A groin strain is a relatively common condition characterized by tearing of some of the groin muscles. The muscles at the inner aspect of your thigh are known as the adductor muscles (groin). These muscles originate from the pelvis and insert into the inner aspect of the thigh and lower leg bones.
The groin muscles are responsible for stabilising the pelvis and moving the leg towards the midline of the body. They are particularly active during running and kicking. A groin strain commonly occurs due to a sudden contraction of the groin muscles often when they are in a position of stretch. This typically occurs during rapid acceleration whilst running, particularly when changing direction or when a footballer performs a long kick. They are commonly seen in running sports such as football, hockey and athletics (particularly sprinters, hurdlers, and long jumpers) as well as skiing, horse riding and gymnastics. Groin strains tend to occur more commonly in the older athlete and particularly following an inadequate warm-up.
Groin strains range from a grade 1 to a grade 3 strain and are classified as follows:
- Grade 1: a small number of muscle fibres are torn resulting in some pain but allowing full function.
- Grade 2: a significant number of muscle fibres are torn with moderate loss of function.
- Grade 3: all muscle fibres are ruptured resulting in major loss of function.
Treatment and management strategies implemented for a groin strain are very important as this is an injury that may become chronic if not managed appropriately. The whole system including abdominal, core, pelvic, back and leg muscles all need to be checked for proper recruitment patterns and balance.
Some modalities that your Osteopath may include in treatment for this condition include:
- Soft tissue mobilisation
- Muscle energy techniques
- Thermal therapies (heat and ice)
- Biomechanical correction / corrective exercises
- Strengthening exercises
- Injury education
- Advice on Anti-inflammatory medications
- Rebalancing restricted joints
With appropriate management, patients with minor groin strains can usually recover in one to three weeks. With larger tears, recovery may take four to six weeks or longer, depending on the severity.
Holistic Osteopathy treatment for patients with this condition is vital to hasten the healing process, ensure an optimal outcome and reduce the likelihood of future recurrence.
S T R E T C H OF THE MONTH
- Sit up tall
- Place your heels together
- Let your knees drop out to your sides
- Pull your feet towards your groin
- You should feel a stretch on the inside of your thighs
- Hold for 20 seconds
- Repeat 10 times
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