Groin injuries are a common occurrence in sports. The most common groin injury is the groin pull. When someone refers to a groin pull they are actually talking about a strain of the groin. Strains are tears of the muscle belly or tendon. They have three different grades that define the severity of the injury. Grade 1 is a small tear, grade 2 is medium sized to almost complete tear, and a grade 3 is a complete tear of the tendon or muscle. While a grade 3 tear may require surgery grade 1 and 2 tears usually will get better with conservative care such as what is provided at Tauberg Chiropractic & Rehabilitation.
WHAT ARE THE MOST COMMON GROIN PULLS?
The terms groin pull and groin strain are not specific terms and actually encompass several different injuries as there are multiple muscles that originate, insert, or travel near the groin. The most common groin strains happens to the adductor muscles. The adductor muscle are responsible for bringing the leg closer to the midline of the body or across the midline. These muscles are often used in sports that require quick lateral movements. The most common adductors to be strained are the Adductor Longus and the Adductor Gracilis.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?
Groin pulls often result in pain in the inner thigh. Often the pain is close to the ischium or pubis, which are the bones of the inferior pelvis, located in the groin. Top Fox Chapel chiropractor at Tauberg Chiropractic & Rehabilitation explains that there is likely to be tender sports either near these bones or along the muscle bellies of the inner thigh. Pain will often be exhibited when one brings their leg towards or past the midline of the body. The adductors are involved in locomotion and as such walking may be one of the things that causes pain.
HOW DO GROIN PULLS HAPPEN?
Muscle strains in Fox Chapel are most likely to occur, and are more severe, due to eccentric contractions. An eccentric contraction is when a muscle is contracting but the forces placed on the muscle are greater than that produced by the muscle. Eccentric contractions are a normal and important part of locomotion and many sports specific movements. An example of eccentric groin adductor contraction would be when a hockey player plants his forward skate during a stride. The player is laterally transferring his weight across their hips from the hind skate to the forward skate and is simultaneously flexing the knee of the forward leg. As a result the adductor muscles of the forward skate start out in a contracted and shortened state. Then as weight is transferred from the hind skate to the forward skate and the player begins the extension of what was the forward leg the adductors elongate while continuing to contract. An injury in Fox Chapel can occur when the force placed on the muscle exceeds what it is able to physiologically withstand. Groin strains can also occur when the groin adductors are over stretched such as if someone was forced into a split position. It is also possible for groin strains to happen in other ways but these are the two most common. It is not clear what predisposes someone to groin strains although it may be due to biomechanical factors such as abnormal gait.
HOW IS IT DIAGNOSED?
Groin strains can often be diagnosed with a physical examination. Usually palpation of the area along with muscle strength testing will be enough to make a differential diagnosis. Occasionally the use of musculoskeletal ultrasound or MRI may be required to confirm the diagnosis and determine the grading of the tear. A strain is not able to be formally graded using a physical examination alone, however the exact grade of the tear is usually not needed to begin treatment.
HOW IS IT TREATED?
Conservative care and rehabilitation are effective treatments for most groin strains. This usually involves soft tissue work, mobilization, manipulation, and a prescription of exercises. This type of treatment will help to relieve the pain in the area, increase the mobility, and finally restore strength to the area. Other modalities may also be useful in treating groin strains such as electrical stimulation, ice, and or heat application. Depending on the severity, location, and chronicity of the groin strain conservative care and rehabilitation at Tauberg Chiropractic & Rehabilitation in Fox Chapel can help an athlete fully recover from the strain, however in some cases injections or surgery may be required.
At Tauberg Chiropractic & Rehabilitation we are able to evaluate and determine if your groin pain is a groin strain. We are then able to determine if rehabilitation and conservative therapy are likely to help resolve the condition. If you would like to be evaluated call us at 412-512-8124!