A strain of an adductor muscle (usually the adductor longus) in the groin. The adductor longus runs the length of the pubic bone to the inside of the thigh and draws the leg inwards from the hip. Groin strain often occurs after a forceful movement, such as a broadside kick in football, turning quickly in hockey or bringing the free leg forward in skating. The strain is characterized by a sudden stabbing pain in the groin, the intensity depending on rhe severity of the strain. Except in the case of a complete rupture, treatment is nearly always non-surgical, and consists of rest and ice (see RICE), and sometimes crutches to relieve the load. Anti-inflammatories are often used, but cortisone injections are not administered for fear of weakening the muscle tendon. It is essential to allow the strain to heal completely before returning to sport; this usually takes a minimum of 3 weeks. Training should take place only if there is no pain. Premature resumption of activity weakens the muscle and increases the risk of strains in the future. Groin strain can be avoided by developing the strength and flexibility of the adductor muscles. One useful exercise comprises holding a football between the knees and using the groin muscles to compress the ball.
Subjects: Sports and Exercise Medicine.