Sharp pain in groin or down the leg can be an indication of groin strain or sports hernia. Though both the problems have similar symptoms, their causes and treatments are different. Groin strain is curable by physical exercises, whereas for sports hernia, the doctor might recommend a hernia surgery, especially in severe cases. If you suspect to have either of these injuries, it is important to see a doctor to determine the real cause of the problem. The blog post gives an overview of the basic difference between both the problems.

Groin Strain


Groin strain, in most cases, occurs when an individual performs a high speed leg movement. The pain is sharp and felt in groin and back or front of the hip. When body is unable to handle too much of stress, it results in muscle strain, which can be more or less severe. Adductor muscles are the most common types of muscles involved in groin strains. The less severe groin strains affect hip or abdominal muscles.


Each individual might experience a different symptoms in groin strain:

  • Pain when moving legs
  • Pain when moving from sitting to standing position
  • Pain when standing on one leg
  • Pain when moving from sitting to standing position


Ice packs can provide some relief from pain, but if you don’t treat the injury properly, there are chances of re-injury. The doctor performs physical examination to diagnose the problem and prescribes a treatment based on the strength, balance, and range of motion tests. While physical therapy helps in treatment of groin strain, an early therapy focuses on pain reduction and promoting healing of the area. The therapist may also recommend some specific exercises after monitoring the progress.

Sports Hernia


Sports hernia occurs during high speed sports, such as basketball, soccer, and football, where an individual quickly changes the direction or rotates and twists the body. The injury occurs at the base of abdominal muscles without a bulge or herniation in the area.

 Individual with sports hernia might have following symptoms:

  • Pain in lower abdomen
  • Pain in groin
  • Chronic pain in groin only felt during exertion
  • Pain during laughing, coughing, and sneezing


The physical therapist might have similar goals that of a groin strain to treat sports hernia, but the approach would be different. The therapist may use tissue massage and similar procedures to promote healing in the injured area. The course of treatment usually involves low load exercises for strengthening of abdominal tissues and muscles at the initial stage and then targeting to hip muscles and core muscles to provide stability to pelvis.

Seeking Medical Help

The doctor, in both the cases, examines the body to accurately diagnose the problem and recommend the treatment. The patient would most likely be asked to do sit-up or flex the trunk against resistance. Both groin strain and sports hernia have similar symptoms, the doctor might recommend an Xray or MRI to confirm the disease. When you are experiencing a problem while moving legs or pain in the groin area, it is better to consult a reputable doctor to diagnose the cause without a delay. That’s where we can help.

Perth Surgical and Bariatrics has a team of nationally recognized practitioners to help patients get back to normal life quickly. Feel free to consult our experts for the treatment of groin strain, sports hernia, or any other similar problem. Call us at 08 9370 9686 to book an appointment.