(Adductor Strain; Groin Pull; Pulled Groin; Pulled Groin Muscle; Strain, Adductor; Strain, Groin)
A groin strain is a partial or complete tear of the small fibers of the adductor muscles. These muscles start in the groin and run down the inner thigh to attach to the inner side of the knee.
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This problem with the adductor muscles may be caused by:
- Stretching them too far
- Putting sudden stress on them when they are not ready for stress
- Overusing them over time
- A direct blow to the muscles
Things that may raise the risk of this problem are:
- Playing sports that need bursts of speed, such as track, basketball, soccer, football, and rugby
- Prior strain or injury to the area
- Muscle imbalance, fatigue, or weakness
- Tight groin muscles
- Poor fitness
- Unusual bone structure
Problems may be:
- Pain and tenderness in the groin
- Stiffness in the groin
- Bruising in the groin
- A popping or snapping feeling when the muscle tears
You will be asked about your symptoms and health history. A physical exam will be done. This may be enough to make the diagnosis.
Images may be needed if symptoms are severe. This can be done with an MRI scan.
How long it takes to heal depends on how badly the muscles are strained. Treatment will include:
- Resting the area
- Ice to ease pain and swelling
- Compression bandages to help move fluids out of the area
- Elevating the area to help fluids drain or prevent fluids from building up
Medicines may also be given to ease pain and swelling.
This problem may be prevented by:
- Keeping the muscles strong to absorb the energy of sudden physical stress
- Learning the proper technique for exercises and sports
- Warming up the muscles slowly and stretching them properly
American Council on Exercise
Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians
Canadian Academy of Sport and Exercise Medicine
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Last reviewed March 2020 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Laura Lei-Rivera, PT, DPT Last Updated: 3/10/2021