Location of Groin muscle

The Common Groin Injury

Groin sprain/strain or injury is a very common muscle strain injury in sports like soccer, basketball, football, hockey, track & field and racquet sports.

The groin is the area or junction between the lower limbs and torso.  This spot is vulnerable to many different injuries like sprains, hernias, stress fractures, and avulsion fractures.

What is a Groin Injury? 

A groin pull can range from an over-stretch, to a complete tear of the muscles.  A groin pull or strain specifically affects the “Adductor” muscles.  These muscles are located on the inside of the thigh, and help to bring the legs together.  The adductor muscles consist of “Adductor Brevis”, “Adductor Magnus” and “Adductor Longus.”

The Adductor Longus is the most susceptible to injury of the three muscles, and the most common site of injury is the point at which the muscle and tendon attach to the femur (thigh) bone.

What Causes a Groin Pull?

A healthy muscle can be injured, but most likely, there were some preexisting conditions.  Some conditions that influence muscle injury are flexibility, muscle balance, pelvic alignment, and overall body mechanics.  If any of these are not what they should be then an injury is more likely.  Then when paired with any activity that requires a lot of running or rapid change in direction the muscle is more susceptible to injuries.

How to Prevent a Groin Injury

The basis of prevention comes down to a few simple factors:  thorough warm-up and physical conditioning, and body mechanics.

During your exercise activities, make sure to thoroughly and correctly warm up before you start.  This will help to prepare the muscles and tendons for any activity to come.

Secondly, the muscles need to be flexible enough to perform the activity you are asking them to do.  New research is showing that stretching before an activity is not as beneficial as stretching after your activity.  This means you can add a stretching routine at the end as part of your “cool down.”

Last, but probably the most important for injury prevention are your body mechanics.  It is important to look at your spinal and pelvic alignment.  For example, if you are someone that sits on a wallet in your back right pocket, then you are constantly pushing that hip out of alignment.  Over time, your hip adapts to stay in that position.  This now means your hip is out of alignment and your mechanics are not what they should be.  This causes the Adductor muscles to do more work than they are made to do.  This leads to a groin strain.  The solution is to get adjusted, remove anything like the wallet, and work on muscle balance through specific stretches and exercises.  Luckily, this is what we do as Chiropractors.