Treatment of Groin Pain in Women
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 lies between the two groin areas. Groin pain is any discomfort in the groin area. The groin is also called the inguinal area.
The groin area is prone to acute injury when involved in rigorous activities. Muscle pulls and ligament strains are also common. Groin pain can also be caused by a number of internal factors.
While mild groin injuries tend to heal on their own, special medical attention is required for cases that lead to severe groin pain, which can cause a lot of discomfort while walking, sitting, and even sleeping.
Causes of groin pain in women
Groin pain is most commonly caused by ligament injury or weakness, and is especially common in athletes in various sports. For example, hyperextension of the groin during an athletic event or extreme stretching, can lead to a strain or sprain of the groin.
Groin pain in women can be more chronic, and worsen over time, such as with overuse injuries when the same activity is repeated day after day. Or, it can be acute, and occur immediately after an injury such as a direct blow or a fall, or from turning the leg in an abnormal position. High impact falls and blows directed at the groin area cause severe groin pain. Physical assault may also be the cause of groin pain.
Referral or radiating pain from lax hip ligaments, called the iliolumbar ligaments, may also be a contributing factor to a woman’s groin. The referral patterns of the iliolumbar ligament are to the groin, vagina, and inner thigh. Groin pain may also be caused by ligament laxity in the pubic symphysis (the pubic joint ligament). Bursitis of the hip joint can cause pain that radiates to the groin. Pain or injury in other body parts may radiate toward the groin, and thereby cause pain. For instance, the pain caused by a pulled back, thigh or leg muscle, and ligament injury, may radiate towards the groin and result in pain. Spine problems in the back near the lower ribs can pinch the nerves that travel through the groin area and cause groin and thigh pain. Pulled muscles, ligaments, or tendons in the leg may cause symptoms in the groin. Stressed ligaments or tendon fibers may cause female groin pain.
Groin pains are experienced during various phases of pregnancy, as the hormonal changes cause slackness in the pelvic joint. Some women experience pain in the lower back, genital area, upper thighs and hip joints.
In women, groin pain can be caused by certain medical conditions like an inguinal hernia, kidney stones, ovarian cysts, bacterial infections, swollen lymph nodes, sexually transmitted diseases, urinary tract infections, infections of the large intestine, pelvic inflammatory disease, ringworm, yeast infection, cellulitis, arthritis, and osteitis pubis. Women may experience groin pain due to a condition of the genitals or reproductive organs.
Common treatment for groin pain in women
Treatment then will depend on the results of the examination and tests performed. The physician will examine the patient to diagnose or rule out such things as cysts, hernias, swollen lymph nodes, back or hip issues, and other abnormalities. Radiologic exams, blood tests, and/or urine tests also may be performed depending on the possible condition. In certain cases, such as the presence of ovarian cysts or an inguinal hernia, surgery may be required.
As mentioned previously, ligament and tendon injuries are a common cause of groin pain. When this is the case, complete rest, applications of ice, and anti-inflammatory medications are frequently the treatment recommendations. Although this treatment approach may bring temporary relief, it does not repair weakened ligaments or tendons. Steroids may also be recommended. Both steroids and anti-inflammatory medications have been shown to inhibit the healing process of soft tissues and accelerate degeneration.
Prolotherapy for groin pain in women
Instead of using medications such as anti-inflammatory or steroid medications which can lead to degeneration, a more beneficial treatment would be to regenerate the ligament and/or tendon damage using Prolotherapy.
We have discussed that groin pains are often the result of referral pain from the hip and other regions of the body. Ligament laxity of the iliolumbar ligaments of the hip and the ligaments of the pubic symphysis joint are the most common ligaments involved in referral pain to the groin. These ligaments can be strengthened with Prolotherapy. The Prolotherapy specialist understands the referral patterns of these ligaments and will palpate the various areas that may be involved. A good history from the patient regarding the injury and description of the pain along with the palpation will help the Prolotherapist to locate the involved ligaments and tender areas and make the appropriate diagnosis. There are times when the entire pelvic floor is involved and may need to be treated. This again is due to the fact that laxity in one area of the pelvis often leads to laxity or pain or weakness in another area of the pelvis. Back pain can also cause pain in the groin, and if the back is involved, the sacroiliac joint at the back of the pelvic bone may be involved. Prolotherapy treatments may relieve the unresolved back pain, as well as abdominal or inner leg pain, because they are all part of the referral pain pattern of the ligaments involved.
When treating groin pain in women, Prolotherapy can help heal injured ligaments that may be referring pain to the groin. Prolotherapy works by initiating a mild inflammatory response in the treated area by injecting a solution that includes D-glucose. D-glucose is the normal sugar in the body, and when injected activates the immune system. The body’s normal healing inflammatory reaction boosts the blood flow to the area and stimulates the release of immune cells to the ligaments being treated. These cells are natural reparative cells, which will cause regeneration and repair of the weakened ligaments. Once the ligaments are strengthened, the referral pain will stop, and the groin pain will resolve.