A groin injury can be a very painful and difficult injury to heal. Commonly suffered by those participating in sports such as hockey, football, track & field and skiing, it’s often the result of overuse or a sudden contraction of the muscle while sprinting, jumping or quickly changing direction. Groin injuries are typically classified into one of three grades based on the severity of the injury. A first degree injury, the most common groin injuries, is considered a mild one involving some loss of strength or movement along with some pain. A second degree injury involves some tissue damage, more significant strength loss and moderate pain. A third degree injury involves a complete tear or rupture of the muscles from the pubic bone to the thigh and is accompanied by severe pain and significant loss of strength and function. If you or someone you know has suffered a groin injury, here’s what you need to know:
- IMMEDIATE TREATMENT: Rest is one of the best things you can do for any kind of groin injury. If you’ve injured your groin, even if it feels like just a simple pull or “tweak”, you should immediately stop whatever activity you’re doing. If the area seems red or swollen, apply an ice pack to reduce swelling and support the muscles in the area with bandages and wraps. You may also want to consider taking an “over the counter” pain killer such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen.
- SEEKING PROFESSIONAL HELP: Of course, more severe injuries require additional care. You should seek out the assistance of a qualified health professional if the pain is severe, if you have difficulty walking or if there are signs of a tear or rupture including significant swelling and redness or bruising.
- REHAB AND RECOVERY: The recovery and rehabilitation process for a groin injury typically takes between 6 to 8 weeks, depending on the severity of the injury. Once the pain in under control, slow movements and gentle stretching can be started but it’s still very important to avoid excessive weight or friction. Seeking the help of a physiotherapist is strongly advised for more serious injuries.
- AVOIDING RE-INJURY: One of the major causes of groin injuries, or re-injuries, is a lack of proper warm-up and stretching. Including a proper warm up and stretch before physical activity will increase your range of motion and prevent injury. It’s also important to use proper technique when exercising or participating in sports. Proper equipment, such as shoes that provide good ankle and foot support, is also key as is keeping your muscles strong and flexible all year round with a regular exercise routine.
If you’ve experienced a groin injury and need help with your recovery, please don’t hesitate to give us a call. Remember, at Physiomed…Healthier Starts Here.