“Good osteopathy is not only receiving treatment. An osteopath will also give you good advice on avoiding the condition for which you are being treated and can often detect the signs of impending trouble. Good coaches and athletes should have the arrows of osteopathy in their quiver of medical backup – it can lessen the need for far more drastic treatment later.”

                Lord Sebastian Coe, CH KBE – Double Olympic Gold Medallist – The Mechanics of Sports Injuries.

A groin strain is a tearing of the groin muscles. The muscles on the inner thigh are known as the adductor muscles. These muscles originate from the pubic bone of the pelvis and insert into the inside of the thigh bones (femur) and shin bones(tibia). The groin muscles stabilize the hip/pelvis and move the leg towards the midline of the body. Symptoms may include stiffness or pain around the inner thigh, hip, pubic bone or abdominal area. The pelvis is a dynamic structure and it can easily be thrown out of balance, especially if there are long term postural or muscle balance issues putting more pressure on the pubic bone in the groin. A groin strain may occur due to a sudden contraction of the groin muscles and invariably when they are in a stretched position or during rapid acceleration, especially following an inadequate warm-up. This is commonly seen in running sports such as rugby, football, hockey (predominantly when changing direction or when a rugby player or footballer performs a long kick) and athletics (particularly sprinters, hurdlers, and long jumpers) as well as skiing, horse riding, dancing and gymnastics. Some groin pain builds up over time and often goes unnoticed whilst activities are continued until symptoms become more noticeable. Chronic, longer term manifestations of groin pain are often associated with pelvic imbalance and muscle imbalance, often irritating the pubic symphysis joint. Pregnancy may cause dysfunction in this area due to structural and physiological changes through the pelvis.

Osteopaths will firstly make a careful diagnosis with examination and assessment to establish how serious the groin injury is. Pain may be referred to the groin from other areas such as hip joint problems.  It is important to consider and eliminate less likely causes such as gynecological or kidney issues. The groin area has a lot of muscles, nerves and tendons that attach to and pass through this small area.  Individuals can have groin pain related to adductor, abdominal, ilio-psoas muscles related pain, abdominal wall related pain, pubic bone or hip related pain or nerve irritation related groin pain. Treatment and management strategies implemented for a groin strain are very important as this is an injury that may become chronic if not managed appropriately. This can be very frustrating for exercise enthusiasts, especially athletes and rugby players who need to get back to their sport of choice. Osteopathy treatment for groin strain is vital to hasten the healing process, ensure an optimal outcome and reduce the likelihood of future recurrence. Osteopathic treatment is a gentle treatment aimed to mobilize structures, balancing body mechanics, and freeing up the structures causing the symptoms. This reduces pain and increases balance and symmetry. This may include soft tissue mobilization, myofascial release, gentle stretching and biomechanical correction. This is supported by corrective and strengthening exercises and injury education as appropriate.The best prevention strategy for a groin injury would be to educate the athletes and individuals to seek immediate help from their local osteopath. The best results in groin injuries are to evaluate the injury as soon as tension or pain is felt around the groin area.

“If John McEnroe hadn’t introduced me to Osteopathy, I wouldn’t have made it to the Olympics”

                                                      Lord Sebastian Coe – Observer Magazine