Have you ever been walking or running and you take a step into a small divot in the ground and get that sharp pain on the inside of your leg? That could be a groin injury.It wouldn’t be uncommon for athletes who partake in ‘kicking sports’ to avoid a groin injury or two during their career. The groin is a relatively small area packed with muscles. The groin area has a lot going on. Its job is to help us walk, sit down and in the case of athletes, strike a ball.
There are multiple ways to injure the groin, such as:
Awkward or sudden twisting of the lower body
When bringing the leg across the midline of the body when kicking, we place the groin under stress. It is a relatively simple movement practiced hundreds of times by athletes. However, once the athlete adds a bit more power to the strike or tries a new kicking technique, the groin can be placed under a new stress it isn’t used to.
Quick changes of directions like when athletes are running routes on the pitch or when runners are on an uneven surface can stretch the groin. These unexpected forceful movements can strain the groin as you try to stabilize and keep your balance.
When in the gym, people are quick to build big quads or glutes or spend half their session deadlifting. Often people neglect training their groin. Chances are, you never have, or at least never targeted it on purpose. The groin is a group of muscles just like anywhere else. If we avoid training our groin muscles, they fall behind our other larger muscles in the leg. This inequality can lead to groin injuries as the groin cannot load as much as the rest of the leg or produce as much force. This also correlates to adequate warm-ups. Activating the groin muscles is imperative for all athletes.
Groin injuries are very common across every sort of sport, or even if you don’t play any sports.
They can present as:
- A sharp pain up along the inside of the thigh.
- It can also feel like it’s inside your hip.
- You can be left with a limp and lack of power in the affected leg.
If you feel like you have any of these symptoms, our therapists can help with treatment and subsequent rehab programming.
By Alan Harrington, Athletic Therapist