A pulled groin or groin strain occurs when the hip adductor muscles are involved. The hip adductor muscles consist of the adductor longus, adductor brevis, adductor magnus, pectineus, and gracilis muscles. These muscles are responsible for the adduction of the thigh (bringing the knee and femur closer to the midline). A pulled groin or groin strain refers to the complete or partial tear of one of the abovementioned muscles.
Groin strains are most commonly seen among individuals who play sports such as football, track and field, hockey, and skiing. The severity can range from grade 1 to grade 3. Grade 1 is mild with little to no symptoms (less than 10 percent of muscle fibers are torn). Grade 2 is more severe and results in difficulty with daily activities (10 to 90 percent of muscle fibers are torn). Grade 3 is severe and can cause significant issues with daily routine (muscle is almost completely or completely ruptured or torn).
Diagnosis can be based on the patient’s history, physical examination, and imaging (magnetic resonance imaging) to assess the extent of the tear. Risk factors of a pulled groin include tight muscles, sports where there are sudden changes in direction or bursts of speed, fatigue, poor conditioning, and returning to activities too quickly after experiencing an injury. Treatment includes rest, ice packs, pain medication, and physical therapy. Below are 10 symptoms of a pulled groin to look out for.
Symptom #1: Bruising
A bruise or contusion is a hematoma due to the damage of capillaries caused by trauma. It occurs when there is internal bleeding that is localized and extravasates into the surrounding tissue. Since most bruises are superficial, the bleeding under the skin causes a visible discoloration and remains visible until the blood is reabsorbed or cleared by the immune system.
In a pulled groin, bruising can occur in more severe cases due to muscle tear or damage. Bruising is usually apparent in a grade 3 tear. It can occur at the groin and inner thigh.