Skip to content
Home » Spiritual Meaning Of Groin Pain

Spiritual Meaning Of Groin Pain

Groin pain can have many causes and therefore the treatment differs accordingly. Groin pain is not just the name of a body part, but also describes a particular area in the human body. Groin is a common term used in everyday language taking the reference from the “inside leg” and “below the belly button” area which includes thigh, pelvic region and loins.

Groin pain is a condition characterized by severe pain in the groin which can greatly reduce a person’s quality of life. Groin pain affects men and women alike and, in women, it may be caused by a number of different conditions, including:

The groin is a place of great power and potential. It is a gateway to the body’s energy, and therefore it is also a part of the body that can become blocked if you are not taking care of yourself.

This blockage may show up as groin pain or discomfort, which can be caused by any number of things: stress, lack of sleep, excess caffeine intake, low blood sugar levels from fasting or skipping meals, etc.

If you experience groin pain that lasts for more than 24 hours or is accompanied by swelling or discoloration around the area, please see your doctor immediately.

The groin is a place of rest and relaxation. It is a place that you can go to when you want to relax, but also a place that you can go to when you need to rest and recover. The groin can be compared to a garden, because it is a place where your body grows and develops.

Spiritual Meaning Of Pain In Body Parts: 20 Critical Issues

Metaphysical pain chart

A metaphysical pain chart is ‍a tool used to ​understand the emotional and spiritual meanings associated with⁣ physical pain and discomfort in various parts of the body. It aims to ⁢provide insights into the deeper aspects of one’s being and the interconnectedness between mind, body, and spirit.

When it ⁢comes to the groin area, the metaphysical pain chart suggests that ​groin⁤ pain may reflect‍ issues related to sexuality, creativity, and self-expression.

For ‌example, it indicates that pain in the right side of the groin may point towards difficulties in asserting one’s sexual‌ desires or expressing oneself creatively. On the other hand, pain in the left side of the groin⁢ may signify⁣ challenges in receiving or connecting with ‍others on an emotional​ level.

Overall, the metaphysical pain chart serves as‍ a ​guide to explore the spiritual significance behind physical‌ discomfort and offers ​insights for personal growth ‌and‌ healing.

Spiritual Meaning of ⁤pain in Body Parts

Pain in different body ​parts can hold spiritual meanings that go beyond physical sensations. Each area of the ⁢body is believed to have a symbolic connection to certain emotions,‌ experiences, or energetic imbalances.

The groin, specifically, is associated with the energetic flow and balance of the sacral chakra, which governs sexual energy, creativity, and emotions. Therefore, ⁢pain in the groin area may indicate ‍a⁣ disruption ⁢or congestion in this energy center, affecting various aspects of life.

From a spiritual perspective, pain in ‍the groin area may represent:

  • Blocked ⁤or unfulfilled ‌sexual⁤ desires
  • Repression of creative expression
  • Emotional blockages or ‍difficulties in forming intimate connections
  • Shame,‍ guilt, or fear ⁣associated with ​sexuality
  • Imbalances in​ the masculine and feminine energies within oneself

By addressing ​and exploring ⁤these underlying spiritual meanings, individuals can embark ⁣on a⁢ journey​ of healing and transformation, seeking a⁤ harmonious integration of their physical, emotional, and spiritual ⁢selves.

In this sense, groin pain could mean that something in your life isn’t growing like it should be. Maybe it’s not developing at the rate that you want it to or maybe it’s not at all what you expected it would be.

Groin pain could also mean that something has been taken away from you without warning or explanation—like if someone were to steal your garden while you were asleep.

Spiritual Meaning Of Groin Pain

Groin pain describes pain in the lower abdomen, where the leg meets the pelvis. Muscle strain is the most common cause of groin pain in adults, notably among athletes and people assigned male at birth.1

Groin pain may vary in how it is experienced, however, and there are other groin pain causes apart from muscle injury. Diagnosis and treatment will depend on the symptoms and underlying cause, as well as whether the pain affects a child or adult, or males or females.

This article discusses the possible causes, diagnosis, and treatment of groin pain in adults.

Groin pain describes pain in the lower abdomen, where the leg meets the pelvis. Muscle strain is the most common cause of groin pain in adults, notably among athletes and people assigned male at birth.1 Groin pain may vary in how it is experienced, however, and there are other groin pain causes apart from muscle injury. Diagnosis and treatment will depend on the symptoms and underlying cause, as well as whether the pain affects a child or adult, or males or females. This article discusses the possible causes, diagnosis, and treatment of groin pain in adults.

Groin Pain: Understanding the Spiritual Meaning

Groin pain is a common ailment that can affect individuals of all ages and backgrounds. While the physical causes of groin pain are well-documented, the spiritual implications of this discomfort are often overlooked. In many spiritual traditions, the body is seen as a reflection of the soul, and pain or illness in a particular area may be indicative of deeper spiritual issues. Below are some possible spiritual meanings of groin pain:

1. Root Chakra Imbalance

The groin area is associated with the root chakra, which is responsible for our sense of security, stability, and survival. Groin pain may indicate an imbalance in this energy center, suggesting that the individual may be struggling with feelings of insecurity or fear. By addressing these emotional issues, the physical pain in the groin area may be alleviated.

2. Repressed Creativity

Some spiritual practices believe that the groin area is linked to creativity and sensuality. Groin pain could be a sign that the individual is suppressing their creative impulses or denying themselves pleasure. By embracing their creative side and allowing themselves to experience joy and pleasure, the groin pain may dissipate.

3. Emotional Burdens

In some cultures, the groin area is associated with the storage of emotional baggage and unprocessed trauma. Groin pain may be a signal that the individual is carrying emotional burdens that need to be addressed and released. Through therapy, meditation, or other healing practices, the individual can work through their emotional issues and find relief from the pain.

4. Lack of Grounding

The groin area is also connected to our connection to the earth and our sense of grounding. Groin pain may indicate that the individual is feeling unmoored or disconnected from their roots. By spending time in nature, practicing mindfulness, or engaging in grounding exercises, the individual may find relief from the pain and regain a sense of stability.

According to Philippians 4:6-7, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Spiritual Meaning Explanation
Root Chakra Imbalance Emotional issues of insecurity and fear may be causing the groin pain.
Repressed Creativity Denial of creative impulses and pleasure could manifest as groin pain.
Emotional Burdens Unprocessed trauma and emotional baggage may be stored in the groin area.
Lack of Grounding Feelings of being ungrounded and disconnected from roots may cause groin pain.

What Do Groin Pains Mean

The most common cause of groin pain is a muscle, tendon or ligament strain, particularly in athletes who play sports such as hockey, soccer and football. Groin pain might occur immediately after an injury, or pain might come on gradually over a period of weeks or even months. Groin pain might be worsened by continued use of the injured area.

Less commonly, a bone injury or fracture, a hernia, or even kidney stones might cause groin pain. Although testicle pain and groin pain are different, a testicle condition can sometimes cause pain that spreads to the groin area.

Direct and indirect causes of groin pain can include:

Avascular necrosis (osteonecrosis) (death of bone tissue due to limited blood flow)
Avulsion fracture (ligament or tendon pulled from the bone)
Bursitis (joint inflammation)
Epididymitis (testicle inflammation)
Hydrocele (fluid buildup that causes swelling of the scrotum)
Inguinal hernia
Kidney stones
Muscle strains
Orchitis (inflamed testicle)
Osteoarthritis (disease causing the breakdown of joints)
Pinched nerve
Piriformis syndrome
Retractile testicle (testicle that moves between the scrotum and abdomen)
Scrotal masses
Spermatocele (fluid buildup in the testicle)
Stress fractures
Swollen lymph nodes
Testicular cancer
Testicular torsion (twisted testicle)
Urinary tract infection (UTI)
Varicocele (enlarged veins in the scrotum)

Groin Spiritual Meaning

Our bodies are then one dimension to our reality which is capable of reflecting and expressing the other dimensions of our reality. In modern medicine we now find a class of disease and study which is known as Psychogenic medicine or how mental based issues manifest and express through the body as conditions or illness. Likewise the field of psychosomatic medicine is the recognition of how our emotions, especially when repressed, can likewise trigger bodily illness and conditions.

Last month we considered how the relationship we have between our bodies and our mind, and the part our emotions play in mediating this interconnecting reality and in playing a primary part in the relatedness that an adult person tends to have with others. This month we look at some of how the blocked and distorted thinking and emotions can wreak havoc in the bodymind.

When the bodymind system becomes out of balance it will seek to signal that reality through one of its pathways or channels. We have these channels in both somatic or bodily directions as well as in our emotional, mental and energetic planes of existence. Our bodies give us vital clues as to the unresolved emotional and mental issues we carry.

There appears to be a logic, a system, or an operating system in our subconscious being, or possibly at the genetic level, which has a set or ordering principles by which certain issues manifest in certain ways and in certain parts of the body according to these rules.

For instance it can be said broadly but definitely that the right side of the body manifests issues to do with the masculine principle. This may be related to our own self beliefs around our masculine parts of our self identity, or it could be woundings, hurts and traumas inflicted upon us throughout our childhood by male caregivers. Our back is the outwardly projecting masculine defensive covering that protected us when we were hunching and loping in our evolution and serves to hold and express rage, anger, and other masculine feelings.

Likewise the left side of the body contains and holds the same but from the feminine aspect of ourself, and from the feminine caregivers who raised and influenced us. Likewise the front of the body being exposed and vulnerable from us having stood upright in our evolution now exposes our receptive vulnerable feminine feelings of love, eros, grief and tenderness through our chest, abdomen and frontal belly/groin region.

This primary map starts to show where there may lie subconscious beliefs, conclusions, attitudes and feelings about the Self, whether that be self-forgiveness, self-hatred, or self acceptance/love.  We know that the body is often covered up by clothing as a form of defence but we can also through anxiety also start to put on weight to form a protective blanket around ourself.

We find this protective putting on weight has two primary drivers emanating from the subconscious which creates this outcome. Firstly there are those who were not held and nurtured enough as children who have unresolved needs of nurturance and being held. This abandonment and deprivation issue can be compensated  by the body putting on a soft puppy fat covering around the trunk and limbs of the body which creates a form of self-nurturance.

The second version is the defensive posture caused by not wanting the body to be seen or to be seen to be attractive. This stance is not uncommon with childhood and adult sexual abuse survivors but it is also true that the other extreme may manifest where the body become sexualised, is dressed and shown provocatively, and the sexual embodied nature of the person over-develops.

Certain muscular and postural conditions can also develop which serve as blocks to the formation and flowing discharge of painful or unacceptable emotions. We often see tight and chronic muscles constricting the breathing of the diaphragm, chest or belly regions, whilst the neck, and trapezius muscles emanating from the occipital at the back of the head, clamp and restrain the expression of sobbing, of anger, and create a stiff or rigid form of countenance to these parts of the body.

Chronic tensions in musculature in the back and neck will often see the resulting formation of migraine headaches where the referred pain emanates in the frontalis muscle or front forehead area, or behind the eyes, or across the face or in the head.  Chronic muscular holdings in the oral Masseter and TMJ muscles are associated with bruxism or grinding of the teeth at night.

The cause of bruxism is often found to be a block against speaking up, or speaking the truth, or releasing anger verbally, for the fear of punishment or rejection that is held as a belief in the subconscious. Likewise the baby that had early oral feeding frustrations with the mother may develop a block to longing for the suckling by creating an oral based block, which will later be seen in an over bite, and underbite, weak chin, or bruxism.

Given we are more than just a body as we have feelings and emotions which cannot just be ascribed to our bodies then other forces may also cause us illness in the body. Many people feel within themselves the movement of what they describe as spirit. This is cross-cultural and has been reported in all ages by people of all walks of life.

That reality is what is called a personal aspect of spirit which some might call a soul. In Shamanic and numerous spiritual traditions we are warned of a form of physical illness in the body which merely is a representation of “soul sickness” or spiritual sickness.

This aspect of the human condition cannot be empirically measured nor found but the clinical effects of a spiritual based intervention as a remedy to such illness has long been observed as a real and tangible solution for those afflicted in this way. This is a contentious area as psychology relegates religion and spirituality to the domain of false belief.

While doing so psychological studies all point to the authentic adoption of a spiritual path or religious adherence as being a strong creator of resilience and positive mental, physical and emotional health in believers. It is often denounced as a sort of placebo effect but whatever the cause its effect is very real in the body of those who suffer spiritual emptiness, guilt or value conflicts.

Depression is one of those bodymind illnesses which can reflect the inner emptiness of the person who has lost meaning and purpose in their life and now suffers bodily as a result. In clinical practice I find that depression them amplifies the negative beliefs that grow and fill the void of the emptiness within.

In this way I notice that human beings are a vessel which is self filling and finds its own equilibrium. Even in a developed sense of emptiness something will in-flow to fill the void, whether that be a set of negative beliefs, a black mood, an addiction, or a despair. We are always energetically flowing whilst alive and so we are always in the ocean of feelings even when we would be emotionally numb to them.

The in-filling process of negatively charged moods, emotions and beliefs is a poisonous turn for the human condition. I have noticed that cancer sufferers all have previously adopted a negative belief system that resonates somehow to the theme ” If I have needs you will abandon me”, or “I am not OK as I am and so are not lovable”. These beliefs have also been noted by other writers are somehow being potential cancer causing agent, linked to self negation or self hatred.

It is as if we attack ourself through turning our anger inward against ourself. We know that anger is a “fight or flight” emotional stance and that the Autonomic System “fight or flight” stance releases a series of “fight or flight” hormones and substances into the body which are designed for burst mode release only.

If we sustain this mode of being and living these same substances become the basis for a form of toxification of our bodymind system and have been linked long term to other medical conditions such as Arterialscolosis, Heart Attacks, Insulin Diabetes issues, and weight gain. Cancer is thought to have a possible link to these same conditions.

The other aspect of the cancer issue is the many cancer patients had a prior history of depression leading into the time when they were diagnosed with cancer. The linked histories appear significant when one considers the other aspects of how depression affects body chemistry changes as mentioned.

The overall issue is how we express, suppress or have repressed our emotional life into our bodies. In our society we yet do not fully understand the significant role of emotional toxicity to our physical, mental and emotional health. It is not uncommon for clients to abandon therapy at the thought of working with their emotions despite the fact they have tried everything else as therapy, or they face significant illness or life relationship issues.

No one likes to expose and express emotional states like shame, guilt, grief, anger and rage. Image and being in control is now more important for many than healing. Likewise I get clients who have just done a 3 to 6 month bodily detox, or whom have done colonics for 6 months, or whom has a strict regime of good foods, nutrients, and yoga/exercise. However their blindspot is the dimension of emotions and how they link to their thoughts and behaviours.

For some people they have completely disowned their emotional life and do not see the point to re-connecting to it for any reason. We each have a choice of expression or repression in this area of our life and repression by ourself, or the suppression by another of our voice, our truth, or our emotions, is a precursor to depression. The key words of that sentence even have a linked construct (expression/repression/suppression/depression).

Emotions are considered by neuroscientists as one of the 5 core organisers of experience and reality in the bodymind. They are not like our wisdom teeth which are to be pulled out as we grow up as they get in the way or cause us inconvenience. Emotions are a vital part of moment-to-moment experience that creates the basis to feel alive and find that elusive state of happiness, which in and of itself is at the end of the day both a state of being and a core emotion.

Part of the 4 noble truths of Buddhism is that we all are motivated away from suffering and towards happiness or those things which we perceive will bring us either. It is our ignorance that sets us up to fail to discern the truth of what is the true basis of each. The abandonment of one’s emotions as a form of “away motivation” will just as likely lead us into the jaws of suffering as one of life’s cruel tricks.

Our bodies are story boards of our life journey from the moment of conception till this moment. This ongoing process of storyboarding occurs through the agency of our emotions mediated through our nervous systems, brain, and other pathways. We each are the artist and the canvas to our own story.

Emotions are the colour in the palette which bring our story alive. We are a drab and grey picture when we lose or disown that emotional part of ourself. Worse still this choice or outcome invites illness and issues into the canvas of our body that may create serious life issues if not dealt with at an emotional level.

At the end of the day it is our choice. There is an emerging body of statistics that finds correlation between lifestyle choices and the formation of certain illness types as a result of those choices, and what those choices represent as compensations for the other disowned or neglected part of the self. We cannot ignore this new information.

The science of Epigenetics reveals how the epigenetic effect creates our bodily outcome and our bodies are a storyboard of our Epigenetic response to the forces and influences of the time in the womb, at birth, and through the rest of our lives as a dynamic ongoing process until our death.

The bodymind is “plastic” to use a term borrowed from neuroscience. That means while our basic bodily structure is pretty much set the underlying Epigenetic mechanisms inside every cell are still at work in every moment. It is here that we can change the Epigenetic expression of our cells so the basis for the self comes from a DNA stance of wellness and not trauma or illness.

In other words we are in every moment in a relationship to ourself that we engage with our mind, body, thoughts, feelings and spirit. We should understand this point carefully and consider how what I think, what I feel, what I watch, listen to or engage with via proximity, contact and bonding, affects myself in ways not necessarily apparent, but real all the same.

Working on the relationship you are having with yourself via your emotional states and its expression via the belief systems that you have taken on over time, is a valuable gift of self love that you can give yourself. People with major illness or minor recurring illnesses would be recommended to investigate the possible emotional and mental cause of their symptoms.

A trained bodymind psychotherapist is well suited to this work and the results can literally be life saving, whether that be defined in terms of actual life or in terms of one’s quality of life.

Possible Causes of Groin Pain

There are many unique causes of groin pain, and precisely where your groin pain is located will depend on the cause. It’s important to see a healthcare provider, because a diagnosis will help to ensure you get the right treatment for your specific condition.

Groin pain also can vary in how it is experienced. It can be mild or severe. It may come on slowly or suddenly. It can be dull, sharp, throbbing, or even burning.


Most of the time, groin pain is caused by muscle strain. But there are other common causes as well.

Muscle Strain

Groin strain is also called a pulled groin muscle. This is often an athletic injury. It may also happen when an awkward movement of the hip joint leads to stretching or tearing of the inner thigh muscles, and groin pain after hip replacement is a common complication.2

A pulled groin muscle usually causes sharp, sudden pain. The cause of the pain is often clear. Groin strain may also lead to inner thigh muscle spasms and leg weakness.

Inguinal Hernia

An inguinal hernia can also cause groin pain. This is when fatty tissue or the intestines push through a weak or torn area in the abdominal wall. It may be caused by repetitive strain, or even frequent and forceful coughing.3

People with inguinal hernia often report a tugging sensation in the groin area, sometimes with a dull groin pain with exertion, such as when lifting things.

Sometimes there is a visible bulge in the groin, but it’s possible to have an inguinal hernia that causes no symptoms at all.

Kidney Stone

A kidney stone is a small clump of minerals that forms inside your kidney. It may cause waves of pain as it passes through the urinary tract.4

The pain can range from mild to severe. It often occurs between your ribs and hips, or in the lower abdomen. In both cases, the pain often extends toward the groin.

In addition to pain, kidney stones can cause other symptoms, including:

  • Blood in the urine
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Pain with urination
  • Urge to urinate

Hip Osteoarthritis

The hip joint is located between the top of the thigh bone and the pelvis. Arthritis of the hip joint occurs when the usually smooth hip joint is worn away.5

When the joint wears down, leg movements become painful and stiff. Like other forms of arthritis, the pain gets worse with activity and better with rest.

Besides pain, the hip joint may feel stiff. A popping noise may be heard during movement. There may also be a popping sensation.

Femoral Acetabular Impingement

Femoral acetabular impingement (FAI) is thought of as an early stage of hip arthritis.6

Hard growths called bone spurs develop around the ball and socket of the hip joint. This ends up restricting your hip’s movement.

FAI also causes pain in the groin or the outside of the hips. The pain usually happens as you move the joint to its limit. It may range from a dull ache to a sharp, stabbing sensation.

Hip Labrum Tear

The labrum of the hip joint is a layer of cartilage. This firm, flexible tissue wraps around the ball of the ball-and-socket hip joint.

A hip labrum tear can cause pain in the groin or buttocks. The pain is usually sharp and can be felt during certain hip movements.Sometimes. people may also feel a catching and popping sensation in the hip.

Hip Fracture

A hip fracture is a bone break in the upper quarter of the thigh bone. Falls are the most common causes of hip fracture. A direct blow to the hip can also cause these breaks.

Fractures may also happen because of osteoporosis, a condition that causes the bones to become brittle. Cancer and stress injury are other potential causes.

Hip fracture pain is often felt in the groin. It is significantly worsened when you try to flex or rotate the hip.

Hip Osteonecrosis

Osteonecrosis is sometimes called avascular necrosis. This condition causes bone cells to die from lack of blood supply.7 When this happens in the hip joint, bone cells begin to collapse. This causes the hip joint to break down.

The first symptom of the condition is usually a dull aching or throbbing pain. It first appears in the groin or buttock area. As the condition progresses, it becomes hard to put weight on the hip. This can lead to limping.

Sports Hernia

A sports hernia is an unusual injury. It is usually diagnosed in soccer and hockey players. It may be caused by a subtle weakening of the abdominal wall.8

A sports hernia causes pain directly over the front of the lower abdomen/groin area. It can be difficult to diagnose. The treatment is usually rest or surgery.

What Can Cause Groin Pain in Women?

Muscle strain is common and hernias are one possibility. With biological females, hernias occur deeper within the body. They cause chronic pelvic pain that’s often misdiagnosed as another condition, such as endometriosis. Although rare, groin pain during pregnancy also may be caused by a hernia.9 Kidney stones and some cancers are among the more serious groin pain causes.

Less Common

Other causes of groin pain are less common, but may be serious.

Testicular Conditions

Testicular conditions may cause groin pain. These include:

  • Epididymitis: This is inflammation of the epididymis, a duct located at the back of the testes. The pain may begin in the groin and move to the testicle. Swelling of the testicle may occur. Less commonly, there may be fever and chills. This condition is often caused by a sexually transmitted infection.
  • Testicular torsion: This urgent concern occurs when the structure that carries nerves to the testicles twists. This causes severe and sudden groin and testicle pain.

Nerve Problem

A pinched nerve in the lower spine may cause groin pain. Numbness and tingling in the groin area may also happen.10 This condition is called lumbar radiculopathy.

Direct pressure on a nerve (nerve entrapment) may cause burning or stabbing groin pain, as well as middle-thigh pain. People with this condition may also have numbness and tingling.

Abdominal or Pelvic Conditions

Certain abdominal conditions may cause pain that seems like it is coming from the groin. These conditions include:

  • Diverticulitis, an inflammatory condition of the bowel
  • Abdominal aortic aneurysm, when part of the aorta, a major blood vessel, becomes enlarged
  • Pelvic conditions such as ovarian cysts, small pockets of fluid that form on or in the ovaries

Osteitis Pubis

Osteitis pubis is an inflammatory condition. It affects the pubic symphysis, the joint that connects your two pubic bones.11

This condition may cause a dull, aching pain in the groin and pelvis. It can occur in athletes and non-athletes. It is more common in people with certain things in their medical history, such as:

  • Inflammatory arthritis
  • Pregnancy
  • Pelvic injury
  • Pelvic surgery

Less common causes of groin pain include testicular conditions, which can be serious and require immediate medical attention. Nerve problems and abdominal or pelvic conditions like diverticulitis, ovarian cysts, and joint conditions can also cause groin pain.


These conditions are rare, but your healthcare provider may consider them if you have groin pain that cannot otherwise be explained.

Infected Joint

Rarely, the hip joint may become infected. This is most common in people over age 80. It can also happen in people with certain medical conditions/circumstances, such as:

  • Diabetes mellitus, a condition that causes high blood sugar
  • Rheumatoid arthritis, an inflammatory condition of the joints
  • Recent joint surgery
  • Hip or knee replacement

This condition causes severe groin pain, especially with leg movement. You may also have fever, swelling, warmth, and redness around the hip.


Very rarely, a tumor in a muscle or bone may cause groin pain. This is especially true if the tumor is in the area of the inner thigh muscles.

Unlike a groin strain, groin pain from a tumor does not generally worsen with exercise.

Tumors and infections of the hip joint are rare but serious causes of groin pain.

When Should I Be Concerned About Groin Pain?

It is important to seek medical help if you have fallen or have injured your hip some other way.

If you have groin pain with these additional symptoms, see a healthcare provider at once:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Blood in your urine
  • Abdominal or pelvic discomfort
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • An inability to bear weight or walk

The same is true if your groin pain is severe or persistent, regardless of accompanying symptoms.

If you think you have an inguinal hernia, call your healthcare provider. Seek emergency medical help if you have these additional symptoms:

  • Severe pain around the bulge in your groin
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • A swollen belly

These may be a sign of a strangulated hernia. This is when herniated tissue becomes trapped and does not get enough blood. This condition requires emergency surgery.

Lastly, seek emergency care if you have severe, one-sided testicular pain and swelling. This could be a testicular torsion. This condition also requires immediate surgery.

How Groin Pain Is Diagnosed

Because groin pain can have many possible causes, your healthcare provider could diagnose your condition in a number of different ways.12

Your healthcare provider will ask about your medical history and other details about your groin pain, such as:

  • When it started
  • Whether you experienced an injury
  • What makes the pain worse and better
  • Whether you have any other symptoms

You will usually need a physical exam. You may also need imaging tests to confirm the diagnosis.

Physical Examination

During your physical exam, the healthcare provider will perform:

  • An abdominal exam
  • If you were born male, a testicular exam
  • A neurological exam
  • A musculoskeletal exam focusing on your hip

People with hip joint problems often have discomfort while bending and rotating the hip joint. An example of this type of motion is when you sit down and rest your ankle on your thigh.


A groin strain can be diagnosed by physical exam alone. Other causes of groin pain usually require imaging, though.

X-ray is commonly used to diagnose groin pain. This imaging test captures photos of internal structures in your body. In this case, the X-ray can show the bony anatomy and structure of the hip joint.

X-rays are the best way to see the extent of cartilage damage. They can also show other signs of hip osteoarthritis, like bone spurs and joint space narrowing.

If your groin pain appears to be related to your testicles or an inguinal hernia, your healthcare provider may order an ultrasound. Ultrasounds use sound waves to create an image of your body’s internal structures.

If a kidney stone is a potential culprit, your healthcare provider may opt for a computed tomography (CT) scan. A CT captures multiple X-rays and combines them to form a three-dimensional image.

Ultrasounds and CT scans of the abdomen and pelvis can also diagnose intestinal problems or other conditions of the abdomen and pelvis.

A magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) test is often used to look at the soft tissue around the hip joint. An MRI uses a magnetic field and radio waves to create images of your internal body structures. MRIs can show muscles, tendons, ligaments, and labrum.

Sometimes an MRI is performed with contrast. During this procedure, you will receive an injection of a special type of dye. This helps subtle injuries of the cartilage and labrum inside the joint show up better on the scan.

An MRI can also be used to look for nerve problems. For example, a pinched nerve in the back can sometimes refer pain to the groin. This means you may feel like the pain is coming from your groin even though the injury is elsewhere.

In a case like this, an MRI can help find the true source of the pain.


If the source of the pain is unclear, a diagnostic injection can be very helpful.

During this procedure, an anesthetic called lidocaine is injected into the hip joint. An ultrasound or X-ray may be used to ensure the needle is placed in the right spot.

If the pain goes away temporarily, then the source of the pain is probably where the anesthetic was injected.

This procedure is done by a skilled physician such as an orthopedic surgeon, a healthcare provider who specializes in treating disorders of the bones and muscles. It may also be done by a radiologist, a healthcare provider who specializes in medical imaging.

How Groin Pain Is Treated

After diagnosis, the next step is making a plan for treatment. This may have several elements.

Lifestyle Treatment Options

For some types of groin pain, you can recover at home with simple self-care. For example, if you have a groin strain, your healthcare provider may recommend the following to help decrease pain and swelling:

  • Rest
  • Icing the injured area
  • Wrapping the upper thigh with an elastic compression wrap

For hip osteoarthritis, treatment may include limiting activities that make the pain worse.

For testicular sources of groin pain, your healthcare provider may recommend elevating and icing the area.


Over-the-counter pain medications like Tylenol (acetaminophen) and Advil (ibuprofen) can be helpful for some conditions. These include:

  • Groin strain
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Hip labrum tear
  • Osteitis pubis
  • A pinched nerve in the back

Stronger pain medications like opioids may be needed if the pain is severe. These may be used for conditions like:

  • Kidney stone
  • Hip fracture
  • Infected hip joint

An injection of a steroid like Cortone (cortisone acetate) may help some conditions. People with hip osteoarthritis may receive an injection in the hip. For a pinched nerve, an injection into the lower back may be helpful.

If the pain is caused by an infection, antibiotics may be necessary. These are also used after surgery for an infected hip joint.

Physical Therapy

Treatment for most hip-related causes of groin pain typically includes physical therapy (PT). The timing for this depends on what is causing the problem.

For example, you may need physical therapy after hip replacement surgery. If you have hip osteoarthritis, you may need long-term physical therapy.

Physical therapy includes exercises to help strengthen your leg and hip muscles. Certain exercises can also improve range of motion and flexibility.

If you have a hip problem, you may also need a walking device like a cane, crutches, or a walker.


Some serious conditions may require surgery. A few, like testicular torsion or hip joint infection, require emergency surgery.

During surgery for a hip joint infection, the affected area is flushed with a saline solution and infected tissue is removed. Antibiotics are given after the procedure to ward off infection.

Less urgent but necessary surgeries for other types of groin pain include:

  • Hip replacement for advanced hip arthritis
  • Arthroscopic hip surgery for some labral tears
  • Core decompression surgery for hip osteonecrosis

Treatment varies depending on the cause of your pain. For injuries, rest and ice can be helpful. You can also take over-the-counter pain medication. Most hip-related causes of groin pain require physical therapy. Serious conditions may require surgery.

Preventing Groin Pain

Some causes of groin pain can be prevented. You can help prevent hip-related problems, for example, with these strategies:

  • Maintain a healthy weight to reduce inflammation and pressure on the body
  • Engage in low-impact sports like swimming or cycling, which place less stress on the hip
  • Talk with your healthcare provider about ways to prevent falls, such as balance training or tai chi
  • Commit to moderate, daily exercise to help slow bone loss and maintain muscle strength

It is also important to see your healthcare provider for routine check-ups and screenings. This can help prevent groin pain caused by conditions unrelated to the hip, such as sexually transmitted diseases.


Groin pain can have many potential causes, including muscle strain, inguinal hernia, and kidney stones. Many causes are related to hip injuries or osteoarthritis. Less commonly, the pain may be related to nerves or have testicular origins. Rarely, it may be caused by an infection or tumor.

See a healthcare provider if you have other symptoms with your pain, such as fever or blood in your urine. 

Your healthcare provider may diagnose your condition with a physical exam, imaging, or injection. Depending on the cause, treatment may include lifestyle changes, medication, physical therapy, or surgery. Some causes of groin pain can be prevented with healthy lifestyle choices and moderate exercise.

Join the conversation

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *