If you accidentally did the splits while hitting the slopes this winter (or just trying to get down the driveway), don’t be too embarrassed, you’re not alone! Groin strains are not uncommon, especially among athletes. You’re at high risk for a groin injury if you participate in a sport that requires sudden and fast leg movement, or has a lot of contact. However, anyone can cause themselves injury if they do not take the proper steps like stretching properly before and after an especially strenuous workout. Any sudden movement, especially to the side, can cause a groin strain that can take weeks to heal.

Below are 9 steps to healing a groin strain and getting back to your daily activities.

  1. Rest. We can’t emphasize enough how important rest is. A common mistake is to rush back into your workout/activity and re-injure or cause more damage to the groin. Take at least a week to rest and re-evaluate. If you’re still finding you’re in pain take another five to seven days. While you may be hesitant to stop training, think about how hard it will be to rest even longer if you cause severe damage to the muscle and need to rest for a month or more. So lay back and enjoy that Netflix Marathon.
  2. Ice. Applying ice to the groin for 15 to 20 minutes, three to four times a day will help reduce swelling and pain and allow you to heal more comfortably.
  3. Taping. Taping can help limit swelling; you can achieve this by using kinesiology tape. There are many brands available, and if you don’t have time to see your sports medicine doctor to apply the tape for you, SpiderTech offers pre-cuts specifically designed to help ease the pain and promote healing of groin strains which are easy to use and do not require a trip to a physio or doctor.
  4. Elevate. Keep your leg elevated, preferably above the hip, to help decrease swelling and pain. Prop a pillow under your thigh to make this position more comfortable. We do not recommend using your significant other as a pillow, because they are too fidgety and need to get up too often.
  5. Test. When you feel like you are ready to return to your activity, go through all the motions necessary to participate. It is only safe to return to the activity when there is no pain doing these actions.
  6. Stretch. As the pain begins to subside you can begin doing easy stretches to aid healing. Butterfly pose is an easy position and you can use your arms and core to push yourself deeper into the pose as you heal. The butterfly is a gentle pose that shouldn’t put too much strain on your injury, however only you know your body and it is important to stop if there is any pain.
  7. Know when to stop. Don’t push yourself back to your highest intensity. Gradually work your way back to your usual activity by slowly increasing the intensity and range of motion each week.
  8. Prevention. Always warm up before physical activity, wear proper footwear, stop if you feel pain, and work to strengthen the area.
  9. See your doctor. If the pain hasn’t reduced in 14 days, or you notice anything out of the ordinary, seek medical attention. If there is any sort of lump it could be a hernia, which cannot be ignored and requires medical attention.