GROIN PAIN SYNDROME
What is Groin Pain?
Groin is a part of the body where muscles from the pelvis, hips, abdominal wall, back and upper leg meet and as such that region can be problematic if any of the muscle groups stated above are overloaded or injured because other muscle groups are also put under greater risk of being either overloaded or injured due to the disrupted sinergy between all the muscles in the region. Groin region and inner thigh problems can lead to a series of other problems in the lower abdominal muscles, lower back, upper leg muscles and knee joint or hips.
Hip adductor injuries can either be of an acute or chronic nature, so the pain can be very intense, sharp and last a shorter period of time or it can be more dull and be of a long lasting nature. The causes of adductor injuries can be many, some extrinsic, eg. sport and others intrinsic, eg. anatomy.
Adductors are often injured due to a disbalance in muscle strenght of the medial and lateral upper leg muscles or lower abdominal muscles and medial upper leg muscles.
Adductor injuries are more often with the male population because of the anatomical characteristics of their pelvis. The female pelvis is wider and shorter and therefore their femur bones have a different and that makes their inner thigh and groin musculature more flexible. The male pelvis is longer and more narrow and the femur bone descends toward the knee at a smaller angle which makes their adductor muscles shorter,more stiff and therefore more injury prone.
Anatomically the injuries can occur on ligaments, tendons or muscles in the grin and inner thigh region and the injuries are more often in activities or sports in which lateral movements, speed and direction changes, leg kicks are very often (football, basketball, handball, etc).
Tretment of adductor injuries is in most cases done through conservative, non surgical approach. In the acute phase, rest, ice, compression, elevation methods should be used in order to relieve the possible inflammation process and pain and later on in the functional phase of the rehabilitation process strengthening of the adductor and surrounding muscle groups, primarily lower back and lower abdominal muscles, should be implemented. Stretch exercises are also of high importance because they enable a better range of motion in the joints of the region in question.
The diagnosis of groin pain in athletes is difficult because the anatomy of the region is complex and because two or more injuries often coexist. Intra-abdominal pathology, genitourinary abnormalities, referred lumbosacral pain and hip joint disorders (e.g., arthritis, synovitis, avascular necrosis) must first be excluded. Once these conditions are ruled out, other musculoskeletal conditions involving the groin may be pursued.
Between 2 and 5 percent of all sports injuries occur in the groin area. These injuries are more prevalent in persons who participate in sports such as ice hockey, fencing, handball, cross country skiing, hurdling and high jumping, and may comprise as many as 5 to 7 percent of all injuries in soccer players. Factors that complicate the diagnosis include the complex anatomy of the region and the frequent coexistence of two or more disorders.