A groin pull, or strain, refers to an overstretch or tear injury to one of the three adductor muscles that run down the inside of the thigh and work to pull the legs together. According to the Stretching Institute, the adductor longus muscle is the most commonly injured, usually at the muscle's insertion on the femur, or thigh bone. While sports that use a lot of direction changes during running, kicking and quick acceleration are more likely to result in a groin pull, simply falling or twisting suddenly during everyday activities can also cause injury.
Rest your leg. Muscle strains need time to heal from the injury. Refrain from athletic endeavors until the pain disappears. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons says that your doctor might prescribe crutches to keep the leg from bearing weight.
Ice your groin. Ice helps decrease the inflammation associated with muscle strains, which both causes pain and restricts the muscle's ability to heal. Ice should be applied for 20 minutes at a time, several times per day, with a barrier between the ice and the skin, such as a thin dishtowel. In "Arnheim's Principles of Athletic Training," authors Daniel Arnheim and William Prentice also suggest performing an ice massage after the first few days, which can be done by freezing a Dixie cup full of water, peeling away the sides to below the level of the ice, and rapidly circling the ice over the affected area for one to two minutes.
Use a compression bandage to further reduce swelling and give your leg support, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Wrap an elastic bandage around the affected thigh, especially when you're mobile.
Elevate the leg whenever you're sitting or lying down. Raising the injured area above heart level decreases the risk of swelling.
Slowly resume exercise when the pain subsides, starting with non- or low-impact activity and working your way up to higher-impact activities. Arnheim suggests starting with jogging in chest-high water, followed by swimming and then resumption of land exercises.
Things You'll Need
Handful of ice
Dixie cup of solid ice
Elastic compression bandage
Ibuprofen or naproxen can be useful for those experiencing high levels of pain and swelling with their groin pull.
Always check with your health-care provider before treating any medical conditions.