Groin Pain in Females

By Robert Daniel Lim, PTA

Why are you Experiencing Groin Pain?

There are multiple reasons why you might be experiencing groin pain. Typically groin pain in females stem from either overuse or over strain or sprain the muscles attached on our around the groin. But there are other factors that can cause groin pain in females. In more serious cases reasons for groin pain in females can stem from cysts to the worst case scenario which would be cancer.

Woman holding her abdomen from groin pain. JOI Rehab

Woman with Groin Pain

Common Causes for Groin Pain

If you are experiencing groin pain that is not related to muscles or ligaments further evaluation might be necessary by either your primary physician, gynecologist, or any specialty MD. Here are a few common causes of groin pain.

Adductor (Groin) Strain: Happens when the adductor muscles are stretched or torn beyond their normal range of motion. The adductor muscles are located on the inside of the thigh where it meets the pelvis.

Inguinal Hernia: Inguinal hernias occur when the lower abdominal muscles stretch or tear, often resulting in a bulge in the groin area as the abdominal organs press against or push through the weakened muscles. This hernia can cause a ‘pulling’ or ‘dragging’ sensation in the groin when lifting, stretching, bending over, or coughing type movements.

Avulsion Fracture: Avulsion fractures occur when the tendons that connect muscles to the bone have a tear at the connection site. This fracture is common in young athletes because the pelvic growth plates have not yet matured.

Anatomy and Physiology of the Groin Muscles

In basic human anatomy, the groin or also known as inguinal, is located between the abdomen and the thigh on either side of the pubic bone. This area is also known as the medial compartment of the thigh. This compartment consists of the adductor muscles of the hip or the groin muscles.

Illustration of the human body showing muscles of the groin where groin pain occurs. JOI Rehab

Female Groin Muscles

When Should you Worry about Groin Pain?

Rule of thumb regarding pain should be if any activity or movement causes the pain. In this instance most individuals will stop performing the activity. Activity such as running, walking, squatting, or working out causes groin pain, these activities can be modified to where you can still perform these activities. This is where it is especially important to seek professional advice such as a doctor, physical therapist or athletic trainer in a physical therapy setting so they can assist you in modifying activities.

You are now thinking when I should worry about pain in my groin. You should worry when you started losing overall functional use or movement of your legs as well as severe pain that reaches above a ten on a zero to ten pain scale. Also, when you start to lose overall sensation such as warm to cold or when you are having difficulty when controlling bowel or having incogitance.

Treatments of Groin Pain

Overall treatment of groin pain will depend on the severity of the pain. In addition to, the overall cause of the pain. Ideally most groin pain should go away on its own especially if the pain is very mild. The basis of RICE Protocol or also known as rest, ice, compression, and elevation should help. Now if the pain is due to a fracture and tear further medical examination by a physician necessary.

If your physician deems your pain not severe and based on exam, he or she might prescribe physical therapy. Physical therapy for groin pain is be determined after a full evaluation that consists of a medical history, an examination of your entire body such as a flexibility, range of motion and strength measurement. A treatment plan that outlines the deficits in flexibility and strength will be issued. Each treatment will differ from everyone.

Prevention Tips For Groin Pain in Females

The following preventative activities can help you prevent a groin strain when performing sports or daily activities.

  • Increase the intensity of activity or sport slowly not quickly. Avoid exerting yourself too hard, too fast, too soon. This is good when you are working out or running.
  • A good warm up before any type of activity is always recommend. The looser your muscle are the less risk of tearing can happen.
  • Follow or develop a good strength and flexibility exercise program. This will assist with improving flexibility and strengthening especially the core and hips/glutes.
  • Use good form when lifting objects from the floor.

We hope that this article can help you treat and even prevent a groin injury for females.  If you do have an injury, JOI and JOI Rehab can help.  Give us call!

Written By: Robert Daniel Lim, PTA

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