While chronic groin strains are often difficult to resolve, it is important to determine the exact nature of the injury. Other injuries that mimic groin strains include the “sport” hernia or athletic pubalgia, inguinal hernias or osteitis pubis or an inflammation of the pubic bone where the groin muscles originate. Once a physician or appropriate healthcare provider diagnoses the injury as a groin strain, you may begin pain-free stretching and strengthening of the surrounding musculature.
To stretch the groin, you can perform the butterfly stretch. You will sit on the ground and place the soles of your feet together and try to push your knees to the ground until you feel a stretch. You can also perform a groin stretch by standing up and leaning your weight onto one leg, as if lunging to the side, while keeping the other leg straight. To strengthen the groin, you need to perform hip abduction exercises. This can be done by doing straight leg raises while side lying. You should lie on the affected side, place the foot of the other leg flat on the table in a figure four position and lift the affected leg toward the midline. To make it more difficult, you can add an ankle weight on it or, while standing, wrap a resistance band around your ankle and move the foot across the midline of your body against resistance from the band. To make the exercise harder, you can step farther away so the band provides more resistance, or you can use the next heaviest band.
You can participate in sport as pain is tolerated. In addition, wrapping your groin with an ace bandage can manage the pain by limiting the motion of the limb from painful directions. An appropriate healthcare provider, such as an athletic trainer, can apply a hip spica wrap or assist with purchasing of a commercial brace as well as develop a progressive rehabilitation program for you.
(This answer provided for NATA by the King College Athletic Training Education Program.)