I recently came off my bike and whilst the cuts and bruises on my elbow, hip and knee are more visible, the most severe injury I sustained was a torn groin,
According to Marcus Ohnemus, Sports Medicine Supervisor with ATI Physical Therapy,
“Groin injuries can be very complicated, and unfortunately, difficult to recover from. Normal recovery time can be anytime from 4 to 12 weeks, depending on the severity and the specific muscles involved,”
What is a Torn Groin Muscle?
The groin muscles are located where the abdomen meets the leg, and the muscles of the inner thigh are attached to the front of the hip. A torn groin occurs when these muscles are overstretched because of extreme force, such as a bike fall.
This injury will be given a grade, according to the amount of damage:
Grade 1: Mild over-stretching or slight tearing of muscle fibres. The muscle is painful but has near-normal strength.
Grade 2: Moderate tear of a larger amount of muscle fibres. More tenderness and pain than Grade 1, loss of strength and sometimes bruising.
Grade 3: Tear of muscle is severe, and can be a complete muscle tear. Bruising is present.
Unfortunately, my injury is a Grade 3 and I could be out for up to 12 weeks.
- Hearing a “pop” in the groin during an injury
- Sharp pain
- Leg weakness
Rehabilitation and Physiotherapy
When muscle fibres are torn, they heal with a complicated matrix of tissue within the muscle called scar tissue. During this initial phase of healing, 7 to 10 days, the pain will be intense and prescribed medication should be taken to relieve this. You must allow for this scar tissue formation while working on gentle range of motion without stressing the muscle.
After the healing process, the second phase of rehabilitation begins, in weeks 1 to 3, with strength training for the groin muscles and all the muscles surrounding the hip and abdomen.
Once adequate strength is achieved in the injured muscle, then functional rehabilitation will begin to work on sport-specific skills and change of direction activities. This will take place at weeks 3 to 6.
Physiotherapy will help to heal a torn groin by reducing pain, returning full motion in the leg, hip and thigh, and ultimately improving strength by utilising appropriate exercises assigned by a qualified physiotherapist.
(Based on an article by APT Physical Therapy)