Groin pain is a common sports injury that can be caused by overuse or repetitive motion. It often affects athletes who participate in sports that involve running or kicking, such as soccer, football, or hockey. groin pain can also be caused by osteitis pubis, a condition that results from inflammation of the pubic bone. Treatment for groin pain typically includes rest, ice, and pain medication. Surgery is rarely necessary.
Anatomy of your Pelvis and Groin
First Your Pelvis
Your pelvis is made up of several bones, including the pubic bone, which is located in the front of your pelvis. Your pubic bone (1) is connected to your pelvic bones (iliac bones, 2), which are located on either side of your pelvis. The hip bones are connected to the lower spine (lumbar spine, 3), which is located in the lower back. The groin is the area where your pubic bone and hip bones come together.
Next your Groin
Your groin is the area where your thigh meets your pelvis. It’s also known as the inguinal region. Your groin houses several important muscles and tendons, including:
Adductor muscles (4): These muscles help you move your leg inward.
- Abductor muscles (5): These muscles help you move your leg outward.
- Iliopsoas muscle (6): This muscle helps you bend your hip and groin.
- Pectineus muscle (7): This muscle helps you rotate your thigh inward.
- Rectus femoris muscle: This muscle helps you extend your leg.
Your groin also contains several important blood vessels and nerves. The ilioinguinal nerve and the genitofemoral nerve are two of the nerves that run through your groin. These nerves provide sensation to your groin and upper thigh.
Causes of groin pain
There are many potential causes of groin pain.
Strain or Tear of your groin muscles
The most common cause is a strain or tear in one of the muscles or tendons in your groin. This type of injury is often caused by overuse or repetitive motion. Athletes who participate in sports that involve running or kicking are at a higher risk for groin injuries.
Osteitis pubis is a condition that results from inflammation of the pubic bone and can also cause groin pain. The condition is often seen in athletes or people who have had recent surgery in the groin area.
Hernia, is a condition in which an organ or tissue bulges through a weak spot in the abdominal muscles. groin pain is a common symptom of hernia.
Other causes of groin pain
There are several other potential causes of groin pain, including:
- Kidney stones
- Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)
- Sexually transmitted infections (STIs)
- Urinary tract infection (UTI)
Treatment for groin pain
The treatment for groin pain will depend on the underlying cause. In most cases, rest, ice, and pain medication are all that’s needed to treat the pain. Surgery is rarely necessary.
If you have a groin strain or tear, your physiotherapist may recommend that you take a break from sports or other activities that aggravate your pain. They may also recommend that you ice the area for 20 minutes several times a day and take over-the-counter pain medication, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen.
If you have osteitis pubis, your doctor may recommend that you take nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen or naproxen, to reduce the inflammation. They may also recommend physical therapy to stretch and strengthen the muscles in your groin.
When to see a physiotherapist
If you have groin pain that persists for more than a few days, or if the pain is severe, you should see your physiotherapist. They can help determine the underlying cause of your pain and recommend the best treatment plan.