and debilitation. If you are suffering from a groin strain, you will feel discomfort (ranging from a dull ache to a sharp pain) in the inner part of the thigh. Often, movement is difficult and you may notice weakness. Your groin strain may prevent you from engaging in the activities you enjoy. Proper warm-up, stretching and conditioning of the muscles may prevent the injury.
HOW IS GROIN STRAIN DIAGNOSED?
Groin strains are classified by a grading system. A grade of 1 means there are micro-tears that have occurred within the muscle which cause pain and tightness in the inner part of the thigh. Generally there is little visual evidence of the injury (swelling, bruising, or redness). Grade 2 injuries are characterized by a loss of muscle strength against resistance due to a partial tear. Swelling, stiffness, decreased range of motion, and bruising are often present. With a grade 3 injury, there is a complete tear of muscle fibers which causes a great deal of pain and complete weakness. Inability to walk, discoloration, bruising and a bulge of muscle (where the tear occurred) are characteristic of grade 3.
Generally, groin strains are diagnosed by history and physical examination. Your chiropractor will ask you questions about the mechanism of your injury and perform orthopedic tests to evaluate the condition. In certain cases an MRI or other tests will be ordered to determine the extent of the injury.
WHAT ARE THE OPTIONS FOR TREATING GROIN STRAIN?
Groin strains are commonly treated depending on the extent of the injury, you will be provided with a treatment plan that will include myofascial release, kinesiotaping, ultrasound and therapeutic exercise.
Your chiropractor may also recommend P.R.I.C.E. (protection, rest, ice, compression and elevation) which will enable you to heal more quickly.