Groin strain


The muscles of the human body make up between 35% and 55% of the total body weight, depending on age and gender. The proportion can be slightly higher for trained people. In order for an athlete to be able to perform all the necessary movements, it is important that these muscles function properly. However, 20% of all athletes experience a muscle injury every year. The most common strains are here, with the groin strain occurring very often.
Groin strain is based on straining the attachment tendons of muscles on the inside of the thigh (adductors).

For more general information on the subject, read our Bar page.


The groin strain often occurs as a sports injury, with a sudden, uncontrolled sideways movement of the leg. This often occurs, for example, in soccer (tackle), athletics (hurdles), skiing, ice hockey or runners, whereby any movement of the leg that is carried out without first warming up the muscle group can result in such an injury.

Material failure can also lead to the symptom of a last strain if, for example, unsuitable shoes are used during sports.
A congenital malposition of the hip bones can also favor the development of a groin strain, since the leg length is often unequal and the muscle group is thereby additionally stressed.

Doping can also promote harm. Anabolic steroids, for example, lead to particularly rapid muscle growth, which affects the muscle tissue and promotes strains and muscle fiber tears.

Ultimately, inflammation in the body can lead to a strain or a ruptured muscle fiber.


Football is a typical sport in which groin strains occur.

The groin strain is done by a doctor primarily according to the description of the accident of the patient diagnosed. It is important to mention in which movement the pain first appeared, and how long ago the injury was. This is followed by a physical examination of the patient. Of the Degree of movement of the affected leg and that Sensation of pain by the patient will be assessed, as well as the general appearance of the affected area.
The doctor can use a X-ray image one Missing hip if necessary exclude it or blame it as the reason for a groin strain that occurred during exercise. If anything is unclear, a Ultrasound machine can be used which the Injury clearly visible can make. In order to assess the severity of the groin strain, it is important to determine whether muscle fibers are affected, and whether under certain circumstances even a torn muscle fiber present. The Therapy and prognosis of the patient is decisively influenced by whether it is a strain with or without torn muscle fibers.


The characteristic symptom of a groin strain are Pain in the area of ​​the damaged muscles. The symptoms are general depending on the severity of the injury.

  • in the Stage I. one feels a groin strain cramps and / or slight pain in the area of ​​the inner thigh when exerted. A further burden of muscles is initially possible, however it is strongly advise against it.
  • In Stage II pain can be felt when the leg is loaded and moved outwards and inwards. Are at this stage already affected some muscle fibers, the proportion being less than 5%.
  • The Stage III a groin strain is caused by severe muscle group pain marked and a Load is no longer possible. In addition, blood may leak from the injured body cells and thus make the groin strain visible through a bruise. In stage III, over 5% of the muscle fibers are affected.

Other symptoms of groin strain are one Thigh swelling, cramps and tenderness on the affected muscles.

Duration of a groin strain

The duration of the injury depends on the degree.

Both the duration and the course of a groin strain can vary from person to person. The exact time it takes for the groin strain to heal completely depends on the individual Severity and from Time to start treatment from.
Generally one can assume that already simple immediate measures can help to positively influence the duration of the healing process. In this context, the most important cooling the groin region and the Elevation of the legs a crucial role. These simple, immediate measures have been shown to ensure that the time it takes to heal the groin strain can be significantly reduced, regardless of its severity.

With a groin strain 1st degree According to medical definition, it is the weakest form of this disease. For this reason, a first degree groin strain can be compared to a short Duration can be expected. As a rule, this mild form of groin strain does not require any medical treatment. However, if a person concerned has doubts about the severity and therapeutic measures, a doctor must be consulted and asked for advice. A groin strain of a higher degree that is classified as lower can lead to a significantly longer healing time if the initiation of suitable treatment measures is not initiated. With a simple 1st degree groin strain, the sport activity may be continued without interruption despite slight pain. With this type of groin strain, the pain felt by the affected patient usually sounds within less days completely off.

Patients suffering from a groin strain 2nd degree suffer, feel much more pain in most cases. Typically, this pain is already provoked by simple exertion (for example while walking). Often a 2nd degree groin strain goes with one Torn hamstring accompanied. For this reason, the time it takes for the symptoms to completely subside is significantly longer in most patients. Patients suffering from a 2nd degree groin strain should definitely note that the affected muscles must not be stressed too early under any circumstances. Otherwise, the excessive use can negatively affect the duration of the healing process. In addition, the discomfort caused by the groin strain can be increased significantly when the muscles concerned are under heavy strain.
Also the transition from an uncomplicated groin strain to one chronic The course of the disease is not uncommon in patients who exercise too early.

With a groin strain 3rd degree it is the most severe form of this disease. Affected patients usually have to expect that the healing time will take several weeks. In addition, the muscle fiber tears associated with third degree groin strains often lead to particularly pronounced pain symptoms.
For this reason, the mobility of those affected is severely restricted during the entire duration of the healing phase. In the case of a 2nd degree groin strain as well as a 3rd degree groin strain, any sporting activity is expressly discouraged. Otherwise the groin strain and the associated pain symptoms can worsen significantly. Stressing the muscles too early can result in the time taken for complete healing to be increased. Regardless of the severity of the groin strain in the respective patient, various treatment measures can have a positive effect on the duration of the healing process.

The external supply of magnesium (for example in the form of effervescent tablets) is one of the most promising treatments for groin strains.


Physiotherapy as a treatment measure

The Therapy of a groin strain runs depending on the severity the injury. On a Continuation of the training must in any case waived become. If the training is continued, it is possible that a so-called Chronification the disease comes, so the pain persists for months. In the case of a chronic groin strain, it can under certain circumstances up to 6 months take until the muscles can be stressed again without pain.

Must be in the first 24 hours after a groin strain according to the so-called PECH scheme traded. First of all, the patient needs a Pause of sporting activities insert in order to initially counteract a worsening of the injury. To counteract the symptoms of thigh swelling and possible bruising is one cooling ( as well as creating a Compression bandage (C.compression) makes sense. Besides, that should Leg hmust be stored so that swelling from standing or running for long periods of time is not increased.

If you suspect you have a groin strain, should massaging the area should be avoided, as otherwise inflammatory processes could be disturbed and bleeding could be promoted. The same goes for blood circulation-promoting ointmentswhich should be avoided in the first 24 hours after a groin strain. Pain relieving ointments without blood circulation-promoting effect are against it for one immediate pain relief definitely recommended.

After these immediate measures at the latest, a Consulted a doctor will be used to diagnose groin strain and discuss further therapy.

There are different approaches to treating groin strain. Usually will after or during a long break in sportsthat depends on the severity of the injury 2-10 weeks can take a physiotherapy treatment caused. This often includes a physiotherapy, light stretching, one Lymphatic drainage and possibly one Electrotherapy. Anti-inflammatory drugs like Diclofenac or Ibuprofen are also prescribed by a doctor if necessary.

After a few weeks, depending on the symptoms, you can start again with one slowly increasing load on the leg to be started. It should be noted that the training already broken off with slight pain should be in order not to jeopardize the success of the therapy.

In extremely severe cases of a groin strain, it may well be that a Surgery suggested by the attending physician becomes. This is the case with groin strains where one large number of muscle fibers torn are. During the operation, the bleeding is removed and the Stitched muscle fibersto speed healing.

Warmth or cold for groin strains - which is better?

Immediately after the groin strain, the affected area should chilled immediately become. As a result of the injury, tiny blood vessels tear. Warmth would increase blood flow and more blood and fluid would pass into the tissue. It arise Bruising and Swelling. Ice and cooling ointments can have anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects in the acute phase. That too Put up of the leg prevents the increased blood flow.
After about two days, it makes sense to use measures that promote blood circulation. This includes besides Anoint and Heat patch also Heat baths and warm wraps. In physiotherapy are also used in the later healing phase Stimulation current treatments and Lymphatic drainage applied.

Ointment for groin strains

The primary measure for groin strain is Protection. Exercise should also be avoided for a longer period of time. The process of healing can be seen with topically applied ointments support. At the beginning should be a cooling ointment be applied. These mostly contain menthol or other essential oils. They cool the affected area and relieve pain and inflammation. You should initially refrain from using ointments that promote blood circulation because they promote the formation of bruises and swellings.
After the acute phase, after about 48 hours, help blood circulation-promoting ointments. This Warming creams contain for example Capsaicin. They improve blood circulation and speed healing. Ointments that also relieve pain Ibuprofen or contain other pain relievers.
Horse ointment should not be applied at the beginning because it also contains substances that promote blood circulation. In the further course you can fall back on it, just like on ointments with homeopathic ingredients like arnica or buckeye.

Exercises for groin strains

If a groin strain occurs, the athletic activity is necessary immediately interrupted become. In the near future, you should refrain from exercising and exerting yourself until the injury has completely healed. After a period of healing and complete abandonment of exercise, consultation with a physiotherapist can be helpful slowly to strain again. The advanced training should start out Massages, light gymnastics and stretching consist. If you resume training too quickly, it can quickly become too recurring groin strains come.

Exercises to stretch the adductors can look like this: The athlete sits on the floor with his legs outstretched at an angle of about 90 degrees. The upper body is now slowly bent forward to touch or grip the tips of the feet.
Also while sitting, the legs are bent, the soles of the feet point inwards and touch. Now the elbows press the knees with slight pressure towards the floor. You can do these exercises too preventive against groin strains in warm-up training can be applied.


To a Basically to prevent groin strains, it is important to yourself to warm up before exerciseIt is particularly important to use all muscle groups that will later be used in sports. The Warm up should ideally 15-20 minutes duration and include endurance exercises that the Muscles do not burden too much. So is suitable, for example easy running or cycling good for preventing groin strain. If possible should warm up exercises with slightly warmer clothes be completed so that the muscles are spared. Furthermore are Stretching exercises as prophylaxis especially important before a groin strain. However, these should be after sporting activity carried out when the muscle groups are well supplied with blood from exercise. However, it should be noted that Stretching exercises during weight training do not make sense as these also contribute to muscle injury due to reduced blood flow.

Another important thing in avoiding a groin strain is that you listens to his body, and if you have pain or cramps, Training ended immediately.

If particularly vulnerable areas, possibly known from previous groin strain it can be useful this with a tape dressing or a bandage specifically strengthen.

How can I additionally prevent a groin strain?

As already mentioned, all strains should be prevented before exercising warm up thoroughly and comprehensively. In addition to a short break-in, this also includes stretching the muscles that will be used later. Movements should always be carried out cleanly and within the scope of your own athletic possibilities. After training, the muscles should be stretched.
Working with Foam rollers loosens the Fascia adhesions after sport, improves regeneration and prevents injuries. Especially in running sports such as athletics, but also in other sports, you should also have a easy running training be performed.


The scars after the injury increase the risk of new injuries.

As already mentioned, it depends Time of treatment severe groin strain the degree of injury from.

At a slight groin strain It can be assumed that if the instructions of the treating physician are followed, the injury will develop improve after a few weeks becomes. At a severe or moderate groin strain However, the sports break and physiotherapy treatment are longer, which means that the Treatment time extended proportionally. Stress should be avoided in any case as it is dangerous for the Development of a chronic groin strain exists, and this exist for up to 6 months can stay before the injury heals.

At particularly severe casesthat require surgery will take a Recovery phase usually around 3 months.

After a healed groin strain that resulted in muscle fiber tears, it should be noted that small scars always remain, the one favor recurring groin strains can. This must be taken into account when training again after the injury.

How can I recognize a groin strain?

Recognizing a groin strain is easy in most cases. The most common symptoms associated with a groin strain are cramps and Pain in the area of ​​the inner thighs.
In addition, you can often find a groin strain using a Tightness recognize in the groin region. The pain felt by those affected is especially evident when Turning movements of the legs. Severe groin strains can even be recognized by the fact that they are noticeable in the groin area Swelling and Bruising (Hematomas) arise. In addition, the Adduction ability (the bringing of the legs to the body) is associated with severe pain against resistance in those affected. Even abduction (the lateral lifting of the legs) is perceived as painful by people with a groin strain. A groin strain can therefore mainly be based on the pain symptoms limited mobility detect. At

Particularly pronounced groin strains already occur with Go stabbing and sharp pain. In contrast, the pain symptoms in milder illnesses often only occur under stress.

Groin strain or hernia- how do I tell the difference?

Pain in the groin can have many causes. At first it is not easy for the person concerned to recognize whether it is a groin strain or one Inguinal hernia acts. A groin strain is a strain on the adductor tendons and occurs afterwards excessive loads, especially precipitous sideways movements.
An inguinal hernia describes the breaking through of naturally less pronounced areas in the abdominal muscle wall. A break occurs, for example, in the Lifting heavy objects or at Increase in pressure in the abdomenas with Vomit or to cough. Men are affected much more often.

An inguinal hernia also leads to pain in the groin. It can also be a swelling feel and the pain worsens when lifting heavy loads or using the toilet. Massive symptoms occur when viscera trapped become. It comes to Vomit, nausea and severe pain. This is one surgical emergency.

In order to clarify whether it is a groin strain, it should be clarified whether there have been unusually rapid, strong movements during sporting activities. If there has been no unusual strain or excessive movement beforehand and a swelling can be felt in the groin, which is increasing cough dependent lifts, it is more likely an inguinal hernia.

Inguinal strain or a disease of the testicles

In various diseases of the Testicle radiate or cause the pain felt by the affected patient into the groin Pull in the testicle.
For this reason, there is often the suspicion that the clinical picture responsible for the pain is a simple groin strain.
In the event of sudden pain in the testicles that radiate into the groin, a doctor should be consulted immediately. In the case of pain in the groin region and in the area of ​​the testicles, which may indicate a groin strain, there may be a serious disease of the testicle.

The most relevant testicular diseases in this context are the Testicular twist (Testicular torsion), the so-called "TensionHydrocele (Water break) and the acute Inflammation of the epididymis (Epididymitis).

In addition, there can be malignant processes in the area of ​​the testicle (Testicular tumor) in many cases pain is observed which resembles the symptoms of a simple groin strain.

The Testicular stem rotation is generally one of the rare diseases that can be confused with a groin strain. In most cases, the affected patients are Infants, toddlers or Teenagers. The term testicular stalk rotation is understood as a disease in which the Testicles, of the Epididymis and the Spermatic cord Rotate partially or completely around the longitudinal axis. Due to this rotation, the vessels supplying the testicles are constricted. Treatment of testicular stem rotation must be within shortest time respectively.
Otherwise, the lack of blood supply can lead to irreparable damage to the testicle. In general, it can be assumed that one will last more than 4 hours persistent testicular stem rotation with a high probability of sterility leads.
For this reason, a doctor must be consulted immediately if such symptoms occur. Ideally, an affected patient should get into a emergency surgical department go. The treatment of this condition is done by a surgical intervention in which the twist is released and the testicle is then fixed within the scrotum.
If a patient has a twisted testicle stalk, then there is usually a sudden shooting, severe pain. The pain intensity is very strong in testicular torsion (so-called "Annihilation pain").

In addition, pain in the testicles that radiate into the groin and can be misinterpreted as a simple groin strain can be caused by one Water break caused on the testicle. In many cases this clinical picture can already exist within the first months of life occur (congenital water breakage in the testicle). The cause of the development of this disease is usually an open inguinal canal through which parts of the abdominal fluid can spread into the scrotum.
Depending on how much fluid gets into the scrotum in this way, enormous pressure can be exerted on the sensitive testicular tissue. The water breakage on the testicle is particularly problematic if it is in the middle of the spermatic cord. The water breakage in the testicle causes pain only in the rarest of cases, which is felt directly in the testicle area. Pain in the groin area is much more common.For this reason, the water break on the testicle is often misinterpreted as a simple groin strain.

Another disease that can be confused with a groin strain in many cases due to the localization of the pain is acute inflammation of Epididymis (Epididymitis). The cause of the development of these acute inflammatory processes on the epididymis is often the passage of one bacterial infection of the Urinary tract, of the bladder or the prostate. Older men with a Urinary catheter are considered to be particularly at risk for the development of acute inflammation of the epididymis. In addition, a Epididymitis arise in connection with a urological procedure or as part of a sexually transmitted disease. In addition to the typical pain in the testicles and in the groin region, which can be confused with a simple groin strain, the affected patients experience pronounced swelling of the scrotum. In addition, in the presence of acute epididymis, the skin surface shows up as reddened and overheated. In most cases, general symptoms such as high can be seen in the affected patient fever, chills and Exhaustion observe.

Also malignant processes in the area of ​​the testicle (Testicular cancer) are often misinterpreted as simple groin strains due to the similar symptoms. Testicular cancer is a comparatively rare type of cancer that particularly affects young men aged 20 to 40 years concerns. In affected patients, palpable indurations can usually be found on the testicles. However, these hardenings do not necessarily have to be perceived as painful.

Groin strain in women

A variety of sports are predisposing to adductor injury. The majority of those affected are men. Groin strains occur in both sexes. Even women who play sports who rapid, dropping sideways movements include how Soccer, To ski, Hurdles or hockey, can be affected. Depending on the extent of the injuries occur exercise-related pain in the thigh, on which up to Bruising and severe pain in the groin can range.

It is important to differentiate groin strains from other types of groin pain. The cause of the strain is one excessive strain and irritation of tendonsBut groin pain also occurs Inguinal hernias on. In women, hernias often come as part of a pregnancy in front. The symphysis plate is also stretched Pubic bone painthat can be interpreted as groin pain. It is therefore important to identify a causal movement or unusual stress from sport or the like in order to make the diagnosis of groin strain.

Pubic bone pain

Pubic bone pain can have many causes. Groin strain is just one of many. Also one Pubic bone inflammation is conceivable. Pain and inflammation are on here heavy load and Micro-breaks of the pubic bone. This inflammation occurs mainly Athletes heaped on. In men, one can Prostate inflammation cause pain in the pubic bone.

In pregnant women it can increase Expansion of the pubic symphysis pubic bone pain occurs as a result of the growing fetus.

Please also read our page Pubic bone pain- these are the causes.