Groin is the area that is termed as inguinal and is the compartment between thighs and abdomen on both sides of the public bone. This area is also termed to be medial thigh region. It constitutes of the adductor hip muscles or the groin muscles. Any pulling of muscles or other injury around this area can lead to pain. Main hip adductor muscles that form the groin area include brevis, magnus, longus, pectineus and gracilis.
What Causes Groin Pains?
Pain around groin can be because of a minor injury that may have occurred and went unnoticed. These minor pains and injuries can be easily dealt with treatments at home. However there can be injuries and pains of enhanced intensity and thus would be serious problem that needs proper treatment. Such problems do not only involve pains but would also give you other signs too. A pull or strain around these muscles that bring your limbs together can cause an extremely painful condition and can affect your movement and routine life activities. Intensity of groin pains can vary from mild to severe and it can be result of a rapid movement causing strain or a tear or rupture or other injuries.
Groin pains could even be caused because of a groin hernia. A groin pull or strain particularly is a sports injury and recovery would need multiple treatments, care and patience as it would heal slowly and gradually with complete medical attention and rest. These pains can happen to anyone at any age. Usually people who are involved in sports are more at risk of groin strains because they perform a lot of running, jumping, kicking and other high speed direction changing activities that can cause a fall, twist or other injuries.
Symptoms and Diagnosis of Groin Injuries:
Identification of problem is important and thus one needs to have a proper diagnosis of injuries and pains related to groin. Here are some symptoms that are associated with problems of groin:
- If you are experiencing groin tenderness or pain.
- If you feel that your groin muscles are tight and contracted.
- If you find it difficult or painful to stretch your legs and other muscles surrounding groin.
For accurate diagnoses of groin muscle injury and its intensity, you would need to visit a physiotherapist for physical examination. For exact location and intensity of pain, MRI or ultrasound may be needed for investigation. Injuries can be rated in three different grades:
Grade 1: mild injury
Grade 2: moderate injury that may hinder your walking and sports activities.
Grade 3: severe injury that would affect running, jumping and other activities. Treatment may involve surgery.
In some cases these pains may be because of groin hernia and in such cases you will be recommended a groin surgeon.
Massage Therapy and Groin Pains:
A combination of massage with light exercises and required medications (if needed) can result in quick recovery and healing.
How Massage Helps?
Massage therapy involves techniques that helps in releasing tensed muscles and thus stimulates flow of nutrients and blood around the affected area, enhancing the process of healing. Although it is recommended that for intense injuries, you should wait for a week or more as recommended. If injuries are intense, then immediate massage therapies can cause it to become worse.
Stretch before Massage:
Before beginning massage therapy, light stretches should be done. A simple stretch could begin with flexing your knees and allowing it to fall out on one side. Now while giving support to knee, apply only minor pressure to stretch leg as far as possible. Push it against your pain and try to bring your leg in center. Apply this mild pressure for a few seconds and then bring the leg to a relaxing fall. Repeat this stretch for at least 4-5 times before therapy.
What is needed?
A massage therapist may use any lubricant or a massage oil (preferably) to give you a smooth and controlled massage therapy. This massage needs to be performed on a flat and firm surface in order to be able to apply required pressure.
When to Begin Massage?
Grade 1 Injuries: For such pains and strains, stretching is recommended from day 1 if you can perform them without any pain. Regularly stretch groin muscles and it would enhance your recovery. However if any pain is experienced, stop and wait until you can stretch without pain. Massage therapy would prove helpful and you can begin it after 48 acute stage hours of groin injury or strain.
Grade 2 injuries: Light stretching should begin from third day if you can perform them without any pain. Regularly stretch groin muscles and it would enhance your recovery. However if any pain is experienced, stop and wait until you can stretch without pain.Massage therapy would prove helpful and you can begin it after 48 acute stage hours of groin injury or strain.
Grade 3 injuries: Avoid stretching until 2 weeks and begin if you can perform without any pain. Light massage can be done from 5th day, although follow recommendation of your doctor. Any massage if performed too early can be dangerous for such injuries.
Useful Massage Techniques:
- Effleurage: This technique involves light massage strokes that prepares your body for deeper massage techniques. For groin pain relief, this massage is one of the most helpful techniques. In order to perform it well, affected person would need to lie on his back with knees bent and thigh rotated outwards.
- Begin with light yet firm strokes with hands upwards starting from above the knee to thigh and to groin area. Stroking upwards in the direction of blood flow is important or it can cause damage to veins.
- Next move your hands down towards the outside of leg gently but do not apply any pressure, just keep your hands in contact with the affected body.
- Repeat massage technique for 5-6 minutes and then with time gradually increase duration and intensity.
- Petrissage: This technique involves kneading and it helps in manipulating and loosening of tighten muscles.
- With a form hand, apply kneading massage technique with half muscles pulled towards you using fingers and half pushed away from you using other hands’ thumb.
- Now reverse this technique while manipulating muscles in a different direction.
- Apply technique on muscles covering the entire groin and thigh area with up and down movements.
- Repeat for 5-6 minutes with light strokes.
- Circular Frictions for Knots: If therapist witnesses any knots or tight muscles around groin area, deep circular frictions must be applied to release muscles around groin.
- Apply these massage therapies regularly.
- Make sure that these therapies are not painful. If any pain is experienced, do not continue and give your muscles a break for few days. Do not overdo any massage activities.
- These therapies would show recovery and rehabilitation results in some days so keep patience.
- Regular massage therapies could also prevent from repeated injuries and strains.
Massage therapies can really prove helpful for groin pains, strains and injuries if performed appropriately. Overstressing your muscles can cause the problems to get worse so avoid doing that. Compliment therapies with rest, icing and light stretching. In some severe cases, surgeries are necessary and in such conditions; no therapies should be used.