Although golfers often injure their shoulders or elbows, groin injuries from the torso rotation of the golf swing are also possible. This movement can even aggravate other conditions not caused by golf. See your doctor for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan if you are experiencing groin pain during or after golf.
A possible cause of your groin pain is a sports hernia. Male hockey and soccer players are the most likely to suffer from sports hernias because of the repetitive twisting, but golfers also do a lot of twisting, making this a possible injury for them as well. A sports hernia is a weakening of the back of the inguinal wall that does not result in a hernia you can feel externally. The inguinal wall is an area just above your genitals. It is the deepest layer of your abdominal muscles. A sports hernia causes gradual groin pain over time that feels worse with activity.
A groin pull, or strain, could also be causing your pain. A groin pull is a stretching, tearing or even bruising of the inner thigh muscles, called the hip adductors. These muscles activate during a golf swing to move your hips toward the midline of your body. This movement happens first to shift your weight backward, and then again to shift forward during the down swing. Overusing the muscles or failing to warm up are the most likely causes of a groin pull in golf. Ask your doctor or golf instructor to teach you how to warm up and stretch your thighs safely.
Osteitis pubis is groin pain resulting from inflammation at the point on the front of the pelvic girdle where the right and left pubic bones meet. Athletes from ice skaters to dancers are at risk for this condition, but any athlete who performs repetitive motions in their lower bodies can develop osteitis pubis. You might feel pain on one or both sides of your groin. Rest and ice might help reduce pain and swelling, but do not hesitate to consult your doctor if you feel it is necessary. An MRI or bone scan can typically confirm a suspected diagnosis.
Golfing can aggravate pain due to nerve entrapment in the groin or thigh area. Nerve entrapment is simply the irritation or compression of a nerve, possibly due to inflammation. Nerves might be stuck to the skin of the groin due to scar tissue from a recent surgery. A nerve entrapped near the front and side of your thigh could also cause groin pain or numbness. Twisting motions and situps might increase pain from these nerve issues. Your doctor might look for infections, blockages, tumors or cysts around the pelvic region, or recommend physical therapy or even surgery to fix your problem.
- Dellon Institutes for Peripheral Nerve Surgery: Groin Pain Syndromes
- AAOS: Sports Hernia (Athletic Pubalgia)
- PubMed: The Treatment of Inguinal Pain
- Sports Injury Bulletin: Groin Strain Causes
- Sports Injury Bulletin: Golf Injuries
- Stretching Institute: Osteitis Pubis and Osteitis Pubis Treatment
- Dr David Geier: Osteitis Pubis