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Groin Strains – How Pelvic Floor Rehab Helps

Living in Kansas City this week, it’s hard to miss that the Royals have lost one of their top players for the next two months due to a groin strain.  If you watch sports in any form, you’ll often hear about an athlete pulling, tweaking, or straining a groin muscle.  It’s a painful injury and can take any athlete, at any level, out for an extended period.  It takes a team of professionals to get back on the field or into the gym.

The groin is actually a complex group of muscles that are on the inside of the thigh.  This group includes
the pectineus, adductors magnus, longus, and brevis, and the gricilis muscles.  These muscles run from the front portion of the pelvis down to the femur (thigh bone).  The muscles attach on the pelvis at both the ischial tuberosity (sit bone) and on the pubic bone.  With a groin strain, any of the above muscles can be involved and at any point of the muscle—from the pelvis down the thigh.  When one of the groin muscles is strained, it can cause a rotation in the pelvis, which in turn can cause discomfort in the pelvis itself, the sacral iliac joint, and even into the spine or down into the knee.

This is where sports medicine and pelvic floor therapists can work together as a strong team.  Where the strengths of the orthopedic therapists can help the athlete on to the field, a strong pelvic floor therapist can look at the pelvic attachments and the surrounding structures.

When you look at the attachments of the groin muscles and then look at the pelvic floor muscles, you can see the strong overlap of the muscle attachments on the bones.  The adductor brevis and obturator internus have particularly close attachments.  Often, if there is a lingering groin injury that traditional therapies have not been able to completely alleviate, an assessment with a strong pelvic floor therapist can give some insight into how the pelvic floor and groin muscles may not be in balance.  Pelvic floor therapists have a unique skill set in assessing pelvic and hip injuries as we are able to not only assess the external muscles, but also the pelvic floor and deep hip muscles with a vaginal or rectal pelvic floor muscle assessment.

As we move through the next couple of months and cheer the Royals into the playoffs (cross your fingers!), I’m sure we will all be interested in a certain outfielder’s groin injury.  For the time being, I hope that sports medicine and pelvic floor therapists can team up against groin strains.

–Jennifer Cumming, MSPT, CLT, WCS

This blog is here for your help. It is the opinion of a Licensed Physical Therapist. If you experience the symptoms addressed you should seek the help of a medical professional who can diagnose and develop a treatment plan that is individualized for you.  If you enjoyed this blog, check out our website at for more blog entries and to learn more about our specialty PT practice, Foundational Concepts.  Follow us on Twitter @SarahpelvicPT or @Jenn_pelvic_PT or @AmandaFisherPT and like us on Facebook/Foundational Concepts for updates.

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