Groin injuries can be surprisingly painful. They tend to occur in those who participate in sports and other activities requiring a great deal of movement and flexibility. Nevertheless, groin pain can affect anyone — regardless of physical activity level.
Groin pain can happen when another part of your body, including your lower back, hip joint, and lower abdomen, becomes stressed and/or injured. If you participate in a sport that involves running, physical contact, or repeated kicking, chances are you have already experienced a bout of groin pain.
Although groin pain is often treated with rest, a recent study suggests that a little exercise may be a better method for speeding up the healing process. A research team based at the University of South Australia performed a clinical trial to determine what type of exercise would be best to treat groin pain.
The researchers surveyed five studies. Each study used a different exercise program. The exercise programs lasted anywhere from four to 16 weeks. The research team found that exercise worked better than medication or passive treatment when healing groin pain. They also discovered that exercise interventions worked best when they were offered one-on-one or to small groups. The researchers
noted that jogging, running and cycling seemed to ease painful symptoms significantly.
Any exercise that strengthened hip and abdominal muscles proved beneficial in reducing pain levels. The research team concluded that exercise therapy is a key component of rehabilitation for groin pain in athletes. Overall, strengthening exercises of the hip and abdominal muscles could be also be an effective intervention for athletes with groin pain — but this also applies to you, too.
Immediately after a groin injury or strain, you can also try the R.I.C.E. technique. The R.I.C.E. technique involves four strategies for pain relief:
1. Rest the injured part immediately after injury;
2. Ice the injured area to minimize swelling and inflammation;
3. Compress the injured area to limit swelling and bleeding; and
4. Elevate the injured area to a level that’s above the heart to increase drainage of fluids from the affected area.
The acute, painful stage of a groin injury or strain can last from one to five days. Gradually diminish the amount of time you use all four steps. For example, you might use it constantly for the first few hours of pain and then five or six times on the second day of pain, and three or four times the next day.
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