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Groin Problems and Injuries (cont.)

Check Your Symptoms

Home Treatment

Home treatment measures can help relieve pain, swelling, and bruising and promote healing after a groin injury. These home treatment measures also may be helpful for noninjury problems. But if you think you may have a more severe injury, use first aid measures while you arrange to be checked by your doctor.

  • Rest. Rest and protect an injured or sore groin area for 1 to 2 weeks. Stop, change, or take a break from any activity that may be causing your pain or soreness. Do not do intense activities while you still have pain. A pulled muscle (strain) in the groin can take several weeks to heal.
  • Ice. Cold will reduce pain and swelling. Apply an ice or cold pack immediately to reduce swelling. Apply the ice or cold pack for 10 to 20 minutes, 3 or more times a day. A bag of frozen peas or corn may work as a cold pack. Protect your skin from frostbite by placing a cloth between the ice and your skin. After 48 to 72 hours, if the swelling is gone, apply warmth to the area that hurts.
  • Support. While you are recovering from a groin injury, wear underwear that supports the injured area. Females can use workout underwear or shorts with a snug fit. For males, it's best to wear jockey shorts with a snug fit rather than boxer shorts.

It may take 4 to 6 weeks or longer for a minor groin injury to heal. Stretching and strengthening exercises will help you gradually return to your normal activities.

Stretching exercises begin with range-of-motion exercises. These are controlled stretches that prevent stiffness and tendon shortening. Gently bend, straighten, and rotate your leg and hip. If you have increasing pain, slow down or stop the exercises.

You may do strengthening exercises with light weights, such as ankle weights, after the pain has decreased and your flexibility has improved.

Non–weight-bearing activities, such as swimming or cycling, may be helpful depending on the seriousness of your injury. A sports medicine health professional or trainer can advise you about fitness activities.

Medicine you can buy without a prescription
Try an over-the-counter medicine to help treat your pain:

Talk to your child's doctor before switching back and forth between doses of acetaminophen and ibuprofen. When you switch between two medicines, there is a chance your child will get too much medicine.

Safety tips
Be sure to follow these safety tips when you use an over-the-counter medicine:
  • Carefully read and follow all directions on the medicine bottle and box.
  • Do not use more than the recommended dose.
  • Do not take a medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to it in the past.
  • If you have been told to avoid a medicine, call your doctor before you take it.
  • If you are or could be pregnant, call your doctor before you take any medicine.
  • Do not give aspirin to anyone younger than age 20 unless your doctor tells you to.

Home treatment measures may also be helpful for:

Symptoms to watch for during home treatment

Call your doctor if any of the following occur during home treatment:

  • Signs of infection develop, such as fever, swelling, redness, or pus.
  • Swelling that is known to be a hernia suddenly becomes very painful.
  • A rash gets worse or has not improved.
  • Groin pain has not improved.
  • A limp or trouble walking develops or becomes worse.
  • Symptoms become more severe or frequent.
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