The groin is a group of muscles in the inner thigh which are used to pull the legs together and help with other hip movements. The groin muscles can be pulled which is also called a muscle strain, and that happens when the muscle is stretched more than usually. The strains can be less severe, causing pain and discomfort, and more severe, causing tears of the muscle fibers.
Groin strains are usually very painful but that depends on the extent of the pull. There are three grades of groin strains. Grade I is when a person feels some discomfort but does not need to limit physical activities at all. In Grade II, the person feels more pain and this can hinder running or jumping, while causing swelling and bruising in the groin areas. With a Grade III strain, pain is manifested even while walking and muscle spasms, more serious swelling and bruising begin to appear.
Groin pulls are a typical injury for athletes taking part in sports such as ice hockey and soccer, because these athletes are more affected by things such as hip muscle strength, preseason conditioning and any previous injuries. This is why these athletes have to pay more attention to their physical condition, and includes adductor strengthening pelvic stabilization and core strengthening exercises in their workouts as prevention for groin strains.
A pulled groin can be healed successfully but that depends on the severity of the condition. Rest is the key factor for this, so any exercises that involves further staining should be avoided. As long as there is any pain, all activities should be postponed. Doing gentle stretches is helpful but should not be overdone. In the first phase of injury, ice should be applied to decrease swelling and bruising. The muscles can be heated however, prior to any activities to help loosen them up and then ice them after the physical activities. Taking anti-inflammatory medications can relieve pain and calm inflammation. Physical therapy is very helpful in treating a pulled groin muscle, and a physician can prescribe ultrasound, therapeutic massage or any other specific exercises.
To prevent groin strains athletes in sports such as soccer, ice hockey and other similar ones, should focus on having a good work out and always include the following exercises: adductor stretching, hip adductor and abductor strengthening, pelvic stabilization exercises and work on their core stability, and not forget to include abdominal and lumbar exercises.