Groin Strain (Adult)

A groin strain is a stretching or partial tearing of the muscle in the lower belly (abdomen) or upper thigh. This may happen because of too much coughing, heavy lifting, or active sports. The pain may last for several days or weeks, depending on how bad the stretch or tear is. It will generally get better with rest, ice, and anti-inflammatory medicines.

A groin strain can lead to a groin hernia. This is also called an inguinal hernia. A hernia is a complete tear of the abdominal muscle. This allows fat or the intestines to bulge out and create a visible bump just above the thigh crease. This is a more serious problem and may need surgery to repair it. When you lie down, the bump should get smaller or disappear completely. If it doesn’t, and you are not able to flatten it with your hand, you need medical attention right away.

Home care

  • Don’t do any heavy lifting, straining, or any activities that cause groin pain.

  • You may use over-the-counter pain medicine to control pain, unless another pain medicine was prescribed. If you have chronic liver or kidney disease or ever had a stomach ulcer or GI (gastrointestinal) bleeding, talk with your healthcare provider before using these medicines.

Follow-up care

Follow up with your healthcare provider, or as advised. Make an appointment with your healthcare provider if you develop a bump in the area of the groin strain.

When to seek medical advice

Call your healthcare provider right away if any of these occur:

  • Increasing pain in the area of the groin strain

  • Tender bump just above the groin crease that does not flatten when you lie down or press on it

  • Overall abdominal swelling or pain

  • Fever of 100.4°F (38°C) or above lasting for 24 to 48 hours

  • Chills

  • Repeated vomiting

  • Pain that moves to the lower right abdomen, just below the waistline, or spreads to the back

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