Groin Pain and Strain

Whether you’re an athlete or a couch potato, young or old, you might experience groin pain at some point in your life. There are many different causes of groin pain, and it’s important to explore the cause of the pain in order to get rid of it. In this article we will discuss the common causes of groin pain, as well as how physiotherapy can help treat this pain!


The groin houses the reproductive organs and has many different muscle attachments. Within the pelvis there are a group of muscles called the pelvic floor muscles. These muscles control bowel and bladder function and support the organs in your lower abdomen. On the outside of the pelvis, your abdominal muscles, hip adductor muscles on your inner thigh, and hip flexor muscles on the front of your hip all attach on or near the pelvis in your groin.

Groin pain from activity

Some muscular injuries are more common for the active population. Here are the most common activity-related injuries for the groin:

  • Muscle strain: There are many muscles that attach to the groin area. For example, the adductors (inner thigh), hip flexors (front of the hip), and abdominal muscles all attach to the pelvis, and all can be strained with forceful or repetitive activity.
  • Sports hernia: A sports hernia is an injury to the tendons that attach your abdominal muscles to the pelvis. With high intensity sports, your abdominals and adductor muscles oppose each other, which can then cause strain to their tendons. Sometimes the abdominal tendons become injured and cause pain and weakness during sports and activities.

Other groin injuries

Here are some other common causes of groin pain:

  • Lower back referral: Your spine serves as the starting point for the nerves that supply your torso, arms, and legs. Therefore, injury or dysfunction to the lower back can refer pain to the hips, groin, or legs.
  • Pelvic floor dysfunction: The pelvic floor muscles act like a hammock to support the organs within the pelvis, and provide bowel, bladder, and sexual function. When these muscles are not working properly, it can cause pain and other symptoms around the groin and pelvis. This condition is more common for people who are pregnant or have had pelvic surgery.

Physiotherapy treatment for groin pain

The groin can be a sensitive area for most people, but it’s important to not ignore pain in this area! Most injuries resulting in groin pain can later recover with physiotherapy. Here are some key aspects of a physiotherapy program for groin pain:

  • Activity modification: Depending on your injury, there will be some movements or activities that can worsen your symptoms. Your physiotherapist will help to identify which of your activities to then modify or avoid to improve healing.
  • Exercises: Your physiotherapist will give you specific stretching and strengthening exercises tailored to your injury to aid the healing process.
  • Manual therapy: Myofascial release of the muscles around the inner thigh can help to improve pain and mobility.
  • Dry needling: Your physiotherapist may offer dry needling as a treatment option to restore the injured muscle’s strength and mobility.
  • Education: Your physiotherapist will give you information on your injury and how to prevent re-injury.
  • Modalities: Some modalities like interferential current can help to promote blood flow to the area and reduce pain.

If you have been experiencing groin pain and are unsure of what to do about it, book a session with us today to start your journey of recovery!

About The Author

Jonathan Rankin obtained his MSc in Physiotherapy at McMaster University, and also completed both a BSc and an MSc in Human Kinetics from the University of Ottawa. He has a strong background in exercise, from working as a personal trainer at the University of Ottawa to conducting research on exercise during pregnancy in his master’s degree.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *