What Are the Treatments for a Torn Groin Muscle?
The groin muscles are located on the inner thigh and act to pull the legs in toward each other and to flex the hip. A torn groin muscle most often occurs during an activity which requires sudden changes in direction and speed, such as soccer or football. Treatment of a torn groin muscle is determined by the severity of the injury.
According to the website Physio Advisor, implementing the R.I.C.E. routine during the first 72 hours following a groin tear will result in a speedier recovery. R.I.C.E. stands for rest, ice, compression and elevation. The athlete should rest from the aggravating activity and perform only activities that are pain-free. Applying ice to the injured groin for 20 minutes, three to five times per day, will help control swelling and pain. The athlete should apply an elastic bandage to the groin and elevate his legs as often as possible. If the groin tear is severe, the athlete may need to use crutches to assist with walking.
Early rehabilitation is important for the successful recovery from a groin muscle tear. Physical therapists will use modalities to help control the initial inflammation, such as electric stimulation and ultrasound. A routine of gentle stretching and massage will ensure that the torn tissue heals with a minimal amount of scar tissue. Strengthening exercises and sport specific training will be initiated by the physical therapist as soon as the athlete is pain free. Most groin injuries will heal in six to eight weeks and the athlete can return to sports once she has full strength and range of motion.
According to American Family Physician, chronic groin tears that do not respond to conservative treatment after several months may require surgery to repair. Surgery may also be indicated if the groin tear is complete or if it involves an avulsion fracture, in which a small piece of bone is dislodged at the muscle attachment. Following surgery, a lengthy period of rehabilitation to restore full range of motion and strength will be initiated. Return to sports is determined on a case by case basis, once the athlete can complete a battery of sport-specific tests.
Explore In Depth
- Summit Medical Group: Groin Strain
- Physio Advisor: Groin Strain
- American Family Physician: Groin Injuries in Athletes
- Suarez JC, Ely EE, Mutnal AB, Figueroa NM, Klika AK, Patel PD, Barsoum WK. "Comprehensive approach to the evaluation of groin pain" J Am Acad Orthop Surg. 2013 Sep;21(9):558-70.
- Lynch TS, Bedi A, Larson CM. "Athletic Hip Injuries" J Am Acad Orthop Surg. 2017 Apr;25(4):269-279.
Based in Connecticut, Jody Murray, has been writing and teaching in the field of sports medicine since 1997. Murray has an M.A. in exercise physiology from UNC-Chapel Hill and a B.S. in athletic training from Springfield College. Murray is also a licensed acupuncturist.