There are so many different sources of groin pain in the current research today that we have provided a concise list of the most common we see in the clinic for you!

Different Sources of Groin Pain

Groin pain is classified into the following terms and sub groups:

  • Adductor related Groin PainGroin pain is so common but often difficult to manage. The reason for this is that groin pain can occur from many different sources around the area of symptoms.
  • The management of groin pain will heavily depend on which structures are contributing to the pain, however as the groin is a junction between the trunk and the lower limbs, rehabilitation often involves a combination of abdominal, glute, groin and lower back exercises!
  • The groin and surrounding muscles play a big role in how you twist and turn your hips and legs, so groin issues commonly arise in activities or jobs that involve a lot of twisting and lunging or sport
    Groin Muscle Strain
    – Adductor Tendinopathy

Adductor-related groin pain can involve an acute strain of the groin muscles themselves, or can be long standing issues with the tendons, presenting as tenderness over the insertions at each end of the muscles. Long-standing adductor-related pain often takes longer to settle, and a carefully monitored program of strengthening exercises and rehabilitation is often needed.

Pubic-related groin pain is characterised by tenderness over the pubic bone. It is usually quite hard to reproduce the pain with testing as it flares up with continuous use, so there more emphasis on palpation of the sore areas and connecting this to the history of symptoms.

Note: Osteitis Pubis is no longer the term used by health professionals due to various reasons, however the general public will still relate their symptoms to this type of injury as it was the umbrella term heavily used in the early 2000’s.

  • Inguinal related Groin Pain
    – Inguinal Hernia
    – Sportsman’s Hernia

Inguinal-related pain is the groin injury that generally takes the longest time to recover from. The inguinal-related pain is experienced ‘deep’ in the groin, slightly more higher up than adductor-related pain. This can feel as though the issue is in the groin or abdomen. Activities that increase intra-abdominal pressure such as coughing or sneezing will usually cause pain in this type of groin pain.Iliopsoas related Groin Pain

     – Hip Flexor Muscle Strain

The Iliopsoas is a hip flexor muscle which helps with lifting your thigh up (used heavily in sprinting or kicking actions). A strain or injury to this muscle may present as pain within the groin or radiating down the top of the thigh. It will usually hurt to lift the leg up and sometimes when having to straighten your knee.

Hip related Groin Pain

    – Hip Labral/Capsule Tear

    – Hip Arthritis

    – Femoroacetabular Impingement (FAI)

    – Perthes Disease

    – Stress Fracture

    – Avascular Necrosis of the Femoral Head

Groin Muscle Strain Treatment

The groin and surrounding muscles play a big role in how you twist and turn your hips and legs, so groin issues commonly arise in activities or jobs that involve a lot of twisting and lunging or sports that involve change of direction, jumping/ landing and kicking!

A true groin strain involves one of your hip adductors muscles pictured here on the right. What you will most likely experience when you have a groin strain is a sharp pulling pain up towards your groin as you go to run, jump or change direction.

Athletes playing sports like soccer and football have a higher chance of these types of injuries due to the variety of playing surfaces as well as the high demands of the sports. Other sports such as hockey, netball and basketball are also common culprits for this type of injury. 

Osteitis Pubis Treatment

Osteitis Pubis is a term often used to describe tenderness and irritation over the pupic symphisis and the surrounding muscular attachments. You will often experience pain quite centrally in the groin area and find that it gets gradually worse and worse as you continue to try participate in your sport or activity.

Athletes frequently describe feeling as though they’ve lost power when changing directions. Rest often appears to be the easy solution but unfortunately it does not give long term reprieve from this issue and athletes find that as soon as they attempt to participate in sport again it resurfaces. It’s often seen in taller athletes playing sports such as soccer and football.

Note: Osteitis Pubis is no longer the term used by health professionals due to various reasons, however the general public will still relate their symptoms to this type of injury as it was the umbrella term heavily used in the early 2000’s.

What needs to be done about Groin Pain?

You can now see why groin pain is quite complex and can be frustrating for clients to manage! We wish there were a simple guide to with dealing with all of these pesky groin issues, but there simply isn’t. So here are our 3 go to tips on how to get on the right path to recovery!

  1. Don’t ignore the early niggles. Not all types of groin pain will begin with an incident or sharp painful movements. Overuse issues along with a number of hip related groin pain will begin with simple tightness and restrictions. Groin issues are a lot easier to manage and quicker to recover from in these early stages so get in touch as soon as your niggles are lasting greater than a week!
  2. Identify the source of your pain! A detailed assessment of your symptoms along with muscle strength and mobility tests are essential to diagnosing which type of groin pain you are suffering from!
  3. Stick to the plan! Groin pain can have its ups and downs and may flare up at times, but if you do not stick to the overall plan for the long term, it can be an injury or pain that lasts long term!

Our physiotherapists are experts in identifying all of the contributing factors that can lead to groin pain and have the facilities and equipment to accurately analyse your movement, strength and mobility. Getting all the right information for your condition will help you to avoid wasting time and effort on exercises or treatments that are not getting to the source of your problem! Failure to address these factors may increase the likelihood of long term pain, or recurrence once normal activity is resumed.

 If you are experiencing groin pain or any of the other symptoms described above, then we would love to hear from you to discuss how we can help you!

What to expect at Physio Fit Adelaide

Initial assessment with a physiotherapist includes thorough discussion of the nature of your pain (where, type of symptoms, duration and intensity of symptoms) as well as a bit about you! We can’t help you get better if we don’t know what it is you want to get back to! So we will also discuss your work, physical activity and other life demands to determine what management you need to get back to those things stronger and more robust than before!

We will then conduct a thorough physical assessment. This will involve both hands on assessment from the therapist but also practical assessment. This will include things related to your specific history, for example: running, kicking, squatting, jumping, lunging, getting on and off the floor and definitely ‘that exercise in the gym’ that gives you your shin splints. We will also make sure we keep track of how things are changing and add or subtract things from your program when necessary to make sure you’re always getting the best care possible! We’ll provide you with a management plan to help you understand your condition and your path forward to become pain free!

Don't delay your recovery - Take action today!

The occasional niggle or tightness may be nothing to worry about, but failing to pay attention to  sharp or lingering pain may end up causing you a lot of problems in the future. If your shin splints are stopping you from doing what you normally love to do, then it is time to get it looked at by one of our experienced physiotherapists. In general, ankle pain that is affecting your day to day life is a sign that something needs to be looked at.

Often we just assume things will get better by themselves or with enough rest, but this is rarely the case, so take action and get back to doing what you love as soon as possible!


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