Groin Strain Treatment
What is a Groin Strain?
An excessive stretch or tearing of muscle fibres and related tissues of the groin / adductor muscles but is most common in the adductor longus. It is also known as a ‘riders strain’ due to overuse of adductor longus when riding a horse.
What Causes a Groin Strain?
It occurs most commonly when the muscle tries to contract against resistance. For example, a forced push-off (side to side motion) or when suddenly changing direction. It may also be caused by over-stretching when moving the leg too far sideways.
What are the symptoms of a Groin Strain?
Pain anywhere along the length of the groin/ inner thigh region but is most usually at the centre or at the attachment to the pelvis. There is usually pain when you squeeze your knees together and when your leg is taken away from your body. In severe strains bruising may develop within 24-48 hours. If left untreated fibrosis may occur with scar tissue replacing normal contractile tissue. This dysfunctional healing can lead to tightness and shortening of the muscle that may predispose to further strains. These changes will impair the ability of the hip during strenuous activities.
What will physiotherapy consist of for a Groin Strain?
Massage – Encompassing a variety of techniques with sufficient pressure through the superficial tissue to reach the deep lying structures. It is used to increase blood flow, decrease swelling, reduce muscle spasm and promote normal tissue repair.
Mobilisation – A manual technique where the joint and soft tissues are gently moved by the therapist to restore normal range, lubricate tissues and relieve pain.
Ultrasonic Therapy – Transmits sound waves through the tissues stimulating the body’s chemical reactions and therefore healing process, just as shaking a test tube in the laboratory speeds up a chemical reaction. It reduces tissue spasm, accelerates healing and results in pain relief.
Interferential Therapy – Introduces a small electrical current into the tissues and can be used at varying frequencies for differing treatment effects. E.g. pain relief, muscle or nerve stimulation, promoting blood flow and reducing inflammation.
What other treatments could be used for a Groin Strain?
Acupuncture – An oriental technique of introducing needles into the skin to increase or decrease energy flow to promote pain relief and healing.
Taping/Strapping – May be used if thought necessary to restrict abnormal movement and prevent further damage.
What can you do yourself to help a Groin Strain?
Active Rest – Keep active but avoid activities that aggravate your condition i.e. any highly strenuous activity particularly that may require sudden changes in direction or the leg being taken away from the body.
Apply an ice pack – For a maximum of 20 minutes. A bag of frozen peas wrapped in a damp cloth works well because it moulds to the shape of the tissues. Ensure that you do not apply ice directly to the skin as this can cause an ice burn.
Exercise programme – This is the most important part of the rehabilitation, your therapist will instruct you as to which exercises to begin with, when to add the others, as well as how to progress the exercises.
Medication – Ask your GP or Pharmacist for advice on the best medication for your condition.
Podiatry – An analysis of the foot mechanics and structure during walking or running and correction as appropriate.
What if physiotherapy does not help or resolve a Groin Strain?
It is very rare that physiotherapy does not resolve this condition, in these cases we may suggest a steroid injection or will refer you on for further investigation.
If you think you may have this condition we would love the opportunity to show you our expertise in the treatment and management of this condition so – Please click here for details of how to contact us to book an appointment