Groin pain Part 10a: Self treatment tips, position and landmarks

Groin pain, Healing, Muscle information, Self-treatment tips / Tuesday, August 11th, 2009

This is a series on groin pain. If you missed the beginning, go back to Part 1.

If you don’t have access to a good therapist, you can do a lot for yourself. Treating this area can be sensitive, but be courageous and be gentle and you can make a lot of progress in relieving your own groin pain. These are some of the suggestions I give patients in my Boston area Neuromuscular Therapy center for self-treatment between appointments.

First let’s get you into a good position and identify a few landmarks. Sit in a comfortable chair where you can lean back a bit. Draw one leg up with a bent knee and your foot on the seat with your knee flopped out to the side. If you have an arm on the chair to rest your knee against, that’s ideal. Alternatively tuck the ankle of the leg you’re treating under your other thigh. You may need a pillow under your knee for support.

Landmarks: Locate the gracilis muscle. It’s the one that feels like a bone attaching at your crotch. If you have large thighs, you can “muscle-test” by raising your knee up to feel it contract. The second landmark is just above the gracilis attachment on your pubic bone. There’s a knob of bone there called the pubic tubercle. (You have one on both sides of the pubic bone.) That’s where the inguinal ligament attaches. The other end of the ligament (marked by the crease in your thigh) is the other landmark called the ASIS (Anterior Superior Iliac Spine) of the hip bone. It’s the sharp right-angled bony point at the front of your hip bone. If you put your hands on your hips with your fingers facing the front, you should feel that angle with your fingers. The ischial tuberosity is the bone you sit on. The thigh bone is called the femur. It starts in your hip socket and angles out to the bony bump you feel on the outer thigh (greater trochanter), then it angles inward diagonally to the dogbone knobs on your your knee. Using those landmarks, you can find all the muscles that affect the groin.

The next few posts will be on self-treatment of specific muscles.