Groin strain – the causes and the treatment

The groin is the area of your hip between your stomach and thigh, located where your abdomen ends and your legs begin. The groin region consist of a range of ligaments, tendons, muscles and fascia (a sheet or band of fibrous tissue that covers or binds body structures together) all of which attach to the pubic bone. There are also some nerves in this area, region, which can cause a tingling sensation which might involve the medial thigh, lower abdomen and inguinal regions.

Groin area

Pain in the groin usually results from an injury caused by physical activity, especially in sports that involve a lot of twisting and turning (such as soccer and ice hockey), or jumping (such as high jump and hurdles). Pulled or strained muscles in the groin area are one of the most common injuries among athletes.

Using football as an example, from a biomechanical perspective, the movement of kicking leg comes from the hip, through the thigh, and down into the foot. Force from the hip creates the velocity of the lower leg and a whip-like motion maximises the power of the kick. This movement stresses the muscles of the hip and groin, creating an opportunity for injury.

This illustration shows the stages involved in such a kick:

Stages of kicking a football


While there several muscles around the groin, the two most frequently injured muscles are the adductor magnus (the larger muscle running up the inner side of the thigh) and the satorius (an inner muscle that starts on the outside of your hip, crosses your thigh and attaches near the inside of the knee).


Isometric or static exercises (exercise that strengthens muscles but in which the joint angle and muscle length do not change during contraction) are usually the safest exercises to begin rehabilitation with.

For the short adductors (a muscle that connects the groin to the upper thigh), bend the knees and place the feet flat on the floor. Place the ball between the knees and press inwards. Hold for count of five, relax and repeat ten times initially. Build up to three sets of ten reps once a day.

short adductors
For the long adductors (the muscles that run the length of the thigh from groin to knee), place a ball between the knees, and, keeping the legs straight, gently press inwards with the legs. Hold for the count of three, relax and repeat. Start with one set of ten reps and build up to three sets of ten reps, performed daily.

Consistent practice of these movements should help strengthen these muscles and prevent problems in the future.

Elite Therapy is a multidisciplinary sports therapy and physiotherapy clinic in Coventry. We treat a range of injuries both sporting and non-sporting as well as back, neck and musculoskeletal pain. Elite Therapy’s services include assessment and diagnosis, physiotherapy, sports therapy, massage therapy, taping and ultrasound. There is also an on-site rehabilitation gym and studio for the Pilates and yoga classes.