Groin strain may present as a sharp, sudden pain in the groin or inner thigh area in the course of activity, or the pain may not arise until the next day. In cases of chronic groin strain, the sufferer may not recall a specific incident where the injury could have occurred.
Symptoms include: tenderness to touch (palpation), swelling (oedema), and bruising along the inner thigh adjacent to the groin. Pain may be reproduced by adducting (bringing the leg to midline) the leg against resistance. Proper physical examination is vital to distinguish adductor muscle group strains from other causes of groin pain.
Western treatment for any muscle injury initially consists of the RICE protocol – rest, ice, compression and elevation. Generally, grade one groin strains should be rested from exercise for about three weeks, and grade two injuries for about four to six weeks. In the worst cases, when there is a complete rupture, the muscle may have to be repaired surgically and the rehabilitation will take at least three months.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, you are advised to avoid ice as it causes further contraction and stagnation of the qi (vital energy). If ice is used, you are advised to apply it for no more than 10 to 15 minutes per hour during the first 24 hours after the injury. After the pain and inflammation has gone, or has been reduced, light exercise and stretching can be introduced but with caution, taking care so as not to aggravate the injury. Massage (Tuina, or Shiatsu) is also recommended in order to speed up recovery by stimulating, among others, the acupuncture point of LV3 and GB34.