The management for a pulled groin muscle is usually based on the severity of the injury. Allowing the injury to rest is the key to successful treatment. Generally, if the individual has a pulled groin muscle, he/she must avoid activities that can aggravate the injury. It is essential to rest until free from pain to allow the damaged muscles to heal. Not getting enough rest will only lengthen the recovery period.
Athletes should remember that the pain might not be evident during sports. If the pain occurs after activity, including the night or the next morning, it is vital to allow more rest during the recovery process.
Common treatment measures for a pulled groin muscle
- It is vital to rest after the injury to allow the damaged muscle to heal. The individual should utilize the pain as a guide on his/her level of activity. Any activity that triggers the symptoms must be avoided.
- Mild stretching exercises are beneficial as long as pain is not triggered. Excessive stretching can be detrimental and even delay the healing process. Generally, it is ideal to stretch to a certain point of discomfort but not until pain is felt and hold the stretch for 10-20 counts.
- Apply an ice pack on the injured area during the acute period usually 48 hours after injury and then after engaging in activities. The cold works by calming the inflammatory response and promotes blood flow to the affected area. Just make sure that the application will not last more than 15-20 minutes without a break since this can lead to tissue damage from the extended exposure to the cold.
- Before engaging in activity, the application of gentle heat can loosen up the muscle. Apply a heat pack on the groin before a stretching routine or workout. Generally, heat must be applied before and ice after.
- Anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen can be given to alleviate the pain as well as reduce the inflammation. Remember that they can cause side effects which is why it is vital to consult a doctor first before using any medication.
- Physical therapy under a therapist can greatly hasten the recovery period. Certain modalities such as therapeutic massage, ultrasound and specific exercises are useful.
Based on the latest studies conducted, there are factors that can be useful in preventing a pulled groin muscle. Athletes who engage in ice hockey, soccer or other similar sports are susceptible to injuries to the groin, thus they should consider some preventive measures. Suitable exercises and stretches must be included as part of the preventive approach such as the following:
- Adductor stretching
- Core stability which includes abdominal and lumbar strengthening
- Hip adductor and abductor strengthening exercises
- Pelvic stabilization exercises
With these exercises and stretches, they can control the movements of the pelvis and hip to expectantly prevent groin strains. Remember that a suitable core strengthening program must be part of the routine.