If you have suffered a groin strain, you may have difficulty:

…lifting your knee on the affected side.

…moving your leg away from the body.

…rotating your leg toward the body.

If you’ve ever pushed yourself into a yoga pose or forced a post-run stretch and felt pain, you may have experienced a groin strain.

Groin strains happen when the muscles of the inner thigh or front of the hip are overstretched or torn. A groin strain’s severity is graded according to the muscle damage that occurs:

…Grade 1: Muscle tear is minor. You may experience some tenderness and pain, but walking is normal and the leg is not impaired.

…Grade 2: More muscle fibers are torn. Your leg may be more tender and painful. You also may experience bruising and loss of strength.

…Grade 3: Muscle fibers are severely torn. You may have heard a popping sound when the injury occurred, and there is likely obvious bruising. It is extremely difficult to use the leg, and it can’t hold weight.

While groin strains most often happen to athletes, they can happen to anybody—even just by slipping on the floor.

Signs and Symptoms

Depending on a groin strain’s grade, the pain can range from mild throbbing to distressing spasms. You also may experience pain into your lower abdominal region. Pain can resolve quickly or persist.

You may experience one or more of the following symptoms in the groin area or lower abdomen:

…Pain (usually felt in the inner thigh but located anywhere from the hip to the knee)

…Decreased strength in the upper leg



…Difficulty walking or running without pain

…Snapping sound at the moment of injury

…Weakness in the leg when trying to walk, climb stairs or move the leg

…Limping when walking

What to Expect When Seeking Treatment

Your physical therapist will conduct an evaluation to determine if your symptoms are an indicator of any serious conditions. Groin pain can be associated with other diagnoses involving the hips, pelvis or lower back.

In order to determine if you have a groin strain and the grade of the strain, your physical therapist may ask you:

…What activities were you performing when you felt pain?

…Where is the pain?

…Did you hear a “pop” when it occurred?

…Did you receive a direct hit to your leg or groin area?

…Did the area swell within the first two to three hours after the injury?

…Do you feel pain when moving your leg, including when walking or pulling your knee toward you?

After the questions, the physical therapist performs tests, such as:

…Moving your leg gently.

…Asking you to push against their hand with your leg to test muscle strength.

…Pushing gently on different areas of the muscle.

You may need to have further testing, such as an X-ray or an MRI; however, these are not common for a groin strain.

Physical Therapist’s Treatment Plan

Your True Sports physical therapist can create a treatment plan to help your recovery. The plan will include at-home exercises to help you return to normal activities.

The First 24 to 48 Hours

In the first 24-48 hours, your physical therapist may recommend the following:

…Rest the area. This could include no walking and may require crutches.

…Apply ice packs to the area for 15 to 20 minutes every two hours.

…Compress the region with bandage wraps.

If Surgery Is Necessary

If the groin muscle fully tears, then surgery may be required. This is rarely necessary. Your physical therapist can help with your recovery post-surgery.

How to Prevent Groin Strain

Groin strain can be painful and limit your activities. Follow these recommendations to avoid it:

…Warm up before physical activity.

…Slowly increase the intensity of your activities—don’t push yourself too hard too fast.

…Be consistent with your strength and flexibility exercises.

…Strengthen your groin and inner thigh muscles.

…Make sure you have properly fitting shoes.

…Use correct lifting techniques.

Your physical therapist can help you avoid or treat a strain with specific exercises and training.

True Sports Physical Therapy – Where Maryland Athletes Rehab

At True Sports, we’re sports focused because you’re sports focused. The best physical therapists in Baltimore and Maryland provide the highest level of sports physical therapy and expertise you need to get back to your sport.

With six convenient state-of-the-art locations to choose from, any athlete who takes their rehab seriously can get awesome care and extraordinary results. Select your location and schedule an appointment, and have True Sports get you back to your team. For questions about insurance or self-pay rates, please call our office at (401) 946-1672.