Sharp pain that travels from the groin to the foot


Q: My husband has been experiencing pain off and on for the past month or more that starts at the groin and travels to his foot. The pain he says is very sharp and usually goes away quickly but lately they have been lasting longer. It doesn't matter if he is sitting, standing or sleeping, he has gotten them in all positions. Sometimes he will go days without them and other times he might get several a day. He has a doctor appointment made for the 6th of April, can he wait until then or is this something he should check out right away?


A:   Most likely your husband possibly strained the tendons of the groin, producing  a tear to any one of the five adductor muscles. If it isn’t treated properly it can recur causing problems in the future. The main function of the adductors is to pull the legs back towards the midline, a movement called adduction. During normal walking they are used in pulling the swinging lower limb towards the middle to maintain balance. They are also used extensively in sprinting, playing football, horse riding, hurdling and any sport which requires fast changes in direction. A rupture or tear in the muscle usually occurs when sprinting, changing direction or in rapid movements of the leg against resistance such as kicking a ball. This is especially likely if a thorough warm-up has not been undertaken first. The treatment is conservative consisting of: initially, protection, rest, ice, compression, and elevation (known as the PRICE formula) can help the affected muscle and also maintaining the strained muscle in a stretched position. Heat can be applied when the swelling has lessened, anti-inflammatory medication (i.e.: “Aleve”), rest the strained muscle and avoid the activities that caused the strain and other activities that are painful. Try these measures until your husband have the doctor’s appointment, then if the pain gets complicated or persists, some other causes should be ruled out but this is up to your doctor to order the correspondent lab and imaging tests.

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