Groin Strain

(Adductor Strain; Groin Pull; Pulled Groin; Pulled Groin Muscle; Strain, Adductor; Strain, Groin)


A groin strain is a partial or complete tear of the small fibers of the adductor muscles. The adductors are a group of muscles located on the inner side of the thigh. They start in the groin area and run down the inner thigh to attach to the inner side of the knee.
Muscles of the Groin
Groin muscle
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A groin strain can be caused by:
  • Stretching the adductor muscles beyond the amount of tension they can withstand
  • Suddenly putting stress on the adductor muscles when they are not ready for stress
  • Overusing the adductor muscles over time
  • Getting a direct blow to the adductor muscles

Risk Factors

Factors that may increase your chance of developing a groin strain include:
  • Participation in sports that require bursts of speed. This includes track sports like running, hurdles, or long jump. Other sports include basketball, soccer, football, or rugby.
  • Previous strain or injury to the area
  • Muscle fatigue or weakness
  • Tight groin muscles
  • Poor conditioning
  • Imbalance of musculature
  • Abnormality of bone structure


Symptoms may include:
  • Pain and tenderness in the groin area
  • Stiffness in the groin area
  • Weakness of the adductor muscles
  • Bruising in the groin area if blood vessels are broken
  • Popping or snapping sensation as the muscle tears


You will be asked about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done. Most groin strains can be diagnosed with a physical exam. Images may be needed if severe damage is suspected. Images may be taken with MRI scan . Muscle strains are graded according to their severity:
  • Grade 1—Some stretching with micro-tearing of muscle fibers
  • Grade 2—Partial tearing of muscle fibers
  • Grade 3—Complete tearing of muscle fibers; this may also be called a rupture or avulsion

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