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What are the Different Causes of Groin Pain?

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  • Written By: Dan Cavallari
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 11 November 2016
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Groin pain is common in athletes due to injury sustained during athletic events, but such injuries are not limited to athletes. The most common causes of groin pain are muscle strains or tears, but more serious conditions may include testicular injuries or conditions, hernias, injuries in the hips and back, or pain related to other injuries in the legs, back, or torso. When groin pain occurs, it is necessary to figure out what is causing the pain so treatment can begin immediately; if the pain is due to a sports injury, the RICE method works best: Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation.

Like other muscle injuries, a groin injury can be painful and debilitating. Icing the affected area can reduce swelling and prevent hematomas from developing. The muscle must be rested for a long period of time to allow for healing and to prevent re-injury. One should keep in mind that groin pain may not be due to a groin injury; it may be a residual pain caused by a tear or strain in another muscle, particularly in the legs or torso. When a muscle in one part of the body is injured, other muscles will over-compensate to keep the body functioning. This can cause strain and pain in other areas of the body besides the injured muscle. Light stretching before and after exercise can help prevent groin and other muscle injuries.

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Other groin pain may be due to more serious injuries. Renal stones and hernias can cause pain in the groin region, though the pain itself is not caused by any issues with the groin or hip abductor muscles. The pain is often a radiant pain caused by the internal issue; the entire area feels painful because of the renal stones or hernias. Testicular pain can also be misconstrued as groin pain, as the two areas are often associated with each other. A testicular impact, or more serious issues such as a tumor or lesion, can cause pain associated with the groin area.

Hip injuries are a common cause of groin pain. The groin is actually a set of hip abductor muscles in each leg, so if the hips are not functioning properly, the groin area will feel painful. Torn or strained muscles in the hips can lead to groin pain, as can arthritis in the hip joints, bruises, or simply a lack of muscle development and mobility. Exercising the hip muscles regularly can help prevent groin and hip pain in many cases.

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