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Causes of Groin Pain

There could be various causes of groin pain due to this condition's association with so many medical conditions.
Simply defined, the groin refers to the area where the inner and upper thigh meets the lower abdomen, on either side of the body. There could be many factors which might give rise to mild to severe groin pain. These might be internal or external. The severity of the condition depends on what has caused it.

Conditions Associated with Groin Pain

Speaking of the most common cause of groin pain in women and men, it is strain of muscles, tendons or ligaments. Now, this could be caused by sports like hockey, soccer, football, marathon, etc, Certain work-related activities, vehicle accidents, and household work could also be some causes. In some people, the pain can occur immediately after an injury, while for some, it may take a few days to surface. Groin pain during pregnancy is also a common issue among expecting mothers. This period causes slackness of the pelvic joints thus, the pain. Now, below is a list, that has the names of some of the most common medical conditions, which directly or indirectly cause groin problems thus, the pain.
  • Bursitis (hip): occurs when the bursa at the hip gets inflamed.
  • Epididymitis: is a tube that carries sperm to vas┬ádeferens (duct that carries sperm from epididymitis for ejaculation). When this tubes suffers inflammation, it is known as epididymitis.
  • Inflammation or injury within the scrotum can also result in groin pain.
  • Inguinal hernia: hernia associated with the groin area.
  • Kidney stones: is characterized by the formation of calculus in the kidneys. Calculus is nothing but small, hard deposits of minerals.
  • Mumps: a viral infection that causes inflammation of the salivary glands.
  • Orchitis: causes one or both testicles to get inflamed.
  • Retractile testicle: results in the testicles moving up and down. Although this condition causes groin pain mostly in adult males, it occurs in children who are born prematurely too.
  • Osteoarthritis: a chronic form of arthritis that worsens with time.
  • Pinched nerve in the groin: caused due to any damage to the groin area can lead to groin pain.
  • Sciatica: affects the nerve that runs right from the spinal cord to the buttocks, hip and back of the legs. So any pain in this nerve can easily radiate to the groin area.
  • Sprains and strains: or damage caused to ligaments, also tearing of muscles or tendons results in groin pain.
  • Swollen lymph nodes: lymph nodes in the groin area may swell up in response to bacterial, viral or parasitic infections. The same can also be caused due autoimmune disorders, or certain types of cancer.
  • Tendinitis: results in groin pain when the tendon that connects muscles to bones in the groin area, get swollen.
  • Testicular cancer: Typically, the cancer affects one testicle, and the condition in itself is a rare occurrence.
  • Testicular torsion: can cause severe pain in the testicles and the groin area as a whole. What happens is, due to some reasons, a testicle rotates or gets twisted.
  • Urinary tract infection: is another cause of painful groin in women. It refers to a bacterial infection that begins in the urinary tract.
  • Varicocele: veins within the scrotum may get dilated, causing intense pain.
As you can infer from the above list of conditions, groin pain is not a condition in itself, but a symptom. But it might be accompanied by some other symptoms such as pain in the back, chest and abdominal area. Testicular pain might also be present, and so may fever, chills, nausea, etc.

To conclude, treatment of groin pain depends upon the underlying cause of the problem. At home, taking rest (which may mean avoiding activities which aggravate the pain), using ice compression, and wearing clothes such as jockey shorts to support the injured area, prove helpful. 4 to 6 weeks is generally the healing period. Consulting a physiotherapist for stretching and strengthening exercises may also help.
By Rajib Singha
Published: 3/23/2011
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