Groin pain is any discomfort in the area of the hip in between the stomach and the thigh. The pain usually originates from injury due to physical activity such as sports. A strained or pulled muscle in the groin region is one of the usual injuries among athletes.
What are the common causes of groin pain?
It is important to note that groin pain is a usual symptom and can develop in anyone. There are some possible causes that are common than others.
The usual cause of groin pain includes strained ligaments, muscles or tendons in the groin region. This form of injury occurs most often among athletes. Among those who play contact sports such as hockey, football or rugby, it is likely for an individual to end up with groin pain at some point.
Another common cause is an inguinal hernia. This develops once the internal tissues move via a weakened spot in the groin muscles. This can cause a protruding lump in the groin region and triggers pain. In addition, bone fractures or kidney stones can also cause groin pain as well.
- Enlarged lymph nodes
- Intestinal inflammation
- Ovarian cysts
- Testicular inflammation
- Pinched nerves
- Urinary tract infections
When to consult a doctor
A doctor should be consulted regarding the symptoms if there is moderate to intense pain in the groin or testicles that lasts for more than a few days. Consult a doctor right away for the following:
- Blood in the urine
- Physical changes in the testicles such as swelling or lumps
- Pain that spreads to the lower back, abdomen or chest
- Fever or feeling nauseous
If any of these symptoms are present along with the groin pain, it is best to seek medical care. Remember that these symptoms might be indications of a serious condition such as testicular infection, cancer or testicular torsion.
The treatment for groin pain usually depends on the underlying cause. Minor strains can be treated at home but for intense groin pain, it might require medical care.
In case the groin pain is due to a strain, treatment at home is the ideal option. Taking a rest from physical activity for 2-3 weeks will enable the strain to naturally heal. Pain medications including acetaminophen might be used to reduce the pain and discomfort. The application of an ice pack for 20 minutes for a few times in a day can help as well.
If the cause is a fracture, surgery might be needed to fix the bone. Surgery is also needed if an inguinal hernia is the cause of the symptoms.
Once the home treatments fail to deal with a strain, the doctor might prescribe medications to minimize the inflammation. If this is not effective and the individual experiences recurrent strain injuries, the doctor might recommend physical therapy.