A groin strain injury can happen to anybody, but they are most common in athletes, and particularly those who play soccer, football, or hockey. The injury happens when the muscles in the groin area contract too suddenly, causing a painful stretch or tear in the muscle tissue. How do you know if you have a groin strain injury? You will feel pain in the inner thigh, and depending on the severity of the injury you might also experience:
- Loss of strength in the affected muscles
- Loss of range of motion
- Tenderness caused by swelling in the inner thigh
- Difficulty lifting your knee or bringing your knees together
Chances are, if you have this type of injury, you know about it, but you should always get a proper diagnosis from a medical professional. Once the injury happens, the groin strain recovery process starts immediately. The more proactive you are about promoting healing, the faster it will happen.
Speeding up Groin Strain Recovery
Groin strain recovery is never an enjoyable process, so if there are steps you can take to make it go faster, wouldn’t you want to know about them? Talk to your doctor before starting any course of treatment and make sure you don’t have any other associated injuries that should also be treated.
Some of the ways you can speed up your recovery include:
- Rest - No athlete wants to hear that they have to rest, especially mid-season. However, like any injury, if your damaged tissues don’t have a chance to properly heal, the recovery process will ultimately take longer and you run the risk of exacerbating the injury. However, resting doesn’t mean you have to be bed-ridden. In fact, staying active as much as possible while you rest the injured muscles will help you stay fit so you can return to activity even faster when the recovery process is complete. In the case of a groin pull, you can continue to build strength in the upper body and even perform lower body exercises that do not engage the groin muscles.
- Cryotherapy - Cryotherapy, or cold therapy, is a proven method for reducing pain and inflammation in the soft tissues. In fact, the faster you can apply cold to the injured area, the quicker your groin strain recovery will be. Many athletes make the mistake of icing an injury for only a few days after it has happened. However, the therapeutic application of cold works throughout the entire recovery process and can be done several times a day. In addition to dulling the pain and reducing swelling, cryotherapy also helps slow down cellular metabolism, which allows healing to happen more quickly.
- Compression - Applying a compression bandage to the groin area will also help keep swelling to a minimum and reduce pain. Make sure that the bandage is applied in such a way that there is enough compression to have an impact, but not so much that circulation is affected.
- Anti-inflammatory medication - Your doctor might recommend the temporary use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to help reduce inflammation, particularly in the first few days after the injury. Make sure you understand all of the potential side effects and follow your doctor’s dosage recommendations.
- Physical therapy - Strengthening and stretching the injured muscles is an important part of the groin strain recovery process, but it is important that you do not do too much too soon. A qualified physical therapist or trainer can recommend appropriate exercises and tell you how often to perform them.