Whilst we all start to get back to a little more normality and return ourselves to our daily physical activity demands, our bodies may not be as conditioned and ready to go as they once were. This can increase our chances of sustaining an injury, such as those related to the groin and hip region.
Groin pain and injury within the groin and hip region are common, especially in sports such as football and soccer, those that involve repetitive kicking and sudden changes of direction.
The groin and hip region is an area with quite complex anatomy, there are multiple structures within this area (muscle, bone, tendons, ligaments and bursa), which can create difficulty to decipher the true cause of pain. The image to the right demonstrates just how many structures sit within the groin region. It’s quite complex!
Image reference: Hip pain professionals, 2020. Hip flexor or iliopsoas related groin pain anatomy. Available at: <https://hippainhelp.com/hip-flexor-pain-or-iliopsoas-related-groin-pain/>
So why is groin pain so common in sports like soccer and football?
The groin region has substantial load placed on it in sports that involve fast paced change of direction and kicking, which is well known in sports like soccer and football.
There are other factors which place an individual at greater risk of sustaining a groin injury, these are known as risk factors. Risk factors for groin pain include:
- having sustained a previous injury to the area
- previous injury to other joints, such as the ankle joint (ankle sprains)
- reduced adductor (inner thigh muscle) strength and activation
- lack of pre-season or sport specific training
Did you know that within soccer and football, each season a club can roughly expect 6-7 groin injuries to occur in their team!
Types of groin pain:
There are four main type of groin pain:
- Adductor (inner thigh) related groin pain
- Iliopsoas (front of thigh) related groin pain
- Inguinal related groin pain
- Pubic related groin pain
Other cause of groin pain can be:
- Hip related groin pain
Adductor related groin pain:
This type of groin pain is related to pain that originates from our adductor muscles (inner thigh muscles). The adductor longus is the most common of the adductor muscles to be injured.
Iliopsoas related groin pain:
This type of groin pain is related to our hip flexor muscle. The main muscle which allows us to flex our hip, this is known as the iliopsoas.
Inguinal related groin pain:
This type of pain is related to the pain occurring within the inguinal canal region (a passageway that extends through part of the abdominal wall), this region is located within the front of the pelvis and hip.
Pubic related groin pain:
This type of groin pain is related to our pubic bone region, which is a structure that sits at the front of our pelvis.
Image reference: Weir A, Brukner P, Delahunt E, et al
Doha agreement meeting on terminology and definitions in groin pain in athletes
British Journal of Sports Medicine 2015;49:768-774
What you can do?
Here are Some things you can try:
- Compression shorts: compression shorts may assist in your muscles recovery and reduce some pain and discomfort.
- Groin stretches: Give these stretches ago! Please note that if any of these stretches cause severe pain or discomfort, please stop.
How can osteopathy help you?
If you are experiencing any type of pain or discomfort within your groin or hip region, it might be the time to book an appointment with your osteopath! Your osteopath will work alongside you to determine the type of groin pain you may have but also assess and identify what the true cause of your pain may be.
Osteopathic treatment can be used to assist with your groin pain and discomfort. Depending on your pain, your osteopathic treatment may include massage, stretching and joint mobility techniques or even dry needling.
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