Exercises for Groin Pain Handout

Discover effective Exercises for Groin Pain with our comprehensive guide, including tips and downloadable handouts for healthcare professionals and patients.

By RJ Gumban on Jul 15, 2024.


Fact Checked by Nate Lacson.

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What is groin pain?

Groin pain is discomfort in the region where the inner inside of the thigh meets the lower abdomen. It often results from a strain or injury to the muscles, tendons, or ligaments in this area. The groin muscles are crucial in facilitating leg movement and stabilization, making them susceptible to injury during physical activities.

Causes of groin pain

Groin pain can arise from various causes, including:

  • Strains: Overstretching or tearing of the adductor muscles, particularly the adductor magnus and the sartorius, commonly occur during activities like running, jumping, or sudden changes in direction.
  • Sports injuries: High-impact sports such as soccer, hockey, and football frequently lead to groin injuries due to sudden movements and forceful leg activities.
  • Overuse: Repetitive stress on the groin muscles from activities like cycling or long-distance running can lead to overuse injuries.
  • Other conditions: Hernias, hip joint issues, and infections can cause groin pain.

Symptoms of groin pain

Common symptoms of groin pain include:

  • Pain or tenderness: Discomfort along the inner thigh or groin area may worsen when bringing the legs together.
  • Difficulty moving: Pain when lifting the knee or performing specific movements, such as walking, running, or jumping.
  • Swelling or bruising: Visible signs of injury, such as swelling or bruising in the affected area.
  • Limited range of motion: Reduced ability to move the leg freely due to pain or stiffness.

Identifying the cause and symptoms of groin pain is essential for effective treatment and rehabilitation. Accurate diagnosis by a healthcare provider ensures appropriate management and recovery strategies.

Exercises for Groin Pain Handout Template

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Exercises for Groin Pain Handout Example

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8 Exercises for Groin Pain

Physical therapists can guide patients through these exercises to alleviate groin pain and promote recovery:

1. Hip adductor stretch

The hip adductor stretch targets the inner thigh muscles, which are essential for leg stabilization. This exercise improves flexibility and reduces muscle tightness. To do this stretch, lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Slowly spread your knees apart to stretch the inner thigh adductor muscles. Hold this position for 15 to 30 seconds and repeat three times.

2. Hamstring stretch on the wall

Stretching the hamstrings can indirectly relieve groin tension. For this exercise, lie on your back near a doorway with your legs extended. Raise the injured leg against the wall while keeping the other leg straight through the doorway. Feel the stretch in the back of your thigh. Hold static stretch for 15 to 30 seconds and repeat three times.

3. Side-lying leg lift (cross-over)

Strengthening the inner thigh muscles enhances stability. To perform this exercise, lie on your injured side with the top leg bent and your foot placed in front of the straight injured lower leg. Raise the injured leg as comfortably as possible, keeping your hips still. Hold for 5 seconds, then slowly lower the leg. Perform three sets of 10 repetitions.

4. Side-lying leg lift

This exercise focuses on the outer thigh muscles of the affected leg, which helps stabilize the hip joint. Lie on your uninjured side and tighten the front thigh muscles on your injured leg. Lift the injured leg 8 to 10 inches away from the other leg, keeping it straight. Complete three sets of 10 repetitions.

5. Hip flexion

Strengthening the hip flexor muscles improves mobility and stability. To do this exercise, stand facing away from a door with elastic tubing looped around the injured ankle. Tighten the front thigh muscle and bring your leg forward, keeping the knee straight. Do three sets of 10 repetitions.

6. Resisted hip extension

Focusing on the hip extensors, this exercise improves strength and prevents further injury. Stand facing a door with elastic tubing tied around your injured ankle. Pull tight muscles in your leg straight back without leaning forward, ensuring the knee remains straight. Complete three sets of 10 repetitions.

7. Hip abduction (with elastic tubing)

Strengthening the outer hip muscles is crucial for lateral movements. For this exercise, stand sideways near a doorway with your uninjured side closest to the door. Tie elastic tubing around your injured ankle and extend your leg out to the side, keeping the knee straight. Return to the starting position. Do three sets of 10 repetitions.

8. Hip adduction

Targeting the inner thigh muscles, hip adduction enhances overall leg stability. Stand sideways to a door with your uninjured leg away from it. Tie elastic tubing around your injured ankle. Bring your injured leg across your body sideways, crossing over the uninjured leg. Return to the starting position. Perform three sets of 10 repetitions.

These exercises help strengthen and stretch the groin and core muscles, aiding recovery and preventing future injuries. By incorporating these into a rehabilitation program, patients can achieve better outcomes and reduce their risk of re-injury.

How to use our Exercises for Groin Pain Handout

Healthcare professionals can utilize this handout to guide their patients through managing and alleviating groin pain. Follow these steps to ease groin pain:

Step 1: Download the handout

Access and download the Exercises for Groin Pain Handout to make it readily available to your patients.

Step 2: Educate your patients

Explain what a groin strain is, including the muscles involved and how such injuries commonly occur. Review the typical first symptoms of a groin, such as pain or tenderness along the inner thigh or groin area and pain when bringing the legs together or lifting the knee.

Step 3: Discuss diagnosis and treatment

Inform patients about how a groin strain is diagnosed through symptom evaluation and physical examination. Outline the treatment options, including applying ice, taking prescribed anti-inflammatory medication, using supportive bandages, and doing rehabilitation exercises.

Step 4: Guide through rehabilitation exercises for groin injuries

Demonstrate each exercise listed in the handout, explaining its purpose and how to perform it correctly. Emphasize the importance of proper technique and gradual progression. Ensure patients understand the exercises and their benefits.

Step 5: Advice on returning to activities

Advise patients when returning to their sport or activity is safe. Highlight the criteria for a safe return, such as full range of motion, strength, and the ability to perform specific movements without severe pain or limping.

Step 6: Share groin strain prevention tips

Share tips on preventing future back groin pulls and avoiding groin strains, including proper warm-up routines, dynamic stretching, and regular stretching exercises for the groin muscles.

By following these steps, healthcare professionals can effectively use the handout to support their patients in recovering from groin injury and pain and preventing further injuries.

Benefits of practicing and performing these exercises

Practicing and performing the exercises outlined in the handout provides several benefits for individuals experiencing groin pain:

  • Improved flexibility: Regular stretching, such as the hip adductor muscle stretch, enhances the flexibility of the inner thigh muscles, reducing stiffness and improving range of motion.
  • Increased strength: Strengthening exercises, including side-lying leg lifts and resisted hip extension, help build muscle strength, providing better support and stability to the hip and groin area.
  • Enhanced recovery: Consistent exercise routines promote blood flow to the injured area, aiding in faster healing and recovery.
  • Pain relief: Stretching and strengthening exercises can alleviate pain by reducing muscle tension and enhancing overall muscle function.
  • Preventing future groin injuries: These exercises can improve flexibility and strength, prevent groin strains and other related injuries, and allow individuals to maintain an active lifestyle.

Incorporating these exercises into a daily routine can significantly increase blood flow, enhance recovery, reduce pain, and prevent future injuries, allowing individuals to return to normal activities more quickly and safely.

How do professionals benefit from using this handout?

Healthcare professionals can significantly benefit from using this handout with their patients:

  • Structured guidance: The handout provides a clear and structured exercise program, making it easier for professionals to guide their patients through rehabilitation.
  • Consistent messaging: Ensures patients receive consistent information and instructions, reducing the risk of misunderstandings and incorrect exercise techniques.
  • Time efficiency: Saves time for healthcare providers by offering a ready-to-use resource that can be easily distributed to patients.
  • Customizable notes: The handout includes space for additional notes, allowing professionals to personalize the exercise plan based on individual patient needs and progress.
  • Enhanced patient compliance: A well-structured and easy-to-follow handout can improve patient adherence to the prescribed exercises, leading to better outcomes.

By utilizing this handout, healthcare professionals can provide effective, efficient, and personalized care, ultimately improving patient recovery and satisfaction.

Treatment options to speed up healing

In addition to performing the prescribed exercises, several treatment options can help speed up the healing process for groin pain:

  • Ice therapy: Applying ice to the strained muscle for 20 to 30 minutes every 3 to 4 hours for the first 2 to 3 days can reduce inflammation and numb the pain.
  • Anti-inflammatory medications: Taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) as a healthcare provider prescribes can help reduce pain and swelling.
  • Supportive bandages: A thigh wrap or taping of the groin can support and minimize strain on the injured muscles.
  • Physical therapy: Engaging in a structured physical therapy program can provide targeted exercises and treatments to enhance recovery.
  • Rest and activity modification: Resting the injured area and modifying activities to avoid aggravating the groin injury is crucial for healing. Activities like swimming can be an excellent alternative to running or jumping.
  • Hydration and nutrition: Staying hydrated and maintaining a balanced diet rich in vitamins and minerals can support the body’s natural healing processes.
  • Gradual return to activity: Following a gradual progression back to regular activities, as outlined in the handout, ensures that the muscles are fully healed and strong enough to handle the demands of physical activity.

Combining these treatment options with the prescribed exercises can significantly speed up recovery, allowing patients to return to their normal activities sooner and with a reduced risk of re-injury.

What are the common causes of groin pain?
What are the common causes of groin pain?

Commonly asked questions

What are the common causes of groin pain?

Groin pain is commonly caused by muscle strains, sports injuries, or overuse. It can also result from conditions like hernias, hip joint issues, or infections.

How long does it take to recover from a groin strain injury?

Recovery time varies depending on the severity of the muscle strain and adherence to the rehabilitation program. Generally, mild strains may heal in a few weeks, while severe strains could take several months.

Can I continue exercising with a groin strain?

It is important to rest and avoid activities that worsen the pain. However, specific rehabilitation exercises guided by a physical therapist or a healthcare provider can aid recovery and should be gradually incorporated into an exercise regimen.

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