The muscles which comprise what we commonly refer to as the "groin' are actually a set of five different muscles called the "adductor muscle group." These six muscles span the distance from the femur (or thigh bone) to the inner pelvis, and are used in pulling the legs together and assisting the movements of the hip joint. Athletes of all varieties rely heavily on the adductor muscles, as do all regular pedestrians. Athletes which use these muscles most frequently, however, include swimmers, sprinters, soccer and football players.
Grades 1, 2, and 3 are the grades used to denote the varying levels of severity of groin strain. The least severe is mild in nature and the muscles remain completely intact. There may be some tearing of fibers and some discomfort but activity is not limited too extremely. Grade 2 involves more discomfort, may involve a deeper tearing of fibers, and some constraint on physical activity. Grade 3 is the most severe, causing pain during walking, swelling and muscle spasms.
As with any muscle strain, rest and icing are the first things to do when a groin strain occurs. The acronym commonly used for the immediate treatment of a strain is R.I.C.E. which stands for 'Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation). Treating with anti-inflammatory medications and applying heat, or alternating between heat and ice once the injury begins to heal is also recommended.
Stretching and conditioning are vital in maintaining groin and overall muscular health. Pelvic stability exercises and physical therapy may also be recommended in the prevention and treatment of groin strain.
Aimee Boyle lives and works in CT and is a regular contributor to EmpowHer.com. She is a night-writer and a special education teacher by day.