Many athletes, such as soccer, hockey and football players, know all too well the pain and discomfort of a groin pull. For some, it’s a simple ache, while others limp around with the hopes of a quick recovery. Severe pulls will definitely have you on the sidelines for a while. To get back on the field, you may want to embrace home remedies for a pulled groin.
Table of Contents
- What is a Groin Pull?
- Causes and Symptoms
- Pulled Groin Home Remedies
What is a Groin Pull?
A groin pull is an injury to the muscles located in your inner thigh. The groin muscles (known as the “adductor muscle” group) consist of six muscles that travel the distance from the inner pelvis to the inner part of the femur (thigh bone). It is the responsibility of these muscles to pull the legs together. They also play a role with some movements of the hip joint. Athletes especially rely on the proper function and health of the adductor muscles – from swimmers to sprinter.
Groin pulls are often divided into three categories – according to the degree of severity :
• 1st degree (or Grade I) – Mild discomfort with little loss of strength or movement.
• 2nd degree (or Grade II) – Pain and some tissue damage. You may have moderate swelling and bruising. Activities, such as running and jumping, become impaired.
• 3rd degree (or Grade III) –Pain, loss of function, and a complete tear of the muscle. This severe injury hurts when you walk. Significant bruising is often present, and you may experience muscles spasms and swelling.
Causes and Symptoms
Participating in sports that constantly use the adductor group of muscles is one of the main causes of this type of strain. Factors that affect the likelihood of suffering this type of injury include hip muscle strength, preseason conditioning, and whether they experienced a previous injury. Other causes of a pulled groin include overextending or overstretching the groin muscle, overuse of the muscle, direct trauma, and sudden stress. Patients usually experience popping or snapping, weakness or stiffness, tenderness, bruising, and sudden pain when they’ve pulled their groin muscle.
Risk factors associated with groin pulls include participating in sports that require a burst of speed (like long jumping and basketball), fatigue, tight groin muscles, cold weather, and overdoing any activity .
Pulled Groin Home Remedies
According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, groin injuries make up to 5 percent of all sports injuries. Quick action can help reduce the swelling and inflammation. Patient strengthening exercises and other home remedies for pulled groin can aid in your recovery. A handful of suggestions include:
a) Cold Compress:
Placing a cold compress on a pulled groin can help soothe the discomfort. It is suggested to apply the compress to the affected region for 10 to 15 minutes – two to three times daily. Continue with this treatment for two to three days.
b) Heating Pad:
Apply a heating pad to a pulled groin muscle to stimulate healing and relief from pain.
c) Steamy Shower:
The moist heat from a shower can aid in the pain management of a pulled groin. The best results for using heat to treat sore muscles come when you choose moist treatment approaches over dry.
d) Warm Bath:
Soak in the warmth of a soothing bath to reduce the pain of a pulled groin muscle. The heat works towards improving the circulation to this part of your body, which will encourage healing. Your time in the tub will also relax your entire body.
e) Epsom Salt:
With a reputation for treating muscle aches and pains, add Epsom salt to a warm bath to ease the discomfort of a pulled groin muscle.
f) Deep Breathing:
Taking deep, slow breaths for ½ hour will help your body relax when you’ve suffered a pulled groin. Simply lie down in a straightened out position and continue a steady breathing pattern.
After a few weeks of healing, you may want to try out a couple of strengthening exercises for the groin. Recommended movements include the butterfly stretch and the hurdle stretch.
h) Butterfly Stretch:
You will be in the sitting position when executing the butterfly stretch. Start by sitting with your feet together and knees bent. Grasp your feet with your hands, and then stretch your knees down towards the ground. When performing this stretch, do not bounce. You will feel the the stretch along your inner thigh.
i) Stretch Your Adductor:
If you are an athlete recovering from a groin strain, you will want to focus on your adductor. The squatting adductor stretch begins with you squatting to the ground with your arms between your legs. Let your knees move outwards and stretch your legs apart by pushing out with your elbows. If you experience a gentle pulling sensation of the muscle, then you are doing it right. This stretch should not cause you any pain.
j) Cross-Leg Stretch:
While sitting in a chair, start by crossing one leg over the other to perform this stretch. Next, press the knee of the crossed leg down towards the ground. This exercise places emphasis on the muscles of the inner thigh and front of the thigh.
k) Foot Pull:
A relaxing stretch for the groin muscle is the foot pull, but you will need the help of another to complete this exercise. Ask a friend to pull the thumb of your foot upwards – while pulling it towards them. This pull is performed on the foot on the side where you have pulled your groin.
l) Avoid Movement:
If you are experiencing pain in the inner thigh, it is important to avoid moving around as much as possible.
m) Rest and Relaxation:
If you want to heal faster, you need to rest a groin pull. You’ll only prolong the process if you push your groin to complete activities before all of the pain is gone.
n) Pop a Pill:
To provide relief for the pain and inflammation associated with a pulled groin, consider using the medication found in your medicine cabinet – such as Aleve or Motrin.