A groin strain is one of the most common injuries in sport especially football. The term groin strain describes an injury to one of the adductor muscles located on the inside of the thigh. This injury occurs when the muscle is forcibly stretched beyond its limits and the muscle tissue tears. A tear in the muscle is referred to as a strain and, depending on its severity classified into a first, second or third degree strain. The first being damage to a few muscle fibres, the second damage to a more extensive number of fibres and the third a complete rupture of the muscle. Symptoms will vary according to the degree of strain but will include a sensation of cramp or tightness, pain?- especially when walking/running and kicking a ball or when the muscle is stretched or contracted and tenderness on palpation.Grade three tears are less common but will be associated with an immediate burning / stabbing pain, bruising and possible swelling.
Initial treatment consists of rest particularly from sporting activities, ice and compression but third degree tears may require surgical intervention. Most strains will respond well to physiotherapy treatment including soft tissue massage, electrotherapy (ultrasound), stretches, muscle energy techniques, joint mobilisation, biomechanical correction and progressive exercise planning to enable a return to sports.
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The Independent General Practice