Apex Performance Centre

Groin Strain: Symptoms and Treatment

Adductor Muscles

A groin strain, often called a pulled groin, is a tear of one of the groin muscles, the most common being the adductor.  The adductors span from the pubic bone to the inner edge of your femur and are responsible for preventing your legs from doing the splits. There are five adductors: gracilis, pectineus, magnus, longus, and brevis, with the injury most commonly occurring in the longus.

Adductor Muscles

Causes Of Groin Strain

A groin strain commonly occurs with activities involving sudden stops and starts, kicking, and abrupt changes of direction. This type of injury is often seen in hockey and football players. In hockey, a groin strain often occurs when trying to decelerate on ice and the leg is trailing behind or when changing direction too quickly. Not having a decent warm up period before sport will also put these muscles at risk of tearing.


  • Pain when groin muscle is contracted
  • Tightness or spasms in the groin muscles
  • Pain and tenderness in groin muscles

Often the person will feel pain in the groin on palpation and when walking. If the strain is grade 2 or 3 there may be bruising along the inner thigh and significant inflammation in the area as well.

Diagnosis and Grading

Groin strains are graded on a scale from 1 to 3, depending on severity. Grade 1 strains are mild and are often treated with rest. Grade 2 strains are considered moderately severe. A grade 2 strain will affect athletic performance and may affect walking. Grade 3 strains are substantial or complete muscle tears, and may require surgery.

Our trained health professionals can help to correctly diagnose the condition. While tenderness and pain in the groin is often the result of a strain, it can also result from a hernia or other condition.

Groin Strain

Treatment and Prognosis

Groin strains have a good prognosis for recovery with recovery time being dependent on the grade of stain. Often it takes several weeks of therapy and working at lighter intensities for a short period of time until the inflammation reduces and new collagen has formed. Grade 3 strains that require surgery will require a substantial recovery period.

Treatment for grade 1 or 2 strains is often conservative, consisting of icing the affected area, using compression bandages and taking non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs to control pain and swelling.

How Apex Can Help

The team at APEX can help speed your recovery and make sure the new tissue is strong as it heals. To do this, we use the latest evidence-based approaches and advanced therapeutic techniques. Typical treatment might involve  soft tissue release or ART (active release therapy), ultrasound and laser, acupuncture, stretching and an active strengthening program.

Active release therapy is used to strip the muscle to reduce adhesions so the new tissue is strong against tensile forces. Acupuncture can help activate an inhibited muscle after it has been torn by having an effect on the neurovascular system. This will also help perfuse the area with blood which is needed to heal the area.