A Groin Pull By Any Other Name

A Groin Pull By Any Other Name

True or false:  Recovering from a groin injury can last longer and be more painful than a bad reputation from the Rio Olympics.

Answer:  True!

One of the most painful, frustrating and lingering athletic injuries is a ‘groin pull’. These injuries do not discriminate and have a major impact on athletes of all sports at all levels of play. Olympic swimmer (and troublemaker) Ryan Lochte recently suffered from a groin injury which cost him a potential win in the 400 individual medley.

You may even remember the beginning of Tiger Woods’ decline beginning with a groin pull, a problem that can last for many months, easily reoccur and cause a cascade of other injuries if it doesn’t heal correctly.

A groin pull is a tear or sprain of the adductor muscles or inner thigh muscles in the hip, groin and thigh area. Most people think that the only job of the adductor muscles is to bring the legs together.  In fact, most people don’t even think about the adductors until they’re trying to stop themselves from falling into an accidental split on wet grass (ouch!)  Even after the pain of a groin pull goes away, the muscle fibers may still be inflamed and ready to nag anytime they’re overworked. As an athlete, it will weaken you considerably.

Ouch - The Anatomy of a Groin Pull

Ouch – The Anatomy of a Groin Pull

Brace yourself. There is a WAY more foundational and arguably more important job of the adductors, and that is to stabilize the pelvis with the core muscles.  For the rest of your life when you think adductors, think pelvis and core stabilization.

(R)est, (I)ce, (C)ompression, (E)levate and therapy aside, when it comes to treating and avoiding groin pulls, here is your guide:

  • Stop the excessive inner thigh stretches. You’re taking a tight, weak muscle and making it tighter and weaker.
  • Try inner thigh ‘anchoring’ with these Foundation Training exercises to create pelvic stability. 

You don’t have to be an Olympian or professional athlete to suffer the agony of a groin injury.  The good news? Those of us who play amateur sports can learn how to reduce our own risk, thanks to a better understanding of some key muscles and exercises.

Need help rehabbing a groin pull? Let Us Help You!