Groin Strain : Running Injuries

Runners don’t tend to suffer from groin strains as often as they suffer from injuries to the leg muscles, knees, ankles and feet, but this type of injury can still occur as the result of an awkward fall or if the pelvic muscles become weakened through overexertion.

What are the Adductor Muscles?

Groin strains in running usually occur in the adductor muscles, a group of muscles in the hip. The adductor muscles are found on the inner side of the femur (thigh bone) and pelvic bone. They provide strength and stability for the femur and hip joint.

What Causes a Groin Strain?

The adductor muscles can become weak and unstable if they are overworked, resulting in a tear in the abdominal wall. Over-training is a common cause of groin strains. Not warming up or cooling down properly before and after running is another major contributing factor in sustaining this type of injury, because tight muscles are more likely to become damaged. Over-pronation may also result in a groin strain because if your running stride is not balanced, the adductor muscles tighten up to compensate.

The additional stress placed on the muscles may result in them becoming torn. Weather conditions and the type terrain you run on may also increase the likelihood of a groin strain. Twisting sharply if you fall on uneven terrain or on a slippery surface in wet conditions could result in a groin injury. Sprinters may also be prone to groin strains because an enormous amount of pressure in placed on the abdominal area when running at high speeds.

What are the Symptoms of a Groin Strain?

You will feel pain in the upper inner thigh area. Your groin will feel sore and stiff and depending on how serious the strain is, moving will probably be quite painful.

How Can You Prevent a Groin Strain?

Stretching and warming up properly before running will make the adductor muscles more flexible and less likely to become injured. Including lots of core strength and core stability exercises in your training regime will strengthen the abdominal region, making it more capable of withstanding the large amount of pressure that is placed on this area during running. Wearing running shoes that provide adequate grip will also reduce the risk of runners falling on slippery and uneven surfaces.


Depending on the severity of the strain, it may be possible to continue training after suffering this type of injury, but runners should dramatically reduce the amount of training they do. If a groin strain is left untreated and runners continue to train as normal, the injury could become much worse. It is important to rest and apply ice wrapped in a cloth to the area to reduce swelling and discomfort. A course of physiotherapy with exercises that focus on core strength and stability will promote healing. If the groin strain is very serious and there is a substantial tear in the adductor muscles, surgery may be necessary. If surgery if required, recovery and rehabilitation will take about 8 weeks.

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