1. Adductor muscle strain
An adductor muscle strain refers to a tear in one of the muscles which run down the inside of the thigh. An adductor muscle strain typically occurs when the muscle is overstretched or forcibly contracted, or a combination of both. This commonly occurs during rapid changes in direction when running. The first sensation you feel when an adductor muscle is torn is sudden pain felt either along the inside of the thigh or in the groin region. At the same time you may have a sensation of something tearing. In minor tears you may be able to continue participating with minimal hindrance. However, as the muscle cools down following participation, pain may gradually worsen as bleeding and swelling around the injured muscle takes place. This may be associated with progressive tightening and stiffening of the pectoralis muscle. In more severe tears, these sensations may be exaggerated such that you are unable to continue participating immediately following injury due to excessive pain, and muscle tightness, weakness and spasm. In these cases, the pain may be so intense that you may be unable to walk without a limp.
2. Trochanteric bursitis
Trochanteric bursitis refers to inflammation and swelling of the bursa located between the point of the hip (trochanter) and the overlying gluteal muscles. A bursa is a fluid-filled sac which allows adjacent tissues to slide over one another without friction. Trochanteric bursitis occurs when the trochanteric bursa is irritated. This commonly results from excessive friction on the bursa. This can occur when you have tight gluteal muscles or poor biomechanics around the pelvis. The trochanteric bursa works to allow the gluteal muscles to slide smoothly and without friction over the point of the hip. When these muscles are excessively tight, they place increased pressure and friction on the bursa. This increases wear and tear on the bursa, causing microtrauma which, over time, can result in bursal thickening, inflammation and bursitis. Trochanteric bursitis causes pain over the outside of the hip. In some instances, this pain may radiate down the outside of the thigh as far down as the knee. This pain may be aggravated by activities involving movement of the hip such as walking, running, stair climbing, crossing your legs and getting in and out of the car. The area may be tender to touch and warm.
3. Inguinal hernia
An inguinal hernia refers to when part of the abdominal contents bulge through a defect in the wall of the abdomen. Inguinal hernias result from a weakness in the lower abdominal wall and lower abdominal muscles. When this is coupled with an increase in intra-abdominal pressure, such as during lifting, pushing, coughing, or straining during urination or defecation, a portion of the abdominal contents may be pushed through the area of weakness. Inguinal hernias produce a dragging sensation and pain on one side of the lower abdomen just above the genitals. This is usually aggravated by activities which increase intra-abdominal pressure (i.e. lifting, pushing and coughing). Depending on how much of the abdominal contents has pushed through the area of weakness in the abdominal wall, there may be a visible swelling at the site of the pain.
4. Hamstring muscle strain
A hamstring muscle strain refers to a tear in the muscle group which covers the back of the thigh. A hamstring muscle strain typically occurs when the muscle is contracted with excessive force in a stretched position. This commonly occurs during running or sprinting just before or after the foot hits the ground. In this position, the hamstring muscle group is stretched over the back of the hip and knee joints whilst it is working hard to slow down the forward swinging leg and secondly propel your body forward. When the hamstring muscle is strained, the first sensation you feel is sudden pain in the back of the thigh, due to damage to muscle fibres. At the same time you may have a ‘tearing’ sensation. With a minor strain, you may be able to continue participation with minimal restriction. However, as the muscle cools down following activity, pain may gradually increase as bleeding and swelling around the injured muscle continues. This may be associated with progressive tightening and stiffening of the hamstring muscle group. In more severe strains, these sensations may be exaggerated such that you are unable to continue participation due to excessive pain in the thigh, muscle tightness, weakness and spasm. In these cases, the pain may be so intense that you may be unable to walk without a limp. There may also be obvious swelling and a visible defect in the muscle.
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