Groin Strain (Adductor Strain)

What is an Adductor (Groin) Strain?

An adductor muscle strain is an acute injury to the muscles on the inside of the thigh (groin). Groin strains are common amongst athletes who compete in sports that involve repetitive twisting, turning, sprinting and kicking, such as ice hockey, football, running or soccer.

Cause and Symptoms

A groin strain usually happens after an awkward or sudden movement during competitive physical sports. A muscle strain, or ‘pulled muscle’, occurs when your muscle is overstretched or torn. This usually occurs as a result of fatigue, overuse, or improper use of a muscle. The main symptoms of a groin strain are pain and tenderness on the inside of the thigh. Other symptoms include:

  • Bruising or swelling of the inner thigh
  • Pain when raising the knee
  • Pain when closing or opening the legs
  • The groin or inner thigh may feel warmer than usual
  • Muscles feel weak or tight
  • Limping or difficulty moving the leg


Groin strain should be treated quickly, ideally in the first 24 to 48 hours after the injury. This is to reduce swelling and bleeding and to ease pain in the area. Aside from utilizing the RICE principle (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation), a physical therapist can put together a rehabilitation program to help with recovery. This usually includes exercises that will restore range of motion, strength, and flexibility. Massage may also help the soft tissue in the leg to recover.