Runners who experience groin pain after running have likely torn a ligament, tendon, or muscle.
The groin is a complex network of tendons, muscles, and ligaments that attach to the pelvis and stabilize the hips and legs with side to side motion.
In SOME select cases, it’s less serious and simply a symptom of a stride imbalance, usually due to tight hips.
While groin injuries are more common in sports like soccer, which requires frequent, sudden movements, runners are also susceptible to groin pain due to a number of reasons, including overuse and improper training.
Groin pain can present both while running and after running. It occurs in all levels of runners, from beginners to elite athletes. And I know you want to run through pain because runners are tough and maybe it will go away…don’t.
The good news is that groin injuries in runners are typically minor and with the proper care and recovery, you can be back on the road in no time.
Left untreated, however, you’re heading for a bigger issue and a much longer recovery.
Symptoms of a Groin Strain
The most common reason for a groin strain is a tear in a ligament, muscle, or tendon of the adductor muscles, which run along the upper inner thigh. The pain may appear suddenly build up slowly over time.
Common symptoms of a groin strain include:
- Pain the lower abdomen that radiates into the upper and inner thigh
- Testicular pain in men
- Perineal pain (the area in between the genitalia and the anus)
- Pain in the upper, inner thigh exacerbated by running or changing direction
- Pain with sneezing, coughing, or engaging the abs
- Pain felt after running, especially the following morning
Causes of Groin Pain after Running
Adductor strains are somewhat common in trail runners or road runners who head out for a trail run for the first time. Runners used to road running who head out for a trail run may experience adductor pain afterward.
For the typical runner, groin pain is caused by a number of factors, the most common being:
Weak hips and glutes
Runners are notorious for not supplementing their running with strength and this is what leads to injuries!
This causes imbalances in our hips and glutes that affect our gait. Weak glutes force your hips to sort of drag your leg forward instead of pushing off from the forefoot.
Overstriding during speed workouts can lead to groin injuries. Runners tend to think that long strides mean faster pace, however, all it really does is slow you down and lead to injury. The extended leg is straight and stiff and affects the body’s ability to cushion the force from landing.