What Causes Groin Ache?

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  • Written By: Dan Cavallari
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 14 August 2019
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Like other body aches, a groin ache can be caused simply by overuse or strain, or it can be caused by a more serious condition that may require medical attention. Athletes often develop a groin ache after excessive physical activity, or activity to which the body is not accustomed. More serious muscle aches may be due to a torn or strained muscle, which requires ample rest, icing, and stretching. More serious conditions that can cause a groin ache include hernias, testicular trauma, cysts, and tumors. If pain persists for more than a few days or recurs often, a more serious condition may be the cause and a doctor should be consulted.

As muscles tire, they tend to tighten. If the groin muscle becomes tired from overuse, the muscles in that area will tighten, causing an aching or burning sensation throughout the groin and legs. Such a condition can be easily treated by resting sufficiently, applying ice to the affected area, and drinking plenty of fluids. Soreness the day after physical exertion is common and quite normal, and the sensation usually goes away after a few days of rest and light stretching. If the pain persists, the groin ache may be caused by a torn or strained muscle.


A muscle strain occurs when more force than the muscle can handle is applied to the body. The muscle can then tighten or spasm, causing a muscle strain. If the muscle fibers stretch enough that they separate from each other, a muscle tear has occurred. Both conditions can often be treated with plenty of rest, ice, and light stretching, though more serious muscle tears may have to be repaired surgically. A muscle tear will cause a groin ache that is sharply painful; bruising and swelling may occur, and the torn muscle may bunch up at one end of the muscle.

Sometimes groin pain has nothing to do with the muscles in the area at all. A groin ache can be the result of menstrual pain that radiates into the groin and even the legs, or it can be the result of testicular pain due to trauma or other conditions. More serious conditions, including cysts and tumors, can cause groin pain, though these are less likely causes than simple muscle aches. If a groin ache lasts more than a few days despite ample rest, stretching, and conditioning, it may be time to consult a doctor to eliminate more serious causes as a possibility.


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Post 6

I think the groin doesn't like cold. Whenever I take a cold shower, my groin aches.

Once, I swam in the cold ocean and I swear, my groin ached for one month after that. I've never had this problem with warm water, it's interesting.

Post 5

@simrin-- It could be so many things really. You can't know until you see a doctor.

If you're a female, a cystic egg comes to mind.

Sometimes, while ovulation occurs, an egg doesn't develop fully and becomes a cyst. The cyst will eventually burst and disappear but there will be aching for several weeks until this happens.

It's also not uncommon for women to confuse ovulation pain as something else. Is it your time to ovulate? Or are you close to menstruation? An egg can cause aching in the groin area while it moves through the tubes.

I think you should wait a few more days and if the pain continues, see your gynecologist. If you develop any additional symptoms though, you should see a doctor sooner than that.

Post 4

I have had a constant ache on one side of my groin for the past few weeks. I don't think it's a strain because I'm home most of the time and have not exercised. What could it be?

Post 3

There's an easy stretch you can do for the groin area if it feels sore after exercising. Make sure that you haven't actually strained something as stretching that could make it worse. And don't stretch before exercise, because, contrary to popular belief, that actually makes you more prone to injury, since your muscles are too loose to protect themselves properly.

All you have to do is sit on the ground and press the bottoms of your feet together, then lean forward slightly over them. You don't need to hold the stretch for any more than 30 seconds and just try to repeat it a couple of times a day.

Post 2

@Ana1234 - I also just want to point out that you can get hernias from lifting things wrong (with your back instead of your legs) or too quickly, and from lifting things that are too heavy.

Sometimes they just happen as well, and there's no real way to completely prevent them, but you can at least try to be cautious when you're doing heavy lifting.

Post 1

It's easy to forget that you can get a hernia in the groin as well as one in the stomach. It generally shows as a protruding lump and can be very painful (although neither of those symptoms are present in every case).

Basically a hernia is a tear in the lining of sac that keeps the intestines in place, so when you feel a bulge, that's actually your intestines popping out closer to the surface than they should be. And they are very common. Something like one in four men gets a hernia in their lifetime.

If it's not painful, it might not seem all that urgent to get it treated, but you've got to remember that every moment you've

got one your intestines are at risk of getting tangled and being strangulated from their blood supply.

So even if you aren't suffering from abdominal pain, but you think you've got a hernia, you should go and get it checked and fixed up.

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