Regarding “a pulled groin”, is the groin a….

Thigh front - WC public domaina) muscle
b) bone
c) region
d) tendon
e) cartilage

The expression of having a ‘pulled groin’ seems to imply that it is a specific muscle getting damaged.  This would not be true because the groin is actually, c) a region.  It is the triangle formed in each upper thigh by the crease between the torso and the thigh superiorly, the symphysis pubis in the midline and femur forming the lateral boundary.  Muscles located in the groin region include:  the upper portions of all 5 adductor muscles as well as the distal portion of the iliacus and psoas major muscles.

Someone who gets a ‘pulled groin could have received an injury to any of 7 different muscles.  It is important to differentiate which muscle is involved in order to:

  • help understand why a pulled groin developed (i.e. was in wholly or partially due to an imbalance of the muscles in the groin region?)
  • rehabilitate the injured muscle fully with direct exercises at the proper time
  • prevent future injuries by correcting imbalances before they become symptomatic

“Pulled groins take a long time to heal!”

I grew up hearing that expression many times.  Why is that?  Is it true?  There doesn’t appear to be a basis for muscle strains in the groin region to take any longer to heal than any other muscle pull.  All the muscles in the groin are crossing the hip-joint which is particularly stable, so it doesn’t seem that there would be unusual mechanical stresses on muscles in the region. Pulled muscles in general, can be as minor as those that give symptoms lasting a few minutes, to complete ruptures, and anywhere in between.  So why is there an impression that groin pulls last a long time?

If groin strains do last longer than other muscle pulls, perhaps one factor is because of the relative lack of attention given to differentiating which muscle is injured in this region during discussions, diagnosis and treatment.  Let us consider for a moment.  Why is it that the adductors and abductors of the thigh are almost always referred to as a group rather than the individual muscles within the group?  If you have studied anatomy and know the different muscle names in the groin region, how would you test to find out which muscles are too strong or too weak?  If you work in the health or fitness industries and have determined which muscles in the groin region need exercise attention, how would you exercise each of them separately or target one specifically?

When to Use: Broad Based Exercises vs. Targeted Exercises

When muscles around a joint are balanced, then broad based exercises that work all the muscles around a joint are more likely to be appropriate.  When one muscle around a joint is significantly weaker than its’ neighbors, it is more likely that a targeted approach may be get you better results.  The first step to knowing if broad based or targeted exercises will be more appropriate, is assessing how strong each individual muscle is.

Start learning how to differentiate which muscles are weak and strong by taking the DxF course on Muscle Imbalance Testing.  Available by online courses with certification or without and by seminars at our location or at yours.

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