|Patrick Mularoni, MD|
In athletic competition, athletes place a significant amount of stress on the muscle groups used to perform effectively in sport. A sudden movement while playing a sport can cause the muscle to stretch to the point of tearing. This type of injury causes significant inflammation and pain. Because each muscle group is an important part of the movement required to compete at a high level, a player who continues to play may cause damage to that strained muscle.
The muscles of the inner thigh are commonly injured, leading to a "groin pull or groin strain." The groin represents a group of muscles that is responsible for pulling the thighs together and which is important in the movement of an athlete in sports like soccer, football, basketball and tennis.
After proper evaluation, the best treatment for a muscle strain is rest. When returning to competition it is important to warm up effectively and use ice after any strenuous exercise. The player can also work to strengthen the groups of muscles involved with stabilization of the pelvis in an effort to decrease the risk of injuries in the future.
Because of the frequency of groin pulls, athletes may self diagnose the injury incorrectly. There are several other injuries of the hip that can present as a groin pull. These include but are not limited to sports hernia and hip and low back injury. If you think that you have a groin strain and it is not getting better with a 1-2 week period of rest, you should be evaluated by a member of the AllSports Medicine team.