When a Groin Pull Feels Better, What Then?
Everyone wants to know how quickly they can get back in the game after a groin pull -- and how soon the pain will go away. But there's no easy answer. Recovery time depends on how serious your groin pull is. It may take four to six weeks, but that's just a rough estimate. People heal at different rates.
In the meantime, switch to a new activity that won't put too much stress on your groin muscles. For instance, runners could try swimming.
Whatever you do, don't rush things. Don't try to return to your old level of physical activity until:
- You can move your leg on the injured side as freely and as easily as your other leg
- The leg on your injured side feels as strong as the leg on the uninjured side
- You feel no pain when you walk, jog, sprint, or jump
If you start pushing yourself before your groin pull is healed, you could re-injure yourself. And if you get further groin pulls, they may be harder to treat and take longer to heal. They can even lead to permanent disability.
How Can I Prevent Groin Pulls?
Given that groin pulls can be painful and debilitating, the best advice is to prevent them. You should:
- Always warm up your legs and groin muscles before physical activity. A light jog or other activities to increase body temperature have been shown to reduce risk of muscle stains.
- Wear shoes with good support that fit well.
- Always increase the intensity of your physical activity slowly -- no more than a 10% increase a week.
- Stop exercising if you feel pain or tightness in your groin or the inside of your thigh.
- Do regular strengthening exercises for your thigh muscles, especially if you've had a groin pull before.
Groin injuries can result from added stress due to weakness elsewhere. If involved you're in athletics and you have a history of groin injuries, ask your medical professional about activities that can help reduce your risk.