Several groups of muscles attach in the
A forceful blow to the groin can cause
damage to muscles, ligaments, blood vessels, or organs in the abdomen or
genital area. A sharp object can penetrate and injure the groin or genital
You can pull (strain) or tear
a groin muscle during exercise, such as running, skating, kicking in soccer, or
playing basketball. You can strain a groin muscle during lifting, pushing, or
pulling heavy objects. A fall can pull a groin muscle. A sudden pulling or
tearing of a groin muscle may cause sudden pain. A snapping sound may be heard
with hip or leg movement. Swelling and bruising can occur quickly. Sometimes
swelling and bruising do not show up for a few days after the injury.
Inguinal hernias occur when a weak spot develops in
the lower abdominal tissue. Often the cause of the hernia is not known, but may
be caused by lifting, straining, coughing, obesity, pregnancy, constipation, or
aging. A weakness or abnormality in the muscles from birth (congenital) may
also increase your chance of having a hernia.
Some groin injuries come from overuse
when repeated minor injuries lead to strains or tears of the muscles. Overuse
injuries occur when too much stress is placed on an area. This often happens
when you overdo an activity or repeat the same activity day after day. Overuse
Home treatment can relieve the pain, swelling, and
bruising that can occur with a pulled groin muscle.
In rare cases, a young
child may have a hairline fracture of the hip or an avulsion fracture where the
hip and upper part of the thighbone are torn apart by force and groin pain is
the main symptom. Displacement of the head of the thighbone (slipped capital femoral epiphysis) can occur from an
injury. Mild groin or knee pain in a child that does not improve after a few
days of home treatment needs to be evaluated by a doctor. If your
child's groin pain is severe, immediate evaluation is needed.
March 1, 2011
Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & H. Michael O'Connor, MD - Emergency Medicine
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