Pain in the hip and groin region is a common phenomenon that can have many different causes. Typically, the pain is due to overexertion and overloading of the hip and groin muscles. Physical activities that require quick shifts in your direction of motion are especially stressful for your hip and groin muscles. This is why people who practice sports are at a greater risk of suffering from this type of pain.
Despite its prevalence among athletes and sports practitioners, hip and groin pain can be caused by many different factors that are unrelated to sports. Some of these include muscle fiber injuries, damage to the hip joint, and general wear and tear on the body as you age. Read our hip and groin diagnosis site to find more in-depth information about the different factors that can lead to pain in the hip and groin region.
Should I really exercise when I am in pain?
Yes! While you should avoid activities that aggravate your pain or strongly irritate your hip and groin muscles, it is strongly recommended that you engage in controlled rehabilitation exercises.
Controlled physical exercises will help you avoid muscle stiffness. It will also increase blood circulation and stimulate the injured tissue to heal at a faster rate. You can read more about the positive effects of rehabilitative training exercises in our blog post about exercise and pain reduction.
You might (reasonably) think that painful hip and groin muscles need rest and relaxation more than exercise. But too much inactivity can actually increase your pain in the longer term. This is because physical inactivity causes your muscles to stiffen and lose strength, which will only make your hip and groin pain worse over time.
What kind of exercises should I perform?
Not all training programs are equally effective when it comes to treating painful muscles. While exercising is generally recommended for the reasons outlined above, it can be tricky to know exactly what exercises to perform. This is because not all exercises are designed to be rehabilitative exercises and so might actually end up making your injury worse rather than stimulate healing.
Effective rehabilitative training divides exercises into four categories that each serve a different purpose. These are:
- movement exercises
- stability exercises
- strengthening exercises
- stretching exercises
You can read more about how rehabilitative training works in our blog post about the structure of effective exercise plans. Optimally, you should perform a mixture of rehabilitative exercises at least 3 times per week to reduce your pain effectively.
Below, we have selected 5 effective exercises according to these categories and explained how they help you combat your hip and groin pain. We picked the exercises from our full training program for treating hip and groin pain. The full program is featured in the Injurymap app. All our training programs are designed by expert rheumatologists and have been medically tested.
One key benefit of using Injurymap is that the app will alert you if you are about to overexert yourself or aggravate your injury. If you want to dive straight into our full program for treating hip and groin pain, you can download the Injurymap app by clicking here or on the app store icons below.
Your first step should be to regain your normal range of mobility. As the name suggests, this is exactly what movement exercises are designed to do. This type of exercise is an important first step in your rehabilitation. This is because it increases the flexibility of your damaged hip and groin muscles and prepares them for the subsequent exercises. Here are two examples of movement exercises for the hip and groin.
Stability exercises improve body balance and movement control. Pain in the hip and groin region is often indirectly caused by a lack of control of the pelvic area combined with weak lower back and/or leg muscles. The hip and groin muscles will attempt to compensate for this lack of control and strength elsewhere in the body. Over time, this will lead to pain and undue pressure on joints, muscles, and tendons in the hip and groin area. Performing the right kind of exercises will help you stabilize your pelvic area and prevent pain and injuries in the future. This is an example of a stability exercise.
Strength-building exercises are important for strengthening the damaged tissue and returning your hip and groin to a normal level of functionality. Generally, it is important to achieve sufficient mobility and stability before regularly engaging in strengthening exercises. Strength-building exercises therefore generally come later in the rehabilitative process.
The last category of exercises helps you stay flexible. This lessens the impact of both further exercise and your normal day-to-day activities on your hip and groin muscles. Stretching is also an important part of stimulating proper healing. This is an example of a stretching exercise.
Thank you for reading
This concludes our article. We hope our exercises will prove useful in your fight against your hip and groin pain. Don’t forget to share this article with friends, family, or on social media if you found it helpful!