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A groin strain is a tear or rupture to any one of the five adductor muscles. We explain the symptoms, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation including sports massage and exercises.
A groin strain is a tear or rupture to any one of the adductor muscles on the inside of the thigh. Symptoms include a sudden sharp pain and depending on how bad the groin strain is swelling and bruising may occur.
There are five adductor muscles, the pectineus, adductor brevis and adductor longus (called short adductors which go from the pelvis to the thigh bone) and the gracilis and adductor magnus (long adductors which go from the pelvis to the knee).
The main function of the adductors is to pull the legs back towards the midline, a movement called adduction. During normal walking they are used in pulling the swinging lower limb towards the middle to maintain balance. They are also used extensively in sprinting, playing football, horse riding, hurdling and any sport which requires fast changes in direction.
A rupture or tear in the muscle usually occurs when sprinting, changing direction or in rapid movements of the leg against resistance such as kicking a ball. This is especially likely if a thorough warm-up has not been undertaken first! Repetitive overuse of the groin muscles may result in adductor tendinopathy.
Groin strains, as with all muscle tears, are graded 1, 2, or 3 depending on how bad they are.
A minor tear where less than 10% of fibres are damaged.
A moderate tear which can be anything from 10 to 90% of fibres torn. For this reason, grade 2 injuries are often termed 2 or 2-.
The most serious, being either partial or full ruptures.
More detailed information on how a groin strain is diagnoses can be seen on our groin strain assessment page.
See our groin strain rehab program for more detailed information.
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