A groin injury is one of the most complex injuries we see at Sports Physio Ireland. It’s location and anatomy is one of the main reasons for this. This area consists of the adductor longus, magnus, brevis and gracilis, all of which insert to the underside of the pelvis. The primary role for these group of muscles as a whole is the stabilisation of the pelvis during motion (running, jumping, cutting). These muscles also play a role in swinging the leg when turning and twisting during movement in scenarios such as game play.
When designing a rehabilitation program, it’s important not to only focus on the area of pain. You have to look at the overall balance between both groin areas, left and right. Tension or restriction of movement in one can directly effect the forces and pressures on the other side.
It is also important to assess and analyse the areas above and below the injured groin. Lack of ankle balance or stiffness can cause an overload in the groin when cutting or tackling. Quite often I see groin injuries in players who have had a history of bad ankle sprains or achilles injuries in the past. Strength in the core muscles above the area of pain and stiffness in the hip also have a huge impact on the cause and the design of the rehab program at SPI.
It is for this reason that we choose whole body movement exercises to rehab groin injuries. By doing so, you improve your overall movement and offload any imbalances that have contributed to developing the injury. The key thing with exercises such like side lunges, squats or single leg deadlifts is the attention to detail. I see many players performing these exercises in a rushed environment which can actually just compound the imbalances that are already there.
- The groin has multiple roles for an athlete.
- Don’t focus on the pain, look at the overall movement pattern.
- Find your imbalances.
- Attention to detail with your rehab.
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