Like other body aches, a groin ache can be caused simply by overuse or strain, or it can be caused by a more serious condition that may require medical attention. Athletes often develop a groin ache after excessive physical activity, or activity to which the body is not accustomed. More serious muscle aches may be due to a torn or strained muscle, which requires ample rest, icing, and stretching. More serious conditions that can cause a groin ache include hernias, testicular trauma, cysts, and tumors. If pain persists for more than a few days or recurs often, a more serious condition may be the cause and a doctor should be consulted.
As muscles tire, they tend to tighten. If the groin muscle becomes tired from overuse, the muscles in that area will tighten, causing an aching or burning sensation throughout the groin and legs. Such a condition can be easily treated by resting sufficiently, applying ice to the affected area, and drinking plenty of fluids. Soreness the day after physical exertion is common and quite normal, and the sensation usually goes away after a few days of rest and light stretching. If the pain persists, the groin ache may be caused by a torn or strained muscle.
A muscle strain occurs when more force than the muscle can handle is applied to the body. The muscle can then tighten or spasm, causing a muscle strain. If the muscle fibers stretch enough that they separate from each other, a muscle tear has occurred. Both conditions can often be treated with plenty of rest, ice, and light stretching, though more serious muscle tears may have to be repaired surgically. A muscle tear will cause a groin ache that is sharply painful; bruising and swelling may occur, and the torn muscle may bunch up at one end of the muscle.
Sometimes groin pain has nothing to do with the muscles in the area at all. A groin ache can be the result of menstrual pain that radiates into the groin and even the legs, or it can be the result of testicular pain due to trauma or other conditions. More serious conditions, including cysts and tumors, can cause groin pain, though these are less likely causes than simple muscle aches. If a groin ache lasts more than a few days despite ample rest, stretching, and conditioning, it may be time to consult a doctor to eliminate more serious causes as a possibility.