Sudden onset groin strains, or any acute muscle injury should be treated with rest, ice, compression and if possible elevation. The majority of hip and groin injuries, especially the minor ones, can be treated at home. However, if you have any of the following symptoms you should seek further medical assistance.
Immediate first aid
Sudden onset groin strains, or any acute muscle injury should be treated with the P.R.I.C.E. principles - protection, rest, ice, compression and if possible elevation.
- Protection - Protect the injury from further damage. Stop training or competition immediately.
- Rest - Refrain from exercise and try to reduce the demands of your daily activity to encourage recovery.
- Ice - Apply ice or cold therapy in the form of a cold wrap or ice pack to help stop bleeding within the muscle itself and assist in reducing the symptoms of pain and inflammation. It should be noted that this is much more difficult to achieve in the hip joint as the hip is located deep within the groin area.
- Compression - The use of applied pressure and compression bandages or groin supports can can help reduce swelling.
- Elevation - Raising the injured leg above heart level when possible can improve circulation to the area and help reduce swelling.
Should I see a doctor?
- Severe pain in or around the hip or groin area, especially during walking.
- A “giving way” feeling in the hip during walking or going up/down stairs.
- Altered sensation in the leg – such as a feeling of “pins and needles” (paresthesia) or a “loss of feeling” (anaesthesia).
- Unable to complete your normal daily activities after the initial 72 hours.
Further medical assistance can be sought through either your local GP or a private clinician such as a physiotherapist, sports therapist, osteopath or chiropractor.
In the first instance, if you have followed the P.R.I.C.E. principles (see below) and are still unable to walk after 72 hours or still have severe pain that is not subsiding after the first 72 hours you should visit your local A&E department for further assessment. Another warning sign is if your hip “gives way” whilst walking and once again, you should consult your doctor or visit A&E.
Secondly, if you have applied for P.R.I.C.E. principles and still have weakness that lasts a long time (more than 2 weeks) or have ongoing discomfort in your knee, you are highly recommended to seek advice from a specialist expert - such as a physiotherapist, sports therapist, osteopath, or chiropractor - who can provide you with advice and an appropriate and effective recovery and rehabilitation program.