Your inner thigh muscle or “groin” is actually six individual muscles that squeeze your legs together and stabilize your pelvis during movement.  The term “strain” means that a muscle or tendon has been stressed beyond its limit and has frayed, much like a rope that has been pulled too hard.  Your groin may be “pulled” or “strained” if it is forced to contract beyond its capacity during sports or other vigorous activities.

Groin strains are prevalent in sports that require forceful thigh movements, like kicking, sprinting, and side-to-side cutting.  Groin strains are particularly common in ice hockey and soccer, where they account for approximately 10% of total injuries. Groin injuries are more likely when your muscles are tired or if you have suffered a prior strain.

Muscle tearing can lead to bleeding, bruising, swelling, pain, and loss of function. The symptoms may vary from mild discomfort to severe pain, depending upon the amount of tissue that has been torn.  Pain will likely increase when your thigh is stretched away from your body or when you squeeze your thighs together.

Nearly all groin strains can be successfully managed with conservative care like the type provided in our office. Initially, you should use ice or ice massage over the injured area for 15 minutes at a time, up to once per hour.  Our office may advise you to use an ACE wrap or compression bandage to help limit swelling. The use of NSAIDs for groin strains is controversial, as some research suggests this may delay healing. While you are recovering, you may need to limit some activities, like running and jumping.  

Your healing period will vary based upon several factors, including the location and severity of tearing. In general, the longer that you have symptoms before you start treatment, the longer it will take to heal. Returning to your sport too quickly may lead to re-injury or permanent damage.

You are more likely to suffer a groin injury (or re-injury) when your groin muscles (adductors) are not as strong as the muscles on the outside of your thigh and buttock (abductors). Management programs, like the one outlined below, focus on strengthening your adductors and have been shown to help you heal and prevent future groin strains.

Our treatment options for :

Spinal and hip adjustments

Electrical stimulation or spinalator

Muscle work and stretching


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