What Causes a Groin Pull?
Groin pulls are among the most common groin injuries. These often result from a lot of stress placed on the groin muscles and tendons during active sports (hockey, basketball, soccer, football, rugby, tennis) or track & field activities (running, hurdles, long jump) that involve a lot of jumping, kicking, and changing direction at various speeds while running. Individual activities (skiing, skating, karate, weight lifting, gymnastics, ballet dancing and horse-back riding) can also put a lot of continuous pressure on the groin, especially if they involve a sudden fall or direct hit. During vigorous activities we often load our hip joint by up to eight times our body weight. However, even everyday activities that involve twisting or lifting heavy objects while bending or running on a slippery or unstable surface (like grass) can cause a groin pull.
Adduction of the hip against forced abduction also causes a lot of injuries (when you are trying to bring your leg in towards your body, but something presses your leg away from your body), such as kicking against resistance or jumping.
Overstretching, overloading and overuse of your groin muscles occurs frequently especially when training competitively for the above activities, and/or swimming breaststroke (whip kick) on a regular basis. Your chances for injury are increased when you have not warmed-up and stretched properly before your activity, as your muscles arenŐt ready for the stress. If you are exercising or moving about in cold weather or are tired, you are putting yourself more at even more risk for an groin pull.
Weakness in your hip flexors, hip adductors and other groin muscles or strength differences in these muscles and/or your abdominal and lower back muscles can cause a force imbalance and result in a groin pull. If your muscles are tight or inflexible, this will make your situation worse.
Other biomechanical abnormalities (alignment issues, leg length discrepancies, over pronation or supination which affect the way you walk, or incorrect sport-specific motions) can put a lot of stress on the groin and result in groin pull.
Lack of exercise and changes in the intensity of your activity without proper preparation, age-related weaknesses and/or degeneration, previous groin injuries, and obesity will also influence your risk of experiencing groin pull.