I'm usually really good about warming up and stretching before a workout, but last week at the gym, I did something stupid. I excitedly hopped on a weight machine I don't usually use, and while trying to work my hamstrings, I pulled my groin. Ouch!
Now it just won't seem to get well. How can I treat it? Do I have to stop exercising all together? I hope not, because I'd hate to stop working out.
— Groaning About My Groin
Ouch is right. A strained muscle in the groin is very painful, and it's a hard one to avoid using — it can smart every time you walk. This is a very common injury, so for some tips on treating it,
A pulled groin is actually a strain in the muscles known as the adductor group, which connects the pelvis to the femur. The injury occurs when you overstretch a muscle and can result in small tears in the tissue. It usually happens if you haven't warmed up properly or if you're attempting to lift more than you're accustomed to — both of which sound like culprits in your case.
To treat it, try the good, old-fashioned combination of rest and ice. Initially, you should ice the muscle for about 20 minutes at a time. Yes, that means sitting with an icepack on your crotch, but don't worry: After 48 hours, you can transition to heating pads or similar warming treatments. Anti-inflammatory medications can also help with any pain or swelling.
You don't have to stop exercising entirely, but do listen to the muscle, and don't do anything that makes it hurt more. It's especially important to avoid strength training the adductors or stretching them until the pain has subsided. When it does, probably after a week or two, don't forget to try these inner thigh stretches after your are warmed up before resuming your next activity. Hope you feel better soon!