Groin injuries are a common occurrence for athletes, especially those who regularly run, kick, and jump. Like injuries to any other part of the body, the damage can range from minor to severe, with corresponding healing times from just a few days to several weeks, or even months if surgery is required. The groin muscles, also known as the hip adductor muscles, consist of the:
- Adductor magnus
- Adductor longus
- Adductor brevis
Overstretching any of these muscles can result in a painful injury that affects your normal daily function and limits athletic activity. Regardless of the severity of the injury, your priority is to return to your sport as quickly as possible, so it is important to take steps toward a faster groin injury recovery.
Many groin injuries can be treated at home, but always consult with a physician if you are concerned about a serious tear or sprain. Fortunately, most groin injuries will eventually heal on their own. Follow these pro tips to accelerate groin injury recovery:
Take it Easy
Every athlete knows the temptation to push through the pain and keep playing. If you have been doing it long enough, you also know that this is a sure way to prolong your injury or get hurt again right after you thought you had healed. As simple as it seems, the number one pro tip is to get ample rest. Your body takes time to heal. Even if you follow all the recommendations for a quick groin injury recovery, it’s not going to happen overnight, so be patient and don’t return to athletics until you are certain you have fully healed.
Cold therapy is one of the oldest methods for reducing pain and swelling, and the pros still use it for good reason: it works. Therapeutic cold is proven to reduce the sensation of pain by temporarily deadening nerve endings and slowing nerve impulses. It also slows down metabolic processes, which helps prevent secondary tissue and promotes healing. Applying cold to an injury several times a day for 20-30 minutes per session is a time-tested way to speed up recovery. Although you can use ice packs for cold therapy, the pros use cryotherapy machines to achieve deeper cold penetration that lasts longer.
Compress for Success
In addition to cold therapy, compression helps remove excess fluid from the injured area and reduce swelling. Although static compression is effective, the pros use active compression to get even better results. The pumping action mimics and enhances the body’s mechanisms for removing cellular debris and bringing fresh blood and nutrients to the area. The result is less swelling and faster healing.
The groin area is a difficult area to apply compression, especially if you are using traditional compression bandages. And the reality is, most athletes don’t want to hold an ice pack for half an hour several times a day. To overcome these challenges, the pros use cryotherapy machines that deliver active compression and consistent, therapeutic cold through specialized wraps that conform to the body for hands-free treatment.
You can use these same systems at home, in your physical therapy clinic, or in the athletic department. Talk to your trainer about Game Ready, and if you don’t have access to a system through your athletic program, find a provider near you today.