Pain is unpleasant — and a groin pull is particularly so, because you can feel it with every step. A groin strain encompasses a partial tear of the small fibers of the adductor muscles, Aurora Health Care explains on its website. You should never attempt to self-diagnose or self-treat an injury, so consult your doctor if pain in your inner thigh persists or worsens.
The groin adductors are comprised of three muscles. The adductors originate in your groin area and run down your inner thigh, attaching to the inner side of your knee. It is possible to strain your groin and cause damage to the muscle fibers in the adductors in your thigh, the Runners Rescue website explains.
Certain movements and use of your muscles can result in a groin pull or strain. A fairly common cause is stretching your adductor muscles too vigorously, Runners Rescue notes. Not warming up before prior to exercise is risky; if you stress your muscles before they are ready, you are more likely to suffer an injury. Muscular overuse or a direct injury caused by a fall or trauma can also case tears in the muscle fibers.
Dr. Nathan Wei, a board-certified rheumatologist and author, suggests what might feel like a groin pull or strain can actually be the result of other types of injuries. Some hip problems result in groin pain, as do femoral neck stress fractures, and fracture of the pubic ramus, or pubic bone, Wei explains on his Arthritis Treatment and Relief website. If you have nerve entrapment that begins in your back, you may have symptoms in your groin and thigh. Often the pain you may feel with this type of neurological problem is a burning sensation.
Your age, gender and even your sport can play a part in the actual cause of your groin and leg discomfort, Wei reports. Certain types of fractures are common in teenage athletes who participate in jumping, kicking, sprinting and hurdling sports. They are called avulsion fractures and occur when the tendon pulls away from the bone. Osteitis is a condition — more common in women than men — that causes inflammation of cartilage in the pelvis, which produces pain. Myositis ossificans, or muscle calcification, can develop following trauma to your muscles. It is not common, but it most often affects football players, notably in the thigh area.
Your groin pull is most likely the result of a strain or sprain and will heal with rest, time and over-the-counter medications. If it is your adolescent son or daughter who plays sports and is complaining of groin and leg pain, the injury could actually be a stress fracture. When these types of fractures are not properly identified and managed, surgery may be necessary. Some injuries require an MRI or other type of imaging to determine an accurate diagnosis. Consult a doctor if there is any question regarding the actual cause of the symptoms.