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Pain in the Groin

Pain in the groin accounts for 2–5% of all sports injuries. It can be referred from the lower back and pelvis, hip and soft tissue local to the area. The most common cause of groin pain in the sporting population is a strain of the adductor or inner thigh muscle.

In this piece I am going to focus on groin pain related to hip issues.

The hip joint is what we call a “ball and socket” joint and is formed where the thigh bone, femur, which is the ball part, meets the ileum, pelvis part, and is the deep socket or acetabulum. The depth of the acetabulum is increased by a fibrocartilaginous labrum. The surfaces of both bones where they form the joint are covered in a smooth cartilage and the function of this is to reduce the friction between the bones on movement. The structure of the 2 bones provide some of the stability to the joint. Additional stability is provided by the joint capsule which surrounds the joint and it’s surrounding muscles and ligaments.

Pain referred from the hip can be as a result of a tear in the labrum, with the front area being most at risk. It can also be due to a malalignment between the head and neck of the femur and acetabulum causing compression of the labrum and articular cartilage when the hip is flexed. This is known as hip impingement.

There are two main causes of hip impingement:

A deformity of the ball at the top of the femur (called cam impingement). If the head of the femur is not shaped normally, the abnormal part of the head can jam in the socket when the hip is bent. This may occur during activities such as riding a bicycle or tying your shoes.

A deformity of the socket (pincer impingement). If the front rim of the acetabulum sticks out too far, the area of the thigh bone (femur) just below the ball, called the neck of the femur, may bump into the rim of the socket during normal hip flexion movement.


There may also be pain referred if there is a bony fracture anywhere within the hip joint.

Treatment for hip impingement should include

Resting the affected hip and avoiding movements or activities that increase pain.

Consulting a physiotherapist who will advise you on appropriate exercises.

If this does not help reduce symptoms an arthroscopy may be appropriate where the surgeon will trim or reshape any necessary internal structure. Following on from this a course of physiotherapy will be necessary to provide the necessary rehabilitation.

Source: : Hip Impingement