A groin pull or groin strain results from an injury in this area of the body, where the legs meet the pelvis. Typically, this type of damage occurs while engaged in some sort of vigorous athletic or sporting activity. Common situations where these injuries occur include making a sudden change of direction while running, or kicking a ball from an awkward angle. Groin injuries can also happen to dancers making swift motions or even to individuals running to catch a bus or train. In extreme cases, a groin pull can even leave its mark on the body for years, even after the injury has healed. A groin pull incurred during the teenage years when the body is still growing and developing can continue to cause complications in adulthood. The symptoms of groin pulls are generally painful and uncomfortable.
Severe pains around the groin area can occur when the muscle is completely ruptured. As soon as this happens, the pain is impossible to ignore. If you are involved in a sport or game at the time, the pain will be so strong that you will not be able to continue. If you try to press your legs together, you’ll find that the muscles in the groin are unable to contract, making this seemingly simple task impossible without assistance from other muscles. In this case, you should seek medical attention immediately. An injury of this caliber is a very serious matter, with pain relief and long-term healing both posing ongoing challenges. In these severe cases, the treatment period is likely to be long drawn out, possibly taking several months or even years.
Since individuals vary widely in terms of their pain tolerance, it is difficult to clearly define what constitutes moderate pain. Nevertheless, this is one of the primary indicators doctors use to categorize the severity of a groin pull. A partial groin muscle rupture occurs when the muscle has torn between 25 and 95 percent of the way through. In this case, you’ll feel a sharp pain in your groin as you try to move your leg around. With a 90-percent tear, the pain is less than with a full rupture. In the case of a 25-percent tear, the pain will be sharp, but tolerable, and the healing process will be much easier.
In a slight groin strain, you won’t have the sharp pain of more severe injuries, but rather a mild feeling of discomfort. A slight groin pull when the muscle tears less than 25 percent of the way through. This type of injury is the most common of the groin pulls, and you may not even realize that you are injured right away. If you have a slight groin pull, you will likely still be able to walk around and continue your normal activities with minimal pain or even none at all. Later on, you may start to feel a bit of pain in this area, especially when exercising or performing other strenuous activities.
Various Degrees of Bruising
Bruising is one of the most readily noticeable physical symptoms of a groin pull. As is to be expected, the extent of the bruising varies according to the severity of the injury, with more bruising appearing with deeper muscle tears. How quickly the bruising appears is also clearly linked to the severity of the damage. In the case of a full muscle rupture, you can expect to see extensive bruising on your inner leg within a day or two after the groin pull occurred. On the contrary, bruising may be minimal or nonexistent with a slight groin pull.
Swelling of the Inner Thigh
As with bruising, the amount of swelling directly correlates with the severity of the injury. In a major groin pull, you can expect to see substantial swelling on your inner leg, along with a great deal of bruising. If the muscle tear is less severe, you may not notice much swelling at all. Minor groin pulls typically do not cause any swelling.
Weakness in the Leg
Groin pull injuries can cause varying degrees of leg weakness. Again, the level of weakness depends on the extent of the muscle tear. In the most severe cases of groin pull, you will not be able to raise your leg. This makes walking, getting into and out of bed, and other daily activities extremely challenging. Essentially, this means that you become partially disabled until the damaged muscle is repaired. Second only to the pain, this weakness and the related loss of mobility is typically the groin pull symptom that is hardest to handle.
Pain Eases While at Rest
Sometimes groin pull pains cease completely when you stop moving and rest for a while. As soon as you start moving again, the pain comes right back. You’ll especially notice the pain when you make sudden, jerky movements like you would when playing sports. Moderate groin pulls are the most common culprit here, as severe groin pulls are typically too painful for you to even think about engaging in physical activity.
Running a Fever
Few people would expect to get a fever after a groin pull, but this type of injury can sometimes lead to an infection in the bones surrounding the groin area. If you start to run a fever shortly after sustaining a groin injury, this is a warning signal that you cannot afford to ignore. Although this symptom is not very common, it can still happen from time to time. Even if the fever turns out to be unrelated, you should always leave this to a doctor to determine to minimize your risk of further complications.
Sudden Feeling of Nausea
In a relatively small number of cases, you may begin to feel nauseous a few days after the groin pull incident. This is a fairly uncommon symptom, but like a high temperature, it is a real cause for concern. Nausea and fever are both signs of infection. In the absence of prompt medical treatment, this could pose serious risks to your health, so it is essential that you go to a doctor or hospital right away.
Popping of the Groin Muscle
In addition to the sudden, sharp pain, many people who suffer groin pull injuries report hearing a popping sound. Many also describe it as snapping sound at the time when the injury occurred. This common auditory indicator of a muscle tear leaves little room for doubting a groin pull diagnosis.