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Pelvic/Groin Pain

Groin pain develops from an array of causes, including athletic and non-athletic injuries as well as internal factors.

The groin areas are located on each side of the body in the folds where the abdomen joins the inner, upper thighs. The pubic area is between the two groin areas. Groin pain is any discomfort in this area. The groin is also called the inguinal area.


The groin area is prone to acute pain from muscle pulls and ligament strains. Groin pain can also be caused by a variety of internal factors.

Most of the time mild groin injuries usually heal on their own, special attention may be required for severe groin pain, which can cause discomfort while walking, sitting, and even sleeping.

Radiating pain from weakened hip ligaments, called the iliolumbar ligaments, may also be a contributing factor to groin pain. Iliolumbar syndrome, also known as iliac crest pain syndrome, involves an inflammation or tear of the iliolumbar ligament. The ligament extends from the spine to the iliac crest, which is the back of the pelvis. It can lead to pain in the groin, the pelvis, the hip, the back, vaginal and rectal areas. Injury to the iliolumbar ligament can occur through repeated bending and twisting, as in a sport like volleyball or golfl. Trauma, such as a car accident, can also cause iliolumbar syndrome. The iliolumbar ligaments may also be the cause of lower back pain


Symptoms of iliolumbar syndrome include recurrent attacks of acute low back pain in the area referred to as the “multifidus triangle” – the facet joints, erector spinae muscles, lumbar fascia, quadratus lumborum and the iliolumbar ligaments. Physical exercise involving bending and twisting of the lumbar spine can bring on painful attacks. Many complain of pain only after prolonged sitting or standing or after getting out of bed.


Since groin pain has a variety of causes, treatment options will depend on the results of the examination and tests performed. Ligament and tendon injuries are a common cause of groin pain. When this is the case, complete rest, ice packs and anti-inflammatory medications are commonly recommended. These treatments may bring temporary relief, but does not repair weakened ligaments or tendons. Steroids may also be recommended.

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