Groin Strains: Injury Fact Sheet

A groin strain can be a frustrating injury for a number of athletes, and like all muscle strains and tears – it can also be very painful. To avoid getting groin strains, it’s first important to understand what this muscle group is and how they function. 

The Adductor (groin) muscle group is located on the inside of the thigh. These muscles act to move your leg towards the midline of your body and help stabilize your hip during activity.


How do groin strains happen?

Groin strains occur when your groin muscles are stretched past their normal limit. There are different grades of injury ranging from a mild strain to a complete rupture of the muscle fibers. They are very common in sports that require explosive changing of direction or kicking, like soccer and hockey. 

There are a number of factors that increase your risk of getting a groin muscle tear including weak and/or tight groin muscles, poor abdominal control and strength, and weakness in stabilizing the hip joint. By strengthening these muscles and joints you can help reduce your risk of a groin strain. 


What should I do to help my groin strain recover quickly?

Right away: 0-72 hours after injury – reduce excessive inflammation by following the RICED rule:

  • Rest your leg by reducing your activity as much as possible for the first 72 hours.
  • Ice the injured area for 20mins every two hours.  Wrap ice in a damp cloth to prevent ice burn.
  • Compress – use a compression bandage or tubigrip over your thigh
  • Elevate your leg to help reduce swelling – sit or lie down with your foot up on a support.
  • Diagnose – seek an accurate diagnosis and advice from a physiotherapist or your GP.

Physiotherapy can help you get back on the field quicker and safer. Your physio will be able to properly diagnose your injury and work on a personalized plan to return you to normal levels of activity. They’ll focus on:

  • Initially will focus on restoring hip flexibility, decreasing pain and any swelling 
  • Rehabilitation  will be commenced involving targeted stretching, strengthening, and dynamic exercise
  • This should continue until your physiotherapist is content with your condition and any imbalances have been addressed. This may continue after your pain has gone. 

How long will it take for my groin strain to recover? 

It’s natural to want to get back to normal as fast as possible. “How long will it take?” does depend on you, the situation, and the severity of your injury. In some cases you can return to sport or work within 2 weeks, in severe cases it can be 3 months. We’ve put together a guideline of expectations for you.

1.  Strain A sensation of tightness

Minimal swelling

Walking not affected

2-3 Weeks
2. Partial Tear Pain on stretch/contraction

Walking may be affected.

Possible limp and sudden twinges present

4-8 Weeks
3. Complete Rupture Immediate swelling/bruising present

Intense pain – Increasing with activity

Walking severely affected

3-6 Months

Surgery may be required in rare cases


Consult your physiotherapist if you are unsure about when to return to sport or other activities.

If you want to know more about how Proactive 4 Health can help with your rehabilitation, Book your appointment today or give us a call. We’ll help you get things moving how they should, faster and safer.

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