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Treating groin pain: The benefits of physiotherapy

Treating groin pain: The benefits of physiotherapy


Groin pain occurs mostly after injury to one of the adductor muscles. The groin musculature is complicated with highly stressed anchor points and involvement of the pelvis and lumbrosacral spine. Adductor muscles pull the leg towards midline and also stabilise and control the pelvis during many activities. Activities such as running, walking and any sports requiring rapid changes in direction. Groin pain can also occur due to injuries to the pelvis, hip, and can refer from the lumbar spine. Other causes such as testicular cancer or a sporting hernia should be ruled out.

Groin Pain: Groin Injuries

Groin injuries most commonly occur when playing soccer, Gaelic football and rugby, but can also be sustained during overstretching of the adductor muscles.  Sudden contraction of the muscle when they are in a position of stretch or excessive tension through the muscle during contraction overloads the adductor muscles resulting in a tear.  Injury tends to occur when sprinting, changing direction, rapid movement of the leg against resistance (kicking) or with sudden overstretching of the muscles.

It is important to have your groin injury or pain assessed as soon as possible by a physiotherapist. Your physiotherapist can confirm your diagnosis and commence corrective treatment at your initial consultation. Physiotherapy is extremely important for patients with groin pain to determine the cause of injury, facilitate healing, ensure an optimal outcome and prevent further recurrence.

Physiotherapy treatment may include:

  • Soft tissue release
  • Dry needling
  • Taping
  • Joint mobilisation
  • Muscle energy techniques

Your physiotherapist will also assess your control and efficiency of movement with functional and sport specific movements such as single leg squatting, kicking and lunging. Muscle control during movement is a vital component of the rehabilitation and prevention of groin pain. Your core muscles, hip rotators and deep stabilisers, adductors and lower back muscles all work together to control lower limb, pelvic and lower back movement.  Any imbalance in these muscles can lead to groin pain or injury.

Range of movement of the lumbar spine, hips, knees and ankles should also be assessed by your physiotherapist. When you complete these treatments, your pain should be reduced and you should gain back a range of motion.

Once adequate strength and range of motion has been restored, functional exercises can commence. Functional exercises are more sports specific exercises and involve running, change of direction drills, hopping and plyometric exercises. These bridge the gap between rehabilitation exercises and returning to full training and competition.

If you have injured your adductors, or have been experiencing groin pain, contact us here today. Our physiotherapists are extremely experienced in treating and managing groin pain and can help assess your injury and formulate a tailored treatment program.

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