An inner thigh muscle pull, or groin strain, can be a very painful injury. When the inner thigh muscle is lengthened too far some of the muscle fibers break, causing a partial tear. In more severe cases it can cause a complete tear or rupture of the muscle. In the case of a complete rupture consult a physician for further care. Otherwise an inner thigh muscle pull can be managed and will heal with proper care.
The inner thigh is a sensitive area, therefore when applying any heat or ice always place a towel over the skin. Apply an ice pack wrapped in a cloth to the area for 20 minutes. You can do this every three to four hours. You can also perform an ice massage by rubbing ice over the area for five to 10 minutes at a time, several times a day. You can ice your groin as long as you have pain.
Resting ensures that the inner thigh muscle will heal and prevents re-injury. While resting, try to keep the leg elevated on pillows above the heart. After the first 72 hours, or when pain subsides, gradually increase activities while avoiding painful movements and positions. Limit physical activity for two to six weeks or until the pain stops.
Pain management is an important aspect of treatment for an inner thigh muscle pull. Common over-the-counter drugs used to decrease pain are ibuprofen and acetaminophen. However NSAIDs such as ibuprofen may inhibit long-term healing of injuries and have many adverse side effects such as stomach irritation. Therefore acetaminophen may be the safest over-the-counter pain medication.
Wearing an elastic compression wrap around the thigh and groin helps decrease swelling and provides protection. The wrap should start right above the knee and wrap up to the groin, leaving no holes or gaps. This helps prevent swelling and fluid buildup. The wrap also keeps the area warm and limits movement. Therefore it will inhibit further pulling to the inner thigh. The best time to wear an elastic compression wrap is during the day and during physical activities.
Physical Therapy and Massage Therapy
As the inner thigh heals its essential to return to normal activities. Physical therapists develop and implement exercises to gradually increase activity and prevent re-injury. Massage therapists help break up scar tissue often associated with inner thigh muscle pulls to improve muscle function. Professional guidance in treatment and rehabilitation ensures a safe return to normal activities.