Groin Pain

Groin Pain

The Groin is a junctional area between the thigh and stomach. Its exact location is the point where your abdomen area ends, and the leg meets the pelvis. The distress or discomfort in this area due to any medical or pathological cause can lead to groin pain. Pain or discomfort in the groin typically arises from injury due to strenuous physical activity like sports, gym workouts, sprinting or heavy leg exercise. It is widespread in athletes because they perform excessive body exercises and stretching of muscle; therefore, any pulled muscle or injury can cause groin pain. 

Some of the significant causes of groin pain include kidney stones, hernia, urinary tract infection, skin infection, cartilage damage in the hip joint, enlarged lymph glands, testicular torsion, and strain of the muscles, ligaments or tendons. It can also occur due to swelling in the small or large intestine. 

Symptoms 

The symptoms of groin pain may vary from person to person, depending on the underlying cause. However, most people experience common signs and symptoms, that may include;

  • Sharp pain in the groin area or lower abdomen
  • Sensation of pain while lifting the knee
  • Bruise, swelling or tightness in groin area or thigh
  • Difficulty in walking, moving legs, climbing
  • Spontaneous back and hip pain

Treatment Options

In most of the cases, proper rest, pain relieving medication, and therapies like massage and physiotherapy can help relieve pain. However, you may need surgical intervention in case of severe injury, hernia, or nerve damage.

Non-surgical treatment

Non-surgical therapies are the first-line treatment options for most of the cases with groin pain. These may include;

  • Proper rest- Minor strains can be treated at home. If it’s just a groin pull, it will heal on its own with time and proper rest. 
  • Icing- Massaging the thighs and lower abdominal area with ice packs also help reduce swelling and pain.
  • Pain killers- Anti-inflammatory painkillers and NSAIDs like ibuprofen and naproxen help with swelling and pain. 
  • Exercise/Physiotherapy – A therapist can recommend stretching and strengthening exercises to help strengthen abdomen muscle and prevent future injuries. Physiotherapy is best for groin pain that is secondary to muscular and soft tissue injuries.
  • Injections- Sometimes, injections are also given to relieve pain. The most common injections include steroids and intramuscular pain killers.

Surgical Treatment

If non-surgical procedures do not help after three months of non-stop therapy, then you may require a surgical procedure to relieve the pain. Surgery is a viable option for a few conditions, such as;

  • Hernia repair- Surgical treatment involves either open or laparoscopic sutured hernia repair. The laparoscopic procedure can be either transabdominal preperitoneal (TAPP) or extraperitoneal. The surgical procedure is approximately 60 minutes long, depending upon the type of injury. It helps remove hernia sac and relieve pain secondary to hernias in the groin area.
  • Nerve decompression – In case of nerve damage, the injured nerve is either decompressed or removed surgically.  
  • Fractured bone- In the case of a broken bone or severe muscle damage, surgical treatment for bone repair becomes compulsory. 
  • Hip arthroplasty – Hip arthroplasty (a surgical procedure to restore the function of a joint) can be performed in selected cases to relieve groin pain or discomfort.

Dr Ayman Eissa
MBBCh, MSc, MD, FRCA, FMFPRCA

Ayman is a Consultant in Anaesthesia and Pain Medicine at Sheffield Children’s Hospital and is also a specialist in the management of chronic pain in adults.

01709 464200

enquiries@kinvarahospital.co.uk 

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