Groin injuries account for up to 5 percent of all sports-related injuries, and the rates are much higher for sports such as football, soccer and hockey. Below are helpful tips that may prevent a groin injury;
- Warm up dynamically. This is easily overlooked, but important. Prior to training and competing, ensure you perform a complete warm-up, including slow to fast movements, dynamic stretches (movement stretches) and sports-specific drills.
- Stretch the inner thigh and outer thigh muscles on a daily basis. Tight groin muscles are a large contributory factor to groin strains. Also, hamstrings should also be stretched to insure good muscle balance.
- Regularly get manual therapy and massages from your physiotherapist. This will help to get the muscles flexible and break down any trigger points or scar tissue that can lead to injury.
- Learn sport-specific drills. Your physio can teach you strength and conditioning drills to practice the change of direction and cutting manoeuvres which commonly cause groin strains. This will help the muscles to adapt and become stronger at performing this kind of movement.
- Work on your core stability. Having good core and pelvic stability provides a solid base for sport-specific movements and reducing the chance of adductor strains.
- Strengthen the inner thigh muscles using weight machines and resistance bands. It is especially important to strengthen the muscles in the movement which caused the injury, to prevent a reoccurrence.
- Strengthen the lateral hip muscles, mainly the gluteal muscles. This will help with pelvic stability.
- Improve your proprioception. This is our sense of where each body part is in space and is similar to balance. Proprioception affects the way we move, especially when our balance is compromised and is therefore important in avoiding all injuries.
- Get plenty of rest and avoid over-training. If you train too much or for too long fatigue sets in, which increases the risk of injury.