The following are the common treatments used for groin strains:
It is important to rest following the injury to allowed the injured muscle to properly heal. Allow pain to guide your level of activity; this means that activities which cause symptoms should be avoided.
Gentle stretching is helpful, but it should not be painful. Stretching excessively can be harmful and slow the healing process.
- Ice the Injury
Apply ice to the injured area in the acute phase (first 48 hours after injury), and then after activities. Ice will help calm the inflammatory response and stimulate blood flow to the area.
Before activities, gentle heating can help loosen the muscle. Apply a heat pack to the groin prior to stretching or exercising. As a general rule of thumb, remember to heat before, and ice after.
- Anti-inflammatory Medications
Oral anti-inflammatory medications (such as Ibuprofen, Aleve, or Motrin) can help relieve symptoms of pain and also calm the inflammation.
- Physical Therapy
Physical therapists can be helpful in guiding treatment that may speed your recovery. Some people find modalities such as ultrasound, therapeutic massage, and specific exercises particularly helpful. You should see your physician to determine if these would be appropriate for your condition.
What can be done to prevent groin strains?
New research is shedding light on factors that can be helpful in preventing groin injuries. Competitive athletes who participate in soccer, ice hockey, or similar sports that are prone to groin injuries should focus some energy on groin injury prevention. Exactly what exercises and stretches are most important in still being worked out, but some suggestions for groin injury prevention include:
- Adductor stretching
- Hip adductor and abductor strengthening
- Pelvic stabilization exercises
- Core stability, including abdominal and lumbar strengthening
Noonan TJ, and Garrett WE, "Muscle strain injury: diagnosis and treatment" J. Am. Acad. Ortho. Surg., Jul 1999; 7: 262 - 269.
Nicholas SJ, Tyler TF. "Adductor muscle strains in sport" Sports Med. 2002;32(5):339-44.