Groin pain is a common problem we see at Fairfield Physiotherapy. There can be various presentations of groin pain depending on the cause. Groin pain is typically described as pain in the lower abdomen, front of the hip and extending into the front or inside of the thigh. While pain in these areas can also be caused by internal organs, physiotherapists can pick up inconsistencies in the assessment and advise you if your pain is mechanical in origin.
Potential Causes of Groin Pain:
As mentioned earlier there are numerous potential causes of groin pain as listed below;
- Hip joint (arthritis or impingement)
- Muscle or tendon strain
- Ligament strain
- Osteitis Pubis
- Referred pain from the back or thigh
Physiotherapists are aware that groin pain can be caused by medical reasons, such as inguinal hernia or internal organ issue, so assessment will help determine the origin.
Why does my groin hurt?
The abovementioned injuries have rather different reasons for their onset which will depend on your specific anatomy and any anomalies, your lifestyle and postures. If you spend extended times in a low seated position or repetitive crouching and bending, you may be stressing/straining your hip joint, causing impingement. Another reason for groin pain results from the sport and exercise you do. If you play a sport which includes a large amount of running and changing direction then you may have strained a muscle in the thigh/hip/groin. Also, Osteitis Pubis is a condition typically encountered in young and very active athletes involved in high impact activities eg AFL, soccer, rugby, basketball, netball.
How do I know what my problem is and how do I treat it?
Diagnosing specific causes of hip pain can be complex. Understanding the behaviour of the symptoms (what makes the pain worse and what makes it better) along with what may have caused the pain’s onset helps narrow the causes. Physical examination, which includes both moving the joint and testing muscle strength and flexibility, is important to clarify the cause and confirm the diagnosis. Occasionally imaging (X-ray, MRI or ultrasound) is required to elucidate the diagnosis or confirm severity of the injury. Treatment management is specific to the nature of your individual injury and the causes that have resulted in your injury.
How can I avoid getting a groin injury or avoid my injury returning?
Again, this tends to be very specific to the type of injury you have or are looking to avoid. If you’re concerned about looking after your hip joints, it is best to sit with your knees below your hips which will reduce the compression of the front of the joint. If you play a sport with lots of running and changing of direction then ensuring you have good core, hip and leg strength and control to support all the soft tissues while they are under load. Making sure your movement patterns and stability are sufficient is important across the board whether it’s when playing sport, doing heavy lifting or repetitive bending around the house and garden.
Fairfield Physiotherapy physiotherapists are well equipped to diagnose and treat all types of groin injuries and enjoy helping you achieve your optimal function. If you have groin pain, or are looking to increase your activity and exercise and don’t want a previous problem to reoccur, then contact us for an assessment and individualised treatment plan.