pulled groin symptoms

Common Pulled Groin Symptoms in Females


Are you experiencing pulled groin symptoms? A groin pull, or strain, is a tear or injury to any inner thigh muscle. Pulled groins are common among people who play sports that involve a lot of jumping and running, like soccer, football, lacrosse, and hockey.

Groin pulls are classified by grades (1,2, & 3) based on their severity. While groin pulls are not necessarily serious, severe grade-three strains cause significant discomfort and take several months to heal. Surgery to repair severe tears may be medically necessary in some cases.

It is important for any female having groin pain to see their healthcare provider to determine the cause. Groin discomfort can be a sign of a muscle pull or indicate other more serious conditions.

We will share the common pulled groin symptoms in females and explore the benefits of physical therapy to build strength, increase flexibility, and prevent reinjury.

Where Are the Groin Muscles and How Do They Function?

The adductor muscles are the group of fan-like muscles that run from the inner pelvis to the inner part of the thigh bone (femur.) The adductors have a few principal functions. They work together to stabilize the hip joint and pull the legs inward as they contract.

Healthy, flexible adductor muscles promote healthy, pain-free leg movement. A pull or a strain happens when a muscle overstretches and partially or completely tears. Problems with the groin muscles can affect mobility and function throughout the lower body.

What Causes Groin Muscle Strains?

A sudden awkward bend, twist, start, or stop is enough to strain the groin. It also happens from direct trauma to the area, which is common in many contact sports. Groin injuries can also happen from a fall, or from lifting heavy objects.

In many cases, groin pulls are caused by overuse or repetitive stress of any of the adductor muscles. Athletes who do the same motions for prolonged periods of time on a regular basis increase their risk of groin muscle strains, particularly in the athlete’s dominant leg.

Groin strains can also occur in individuals who are pregnant as the ligaments get more lax and the muscles require more activation to stabilize the . (It’s always best to let your healthcare provider know if you have pain at any point during your pregnancy.)

Pulled Groin Symptoms in Women

Pulled groin muscle signs and symptoms in women include:

  • General pain and tenderness along the inside of the thigh
  • Pain when raising your knee(s) or bringing your legs together
  • An audible or sensory pop or snap upon injury, following by intense pain
  • Some loss of movement, function, and/or strength based on the grade of the tear

For some context as to how symptoms correlate with the different grades of groin pulls, consider that someone with a grade-one tear probably has mild pain and minimal loss of movement. A grade-three groin pull is a complete tear of the muscle, causing severe pain and loss of function and strength.

Treating Pulled Groin Symptoms with P.E.A.C.E. and L.O.V.E.

Groin pulls heal well with time and conservative therapies. The P.E.A.C.E. and L.O.V.E. protocol for soft-tissue injuries is now widely recommended because of its focus on promoting optimal tissue repair.

This regimen prioritizes rest, elevation, and compression of the injured muscles, followed by gradual introduction of exercise and load increases to ease the body back into activity. Many physical therapists are reconsidering ice (cold therapy) and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAIDs) medications because a growing body of research suggests they actually disrupt the recovery .

Treating (and Preventing) Groin Muscle Pulls with Physical Therapy

Physical therapy is a safe, effective, noninvasive treatment for groin pulls in women and men. Once you are cleared for physical therapy, you can start with active stretching and strengthening exercises to build strength and improve flexibility in the groin muscles.

Many patients begin physical therapy as soon as 24 to 48 hours after an injury. Let pain be your guide when returning to activity after a groin pull. Avoid exercises that trigger pain and let your physical therapist know if symptoms get worse.

Preventing Groin Pulls: Tips for Active Females

You should always warm up your groin and leg muscles with stretching before physical activity and increase the intensity of your training in 10% increments to avoid overstressing the adductors. Wear well-fitted, supportive footwear for your sport or activity and listen to your body.

Physical therapy is also highly beneficial for female athletes to keep the groin muscles strong and flexible to prevent injuries. Never try to push through pain and make an appointment with your physical therapist if you have soreness, tightness, or other groin pull symptoms.

Female Groin Pain Has Many Possible Causes: Diagnosis Is Key

Although groin pull symptoms are similar in all genders, groin pain can be indicative of many other conditions in females, including:

  • Lower gut issues
  • Reproductive organ issues
  • Kidney stones
  • Osteitis pubis
  • Stress fracture
  • Bursitis
  • Ovarian cysts
  • Enlarged lymph nodes
  • Urinary tract infections (UTIs)
  • Femoral hernias
  • Hip strain
  • Pregnancy-related pain
  • Sexually-transmitted infections

Even if you suspect a groin pull, do not wait to see your healthcare provider if you develop pain after an accident or injury. Seek medical attention as soon as possible if your pain is severe, if it gets worse, or you develop possible signs of an infection like chills or fever. It is best to rule out other conditions and ensure you get the appropriate treatment for your condition.

Are you ready to finally be free of nagging groin pain? Find a physical therapy clinic near you.

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