Groin Injuries in Football

Groin Injuries in Football

Groin injuries are among the three most common and time consuming injuries in football. The load person kicking footballon the groin is high in sports that involve rapid change of direction and kicking.  Groin pain can be from a number of structures including the adductors themselves, but can also be related other structures around the hip including the ilipsoas, inguinal and pubic region. Pain referred from the hip joint can also be felt in the groin. It is therefore really important to have a thorough assessment to identify which structures are likely to be the source of your symptoms. This in turn will help to facilitate a pain free, successful return to sport.

Risk Factors

Previous groin injury
Reduced hip muscle strength (adductors, iliposoas, rectus abdominis)
Reduced hip range of motion
Decreased pre-season sport specific training
Altered biomechanics

Management of Acute Injuries

Like other muscle injuries, using the POLICE (Protect, Optimal Loading, Ice, Compression, Elevation)  protocol is really important. This will help to promote an optimal healing environment for the soft tissues to recover. Early mobilisation and a progress rehabilitation programme focusing on strength should begin once acute symptoms have settled down. Stretching is not recommended as this may predispose to the development of chronic tendiniopathy. In terms of return to play, this can vary between 2 weeks and 6 months and should be based on individual symptoms and not specific guidelines.

Management of Overuse Injuries

Most groin injuries are down to overuse. For these particular types of groin injuries, a

exercise demonstration

progressive exercise programe is essential. Unfortunately, most people continue to train and play until the pain prevents them from running. Early treatment and resting from play intially can facilitate a better return to sport down the line.  . Anti-inflammatories may help but continued use of these tends to make things worse in the long term. Selective strengthening exercises for hip, groin and abdominals should be the focus of treatment. Below is one example of an isometric exercise which can be used to help strengthen the groin muscle group. Place a soccer ball in between your knees, squeeze for 30 seconds and repeat 5 times.


Every individual presentation is different. Contact the clinic for more information on advice and treatment specific to your needs.

More Information 

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Chartered Physiotherapist Aiveen Lavery

Aiveen Lavery MISCP


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