Pain in the groin area, also called pubalgia, is more common than it appears in women. What is it due to and what can be its causes? We detail it to you and we also explain how to prevent it and what treatments you can follow.
It is more common than it seems to suffer pain in the groin area or pubalgia, a frequent symptom in pregnant women and also very common in people who practice high-impact sports such as soccer, running or tennis.
Pain in the groin does not usually indicate a serious health problem and can occur on both the left and right sides of the groin. The causes can be many and varied, being common a muscle strain, the presence of an abdominal hernia, infections or pain in sciatica.
If the pain in this area of the crotch does not disappear after a week, or if it is accompanied by fever, vomiting or bleeding in the urine, it is advisable to see a doctor in order to determine the cause of the problem.
Why does groin pain or pubalgia occur?
Groin pain or pubalgia, also known as athlete’s hernia, is a common injury among people who perform physical activities on a daily basis. It is a pathology that manifests itself with pain in the pubis and with affectations to different muscular areas of the groin.
A pubalgia injury can last up to eight weeks, varying depending on when it is diagnosed. The fact that it lasts so long is because often the person suffering from it waits too long to visit the specialist, thinking that the pain will disappear on its own after a few days. It is important to know that groin pain, when it is in an advanced stage, can cause pain even when at rest.
What are the signs and symptoms of a groin strain?
Symptoms of groin pain can vary and tend to increase over time. The main pain that is noticed is focused in the area of the groin or the lower part of the abdomen. All groin strains cause pain in the inner thigh. Normally, this type of pain appears after intense physical activity or, it can even begin to be noticed while doing the physical activity in question. This pain ends up being constant, which prevents simple movements. Other of your signs and symptoms may include:
- swelling and bruising in the groin area
- muscle spasms
- weakness in the affected leg
- trouble or difficulty walking
What are the causes of groin strains in women?
- Pregnancy: Pain in the groin in women is common in early and late pregnancy, as hormonal changes during pregnancy relax the hip joints, in order to allow the fetus to develop and prepare the body for childbirth. You should know that this pain worsens when the pregnant woman lies on her back, opens her legs, climbs the stairs or after making great efforts. It can be of great help to perform light exercises such as water gymnastics or Pilates, as well as to use underwear for pregnant women to increase the stability of the pelvic region.
- Cyst on the ovary: The presence of cysts in the ovaries can also cause pain in the groin in women, especially during the first three days of the rule. In addition to this, other associated symptoms may arise such as pain during sexual intercourse and difficulty in losing weight. In this case, it is important that you go to the gynecologist, who will be the one who will tell you what tests to do to identify the presence of cysts and, if necessary, indicate the most appropriate treatment.
- Muscle injury: Groin pain in women can also occur due to a muscle injury, usually produced after intense and high-impact physical activity. This type of injury is usually caused by a pulled muscle and can cause difficulty in walking and can even cause a bruise in the region. In general, in these cases, the doctor usually indicates rest and the application of a cold compress on the affected region until the pain subsides. Depending on the degree of injury, you may also need to take anti-inflammatory medications or go to some physical therapy sessions.
- Pain in sciatica: Sciatic nerve pain can also cause groin pain in women, radiating down the leg and causing a stinging or burning sensation. This pain usually increases when the person walks or sits. In this case, it is advisable to avoid excessive physical activity and consult with your doctor about the most appropriate treatment, which usually involves the use of anti-inflammatory drugs and several physiotherapy sessions.
- Infections: The presence of viruses, fungi, or bacteria can cause an increase in lymph nodes found in the groin region. If this is the cause of groin pain in women, it usually goes away when the body fights the infection. However, when associated symptoms such as the presence of discharge, itching in the intimate region or pain when urinating arise, you should go to the gynecologist.
- Inguinal hernia: Groin pain in women can also occur due to the presence of an inguinal hernia, which is more common in men. This type of hernia occurs when a small portion of the intestine passes through the muscles of the abdominal wall and causes a bulge in the groin region. In this case, the doctor may recommend surgery to strengthen the muscles and remove the hernia.
- Skewness in the legs: The dysmetria or difference in size between one leg and another can also cause pain in the groin in women, and can even cause arthritis at an early age.
In this case, you should go to the traumatologist, who through an X-ray will confirm the problem and indicate the use of shoes to equalize the height of the legs, thus reducing pain in the groin.
Can groin pain be prevented?
The best prevention is always to do a good warm-up prior to physical exertion. In this way, you will be able to avoid bad gestures that can cause injury.
It is also important to exercise the muscles of the hip area in order to keep it strong and in good health. To do this, you can perform exercises that make you work adductors, abductors, obliques and the rectus abdominis.
Treatments for groin pain
To achieve early recovery from groin pain, the most important thing is to detect the problem early and have a good diagnosis. If the proper diagnosis is not made and it is treated well, the person usually ends up resting and taking painkillers, which usually ends the problem, but in the long term, lasting longer than usual.
The doctor usually prescribes other treatments, beyond the obligatory rest and the administration of anti-inflammatories.
Normally, it is recommended to perform electrotherapy techniques (magnetotherapy, laser.), adductor and abdominal massage therapy and specific warm-ups to prevent this pain from becoming chronic. In some cases, surgical treatment is required, to reduce pressure on the pubis from the abdominals and adductors.