Acute groin strains can last anywhere from 2-8 weeks but if they become chronic I have seen them last as long as 18 months without proper treatment. 

If you receive and undergo proper treatment you’ll be able to reduce how long it takes you to make a full recovery. 

For a comprehensive rehab program complete with exercises and videos, please check out this article that I wrote.

If you’re wondering why the heck it’s taking so long to heal, I also wrote this article to give you a bit more insight into that question.

How long do groin strains last?

I’ve had clients who have improved over the course of a few weeks. 

I’ve also had clients who have taken 6 months to improve. The client I am remembering who took 6 months to improve had already had severe symptoms for over one year and had not been rehabbing it properly. 

The most important thing is to ensure you’re working with a competent professional who knows how to work with this injury.

I wrote this article, here, to give you the roadmap of what a good adductor rehab program looks like. Adductor = groin, so I use those terms interchangeably. 

How do you know if you’ve pulled your groin?

Usually, a groin strain occurs from overexertion. Sometimes you will feel it in the moment, other times you may not feel it until the next day. 

This can happen from sprinting, long-distance running, vigorous hiking, squats, sumo deadlifts, hockey, and a variety of other activities. 

Adductor strains like all muscle strains usually feel achy, sometimes burning, and if using exertion, can be quite sharp. 

This can be quite debilitating depending on the severity. 

So, if you’ve recently exerted more than usual, you may have pulled your groin vs. damaged a ligament or bone.

 

If you’ve had a severe fall or other trauma, please reach out to your physician. 

Where does a groin strain hurt?

A groin strain hurts on the inner thigh. This can sometimes be confused with a hamstring strain as the hamstring and adductor magnus muscle groups are quite close together. 

Generally, groin strains hurt at the muscle belly (the middle of the inner thigh), the proximal muscle and tendon, and sometimes at the insertion of the adductor muscles onto the pelvic bone. 

Sometimes you can even have symptoms extending into your abdomen. This is called athletic pubalgia which I will discuss a bit more in another article I wrote, here.  

What helps a pulled groin heal faster?

push up on turf

The most important thing you can do to help a pulled groin heal faster is to create a rehab program that doesn’t constantly irritate symptoms and make them worse. 

Once you’ve eliminated movements that make it feel worse and started performing movements that make it feel better, you’ll be on a steady path to healing. 

The problem with many people trying to recover from this injury, as detailed in this popular article of mine, is that they keep doing things that aggravate it. 

Don’t do that. 

Pay attention to what flares it up, and what makes it feel better, then be consistent. 

How long should you rest a groin strain?

You should rest from the activity that initially caused the strain to occur if it continues to aggravate symptoms. 

I am an advocate for early return to activity, with modifications. 

If you are able to complete the activity at a lower intensity, and it doesn’t further aggravate symptoms, I would do that. 

This is how I rehabbed myself and this is also how I’ve helped several others with this same issue. 

Complete rest for weeks and months at a time is usually not the answer to this issue. 

Is walking good for a groin strain?

I wrote an article about this very topic that you can read, here

The short answer is, it depends. It depends on whether or not it makes your symptoms better or worse. 

What is a grade 1 groin strain?

Hospital for Special Surgery HSS has a great article on muscle strains that I’d encourage you to read, here

“Grade 1: Mild damage to individual muscle fibers (less than 5% of fibers) that causes minimal loss of strength and motion.”

A Grade 2 is a bit more involved and is defined as follows:

“Grade 2: More extensive damage with more muscle fibers involved. However, the muscle is not completely ruptured. These injuries present with significant loss of strength and motion. These injuries may require two to three months before a complete return to athletics.”

Source: https://www.hss.edu/conditions_muscle-strain.asp

Should I stretch a pulled groin?

I am not a huge fan of stretching a pulled groin. I’m also not a huge fan of stretching any muscle group that has experienced a strain. 

This is only my opinion though and i’m sure other clinicians have had different results with stretching. 

There is some newer scientific evidence that stretching for obscenely long durations of time can strengthen a muscle, which is what we’d be focused on with a rehab program for a groin strain, anyways. 

But, as it stands, I still focus on specific adductor and full lower body strengthening exercises.

Part of this is to reduce the symptoms by adding in movements that feel good. Another reason is to increase the overall strength of the adductor muscle group to increase it’s overall resiliency to increased force, thereby reducing the risk of this happening again. (theoretically)

A Groin Strain Will Probably Take Longer to Heal If You Are a Sprinter Or Other High-Intensity Athlete

If you are a sprinter, hockey player, football, player, tennis, soccer, or any other fast moving sport, it’s likely it will take you a bit longer to get back in the game to full speed.

The reason for this is because you need to train your muscle up to the point that it can tolerate high rates of contraction, which are usually the stimulus that causes the most pain and discomfort.

If you’re a runner or sprinter dealing with a groin strain, you’ll want to read this article.

If you’re a hockey player or ice skate regularly and have a groin strain, you’ll want to read this one.

Summary:

  • Groin strains can take anywhere from 2 weeks to 6+ months depending on how long you wait to take care of it and if you’re doing a proper rehab program
  • Symptoms can be dully, achy, burning, and sharp if severe enough
  • The most important thing you can do is to start moving early on and remove activities that are constantly irritating it and then starting a comprehensive rehab program.