Groin Strains

One injury that occurs often on the soccer pitch, especially during these chilly conditions, is the groin strain.

Strains or “pulls” are injuries involving a stretch or tear of the muscles or tendons. They’re caused when the muscle is stretched beyond its normal limits and are often associated with abnormal muscle contractions caused by fatigue, dehydration, along with strength and flexibility imbalance. Groin strains are evaluated according to severity by “grades” (a mild strain is a one, severe is third).

Particularly in cold climates, pre-match stretching and warm up is necessary to help avoid a strain. Signs and symptoms include muscle spasms, swelling, tightness and tenderness.

As a groin strain involves the muscles of the inner thigh (adductors), immediately controlling inflammation is key. The P.R.I.C.E. principle will help (Protection, Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation). If the strain is severe, visit a medical professional with experience in sports injuries.

Returning from a groin strain can be a tricky process. You simply don’t want to push for a quick return as groin strains tend to reoccur. The athlete should gently stretch the muscle, avoiding massage (as that increases the blood flow to the area, counteracting the P.R.I.C.E. method). As quick movements happen frequently in soccer, a very disciplined recovery schedule must be followed, as strength and flexibility in the injury leg should be the same as the uninjured side.

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