A groin muscle injury is often serious in nature because of what a central role it plays in your body’s musculature system. Here are some options for what you should do after a groin injury in order to maximize health and work through the issue so you can get back to your sport.
Groin Injury Identification
Identifying the injury is obviously going to be the most important part of making sure that the injury works out alright. Here are a few signs that you might have a groin injury:
- Rawness: If your groin area or anywhere on the inside of your thigh is raw or tender or feeling pain, then this could be a sign of groin injury, especially what’s called a ‘groin pull,’ this means it’s worth checking at this point.
- Difficulties with Sideways Knee Movement: If you have trouble pulling your knees together, or if you feel pain when you do this, then you could have stretched out the muscle there, which is why you feel tightness and pain when you bring your knees together. This is also the case if you feel pain when you try to lift up a knee. Again, this is a similar muscle group.
- Popping or Snapping: If you feel anything popping out of place or snapping in one direction or another during the potentially injury-inducing event, especially if you feel pain there afterward, this is also worth a check to see if there’s an injury.
The degree of injury starts with mild pain only, especially when it doesn’t include any other kind of restriction to your movement. This will indicate the need for easing back and caution, and even skipping activity for a few days, but perhaps not more than that. If you have stronger pain as well as some loss of strength in the area, then this is an indicator that this is the second severity level, and this is serious enough that taking it easy and scheduling an appointment are often good ideas.
If you have severe pain and a massive loss of the ability to move the muscles in the area, you could have a tear in the area and a an imminent hospital visit is what you should be thinking about. Those are the three accepted levels of severity for groin pulls specifically.
Reacting Right After Groin Pull
As soon as you feel a pull in your going, you should stop doing whatever you were doing immediately. This especially applies to any rigorous sport. It can be frustrating, but if you want to get back to your sport quickly, then you’ll definitely want to focus on the injury first. Groin injuries aren’t to be taken lightly.
It’s particularly important to let your groin strain rest if the muscles there are stretched beyond natural limits. If you tear the muscle you could cause inflammation as well as considerable pain and potential loss of functionality.
It may actually be possible to prevent an injury if you stop as soon as you start to feel straining in the area. It’s obviously important to go straight to a doctor if it’s bad enough that you have trouble walking. Another warning sign would be if the pain is strong enough that it continually throbs even while you aren’t doing anything, or if it wakes you up since it’s strong enough.
One of the first things you should do after a groin injury is put ice on it. Swelling is often an issue in this type of injury, so wrapping your legs near the groin with a cold pack or even just a plastic bag covered in a towel with ice in it can help make sure the injury doesn’t become acute. It will also help with the pain. Really, you can use anything that’s cold as long as you aren’t putting cold plastic or ice directly on your skin.
Compressing the Area
There’s an option called groin taping which can help make the pain from the injury less as well as to control the area from swelling up. Once you’ve cooled the area with ice, you can get wrapping to help with compression and then put the ice back. It’s important that you make sure that area doesn’t get injured again just from you walking around normally, after all. When the pain has gone down from using this method, it will mean the swelling is likely subsiding as well. At this point you can go back to light exercise. Obviously, it’s important to not overdo it, however.
It’s also recommended that you take anti-inflammatory pain killers of the NSAID, or Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drug type. A common version of this is ibuprofen. This will help bring down issues due to swelling and pain problems as well. It’s important to not overdo it, however, since long term use of anti-inflammatory drugs can have issues in terms of groin injuries and other types as well. The goal should be to only use it when you need it.
Groin stretches are critical for making a quick recovery, but they also tend to be the kind of you have to do more carefully than other types given the area and the possibility for reinjury, and also given how central those muscles are for your body’s operation. You shouldn’t try this until the swelling has gone down and you no longer feel too much pain when you go about your everyday business.
The classic groin stretch is pressing the soles of your feet together and then slowly pushing then inward toward you. Again, it’s important to be highly gentle when you perform this maneuver, and to only try it when you’re sure your body has healed to some degree. If you feel pain at any point, you should stop immediately and try it again a different day when you feel better. You don’t want to be overly forceful or you’re going to risk reinjuring the area.
The recommendation for groin injuries is to ease back into athletic activity particularly slowly. It’s of particular importance that you make sure you can move your legs and go through regular ranges of motion at the hip especially without any pain and without any appearance of swelling. The important thing to note, however, is that you need to make sure that you follow a doctor’s advice in terms of when you’re ready to go back if there’s any doubt about this at all. If you’re sure that there’s no more pain or stiffness and you have full range of motion, and had for a while, then you may not need to get a doctor’s advice of course, but it never hurts. The recommendation is always to use pain as a guide in terms of how much you should push your strengthening and stretching routines. You really don’t want to get too aggressive, or you could risk reinjury, but you also don’t want to be too meek or you could end up with atrophied muscles and stiffness that takes longer to heal than you really want.
For more information about groin injuries as well as a number of other types of sports injuries and how to recover from them as quick as possible, please contact us today.