Several groups of muscles attach in the
The flexor muscles bend the leg at the
The adductor muscles allow the legs to move toward each
The abductor muscles allow the legs to move away from each
The rotator muscles allow the toes to be rotated toward or
away from each other while the leg is straight.
The lower abdominal
wall muscles and the
inguinal canal support pelvic structures.
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 while 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 the hernia 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
Avulsion fractures. This occurs when force causes a
muscle to tear away from a bone and break a piece of bone. It most commonly
affects teenage athletes who are involved in jumping, kicking, sprinting, or
Home treatment can relieve the pain, swelling, and
bruising that can occur with a pulled groin muscle.
Groin injury in children
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.
Primary Medical Reviewer
William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.