The signs and symptoms of a groin strain are usually dull, achy, sometimes burning and sharp pain in the inner thigh that get’s worse with higher levels of exertion. 

In this article we are going to discuss:

  • The different symptoms of a groin strain
  • whether a groin strain and adductor strain are the same thing
  • How many adductor muscles there are
  • Athletic pubalgia, what is it?
  • Pelvic bone pain
  • When to see your doctor
  • Are injections helpful for a groin strain?
  • Is surgery ever an option for groin strains?
  • How should you sleep with a groin strain?

If you’re wondering what the best type of exercises to do for this injury are, check out this article.

Groin Strain Signs and Symptoms

As discussed above, symptoms are most often dull and achy at rest, become burning sensations when stretched, and sharp when trying to exert with more force like in heavier lifting or faster running. 

If you think this may be related to a groin injury that is not a groin strain and you’re wondering if walking is ok, this article may be helpful to narrow it down.

Is A Groin Strain The Same As An Adductor Strain?

Yes, the “groin,” is the same region as the “adductor” region. Groin and adductor are interchangeable, although groin often is used to describe the entire pelvic region. 

But just for simplicities sake, a groin strain is the same as an adductor strain. 

How many adductor muscles are there?

Depending on how you classify them, there are 5, or 6. For our purposes i’ll name the five and the sixth that sometimes gets lumped in.

  1. Adductor longus
  2. Adductor brevis
  3. Adductor magnus
  4. Pectineus
  5. Gracilis
  6. Obturator externus

What is athletic pubalgia?

Athletic pubalgia is also known as a “sports hernia.” 

Athletic pubalgia is usually classified as lower abdominal pain in conjunction with inner thigh pain and sometimes pubic bone pain. 

The reason this is called “athletic pubalgia,” is that it usually occurs during a sporting event. 

I experienced athletic pubalgia for 18 months. I injured myself after sprinting around the track at 100%. 

I was racing a friend in the 200 meter… but here’s the kicker… I hadn’t sprinted like that in over two years. 

My body wasn’t ready for that type of exertion, and I paid the price. It took me so long to recover from this because I didn’t implement a proper rehab program and I wasn’t patient with the process. I’ll write another article about my own experience with this in another article.

The link will be here once I’ve written it. 

Is it possible to have lower abdominal pain with an adductor strain and groin strain?

Yes, as discussed above, it is possible to have lower abdominal pain with an adductor strain (groin strain). This would be classified as athletic pubalgia. 

athletic pubalgia lower abdomen pain

Is it normal to have pelvic bone pain with a groin strain?

Yes, it is normal to have insertional pubic bone pain with a groin strain. 

What do I mean by “insertional,” pain? Pain that is either directly on top of or just below/to the side of the pubic bone. 

This is the point where all 5 of the adductor muscles attach to your pelvis. 

Should you see a doctor if you have a groin strain?

If your symptoms are not improving over the course of two weeks, or you need to return to higher-intensity activities for your sport, it would likely be best to meet with your doctor and then work with your physical therapist to implement a rehab program. 

If you want to see what exercises I progress my clients through when they’ve had a groin strain, please read this article. 

What is the best medication for groin pain?

Typically, NSAIDs are the best type of medication to use for groin pain if it is related to a muscular or tendon injury. 

This should of course be approved by your doctor as they are the one that knows your health history and can let you know whether this medication is safe for you, or not. 

NSAID stands for, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication. 

Are injections a good idea for groin strains?

There is likely a time and place for an injection to the adductor muscle however I personally have not seen anyone receive this, or, a physician offer this option. 

Generally, something like this wouldn’t be needed as you should be making progress with an appropriate rehab program and the use of ice, heat, and medications. 

Is surgery ever an option for a groin strain?

Just like with injections, i’ve never seen a groin strain be treated with a surgery. 

It is conceivable that if you had an avulsion injury, where the adductor muscle quite literally rips off of the bone, you could need it to be re-attached. 

I’m sure this has happened, but I have not seen it firsthand. Doing a quick google search this definitely has happened as there are different hospitals advertising this. 

How should you sleep with a groin strain?

There is no secret way to sleep with a groin strain other than finding the way that feels most comfortable to you. 

Sleeping with a pillow between your legs can help to reduce some of the discomfort if you tend to cross your legs while sleeping. 

The main thing to work on here is to reduce how much stretch you’re putting on your inner thigh muscles. Any way that you can position yourself while sleeping is acceptable. 

Key Takeaways

  • The signs and symptoms of a groin strain are usually dull, achy, sometimes burning and sharp pain in the inner thigh that get’s worse with higher levels of exertion
  • Surgery and injections are not typically done for a groin strain unless it is severe
  • Groin strains and adductor strains are the same thing
  • See your physician or doctor of physical therapy if it’s been taking forever to heal