Just the thought of groin pain is enough to make anyone wince. If you’ve ever experienced groin pain, you know exactly what we’re talking about. While a fairly common injury from sports, groin pain can happen to anyone, anywhere, at any time. And it can have a significant impact on your day-to-day life. Not all groin pain is considered serious, but no one with a groin injury is going to want to hear that!
Common Causes of Groin Pain
It might be a punt or a penalty kick: there are plenty of ways to injure a groin. Here are some of the most common causes::
- Muscle strain: Probably the most common type of groin injury, muscle strains involve a stretching or tearing of a muscle or tissue connecting muscle to the bone (a tendon). This can result in muscle pain, joint pain, swelling, and a limited range of motion.
- Groin hernia: Also known as an inguinal hernia, this occurs when soft tissue bulges or pokes through a weak spot in the abdominal muscles. If you’ve suffered this type of hernia, you’ll feel groin pain, possibly a lump in the groin area, and pain when lifting heavy objects–which can also cause this type of hernia. You may also experience discomfort when coughing or bending.
- Hernia: Similar to a groin hernia, this occurs when the bulging of an organ or tissue pokes through an opening. This generally causes groin pain, abdominal pain, or a sense of dull pain.
- Sports hernia: As its name suggests, this type of injury often occurs from overuse due to athletic activity. A sports hernia is essentially a strain or tear of any soft tissue (muscle, tendon, ligament) in the lower abdomen or groin area. However, its name is also a bit misleading, as no actual hernia (bulging of tissue or organ) occurs. The main symptom is groin pain.
- Hip conditions or injuries: Most people might not associate groin pain with the hip, but an injury or hip condition can actually cause pain in the groin. Hip joint arthritis, for example, can cause pelvic pain. A tear in the hip labrum, as well as a hip fracture, can also result in groin pain
What to Do About Groin Pain
In most cases, treatment for groin pain can be done at home. If there’s a groin injury such as a muscle strain or a mild sports hernia, the most common treatments are rest, ice and heat therapy, and over-the-counter pain medications such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen.
You should see a doctor about your recurring groin pain–in many cases, he or she will recommend the above treatment. However, if a hernia is detected and serious enough, surgery could be an option. A severe sports hernia may also require surgery to reattach a muscle, tendon, or ligament.
While most cases of groin pain are not considered serious, you don’t want to take chances with conditions such as testicular torsion (when a testicle becomes twisted), kidney stones (hard mineral deposits in the bladder or kidney), ovarian cysts, urinary tract infections, testicular cancer, and other serious conditions that all present groin pain as a symptom.
Physical Therapy to Treat Groin Pain
As we mentioned above, most groin injuries can be treated with rest, ice/heat, and OTC pain medications. Some may require surgery. But physical therapy can be a very effective treatment for groin pain, especially when it involves the hip. In those cases, a physical therapist will likely work with you on exercises that help strengthen your hip and leg muscles and stretches designed to improve flexibility and range of motion. Time on a stationary bike or a treadmill can also help once the initial groin pain has healed.
Groin Pain Therapy at Physical Therapy NOW in Irving, TX
Come visit us at Physical Therapy NOW, conveniently located in Irving. Before we start any PT program, our highly skilled and experienced physical therapists will meet with you and ask you several questions about your injury to determine the proper course of treatment.
Once that has been established, we will work with you to heal, restore, and strengthen the affected area until you’re recovered. In most cases, we’ll also recommend a treatment plan to follow on your own at home so that you can avoid future injury.
We’ve seen our share of groin injuries and know how to treat them with groin pain therapy. Call us today at (214) 225-0291 to set up your first appointment.
Written by Kahini Shah