Physiotherapy Or Physiohealth Data Verified

Groin Pull - Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment

Published on Dec 22, 2022 and last reviewed on Jan 25, 2023   -  5 min read


A groin pull is a painful condition of muscles in the groin area. Read this article to learn more about groin pull.


A groin pull is a muscle strain that usually occurs in the groin region. People involved with exercises, sports, or any intense physical activity commonly suffer muscle pull in the groin area. Sudden direction change, twisting movements, and overuse of muscles can cause groin pull. Radiating type of pain occurs in the area of the inner thighs. The pain intensity can be mild or severe, depending upon the severity of the muscle pull. Groin pull includes swelling and stiffness in the groin region. As a result, it can be difficult to walk or move the leg properly. Conservative treatment and physical therapy are recommended.

What Is Groin Pull?

A groin pull is a painful muscle injury in the groin area. It is more common among athletes who play football, hockey, cycling and running. It causes pain and swelling in the groin area and difficulty walking and running. It occurs in mild, moderate, and severe forms.

  • Grade 1 (Mild) - In grade one, injury overstretching of the muscles is present, but they are not torn. Mild pain and swelling can be felt. It causes no restrictions on leg movement.

  • Grade 2 (Moderate) - Muscles are possibly torn. In this grade of injury, more than one muscle is involved. Pain is more than grade one injury. It may cause restrictions on leg and hip movements.

  • Grade 3 (Severe) - Muscles are completely stretched and torn in this grade. Muscles are disconnected from tendons and bones. Sometimes, the avulsion of the bony part can also be seen. Severe pain and swelling are present, and it causes a complete restriction in the movement of the legs and hips.

What Are the Causes of Groin Pull?

A variety of factors can cause groin pull. Some factors are listed below -

What Are the Symptoms of Groin Pull?

The symptom of groin pulls include -

  • Pain in the injured area.

  • Swelling just after the injury.

  • Bruises.

  • Restricted movement of leg and hips.

  • Burning sensation in the inner side of the thighs.

  • Inability to walk.

  • Weakness in the thigh muscles.

Which Muscle Is Affected by Groin Pull?

Strain in adductor muscles is a major reason for groin pull in athletes. Adductor muscles provide femoral flexions and rotation. They also help in the stabilization of the lower limbs and pelvic area. Adductor longus muscles are very commonly affected by strains; it results in the restricted movement of lower limbs and the pelvis. Athletes who play hockey, rugby, and football are at high risk of adductor muscle tears. Strain in muscles is caused by over and repetitive use of these muscles. It results in acute and chronic muscle strain. Groin pain produced by strains is progressive. Acute strain can be fixed by rehabilitation. Four to eight weeks are sufficient to get the desired result. Chronic strains are caused by untreated acute strains. Treatment of chronic strain also requires rehabilitation but for a longer time (eight to 12 weeks). Along with this, strength training is also helpful.

How to Prevent Groin Pull?

  • The best way to prevent groin pulls is to stay active and warm up properly before exercising.

  • Do muscle stretching before and after the workout.

  • Start muscle-strengthening exercises.

  • Always start with a small number of exercises, then gradually increase.

  • Always wear good shoes.

  • Take rest after workout.

  • Proper breaks and intervals are important.

What Are the Complications of Groin Pull?

Complications of groin pull can include -

  • Recurrent groin pulls.

  • More serious injuries, such as tears or ruptures of the muscles or tendons in the groin area.

  • Joint problems such as arthritis.

  • Problem with urination and bowel movements.

How to Diagnose Groin Pull?

  • Physical Test - After taking the case history, the doctor will physically check for tenderness and the groin area. The doctor can ask to move the legs during the physical tests. Certain movements help in the diagnosis.

  • Imaging Test - After doing the physical examination, the doctor will suggest imaging tests such as an ultrasound, X-ray, and MRI to help make a diagnosis.

What Are the Treatments Available for Groin Pull?

Mild or grade one groin pull can be treated by conservative therapy, but if the problem persists, then consultation with a medical professional is recommended. Recovery from a groin pull injury is dependent upon the severity of the injury. Treatment for groin pull injury is listed below-

  • Rest - Proper rest for the injured muscle is the most important part of the treatment. In case of mild injury, complete rest for two to three days is necessary. The rest period is longer for severe cases.

  • Ice - Ice application to the strained muscles for ten to 20 minutes, two to three times every day, reduces swelling and pain. Do not apply ice directly to the skin. Wrap some ice cubes in a towel, then apply them to the injury; it will prevent ice burn.

  • Compression - Compress the injured area with the help of bandages. It will reduce swelling and protect the injury from any further damage.

  • Elevation - Try to put the leg in an elevated position to reduce the swelling.

  • Medication - Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like Ibuprofen and Naproxen help reduce pain. Some ointments are also helpful in pain and swelling reduction.

  • Rehabilitation - Consultation with a sports medicine physicist will be helpful. Do not return suddenly to the prior physical activity; it will result in more damage to the muscles. Start with simple stretching and increase slowly. Then, follow a good rehabilitation program to gain the strength and flexibility of muscles.

  • Surgery - In case of severe injury of muscles or avulsion, treatment includes surgery.


A groin pull is a common muscle injury that can affect anyone, regardless of age or activity level. It can be caused by a sudden contraction of the muscles in the groin. Pain and swelling are common symptoms present. People feel discomfort and an inability to move. Groin pull can be treated with rest, ice, compression, and elevation or with physical therapy. In some cases, surgery may be necessary.

Article Resources

Last reviewed at:
25 Jan 2023  -  5 min read




Comprehensive Medical Second Opinion.Submit your Case

Related Questions & Answers

What should I do for pain in groin and activity restriction?

Query: Hi doctor, I have had mild right-side groin pain for about two years, making it very difficult to run. One morning, I woke up unable to use my right leg because of the severity of the pain. I was very active then, so I assumed it was a sprain in or around the groin. The pain got better about a week...  Read Full »

What is a chiropractor's opinion in correcting back pain occurred due to work injury by lifting heavy boxes?

Query: Hello doctor, I injured my back at work after lifting, pushing, and pulling boxes. The boxes weighed up to 75 lbs. I was diagnosed with sprain or strain of the lower lumbar spine. The pain varies from time to time. It happened a month ago, and I have had physical therapy for three weeks. The pain go...  Read Full »

Adductor Pain - An Overview

Article Overview: Medial leg and groin pain are due to the adductor muscle group injury of the thigh. To know more, read the article below. Read Article

Tamilarasi R
Tamilarasi R

Introduction: Adductor muscles are a group of muscles that help in body movements. The primary function of the adductor muscles- is adduction of the thigh and stabilization of the lower extremity and pelvis. Groin strain is a muscle-tendon injury that produces pain on palpation. Groin strain affects...  Read Article

Popular Articles Most Popular Articles

Do you have a question on Groin Pull or ?

Ask a Wellness Expert Online

* guaranteed answer within 4 hours.

Disclaimer: No content published on this website is intended to be a substitute for professional medical diagnosis, advice or treatment by a trained physician. Seek advice from your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with questions you may have regarding your symptoms and medical condition for a complete medical diagnosis. Do not delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice because of something you have read on this website. Read our Editorial Process to know how we create content for health articles and queries.