Many times mild groin pain is caused by a minor injury that you may not have even noticed. Home treatment is usually all that is needed to relieve your pain.
Most of the time when a serious problem is causing groin pain, you will have other symptoms. It is important to look for other signs of illness when you have groin pain but no known injury. Most Reference hernias Opens New Window have other symptoms besides groin pain, though pain may be an early sign of an inguinal hernia. See a picture of an Reference inguinal hernia Opens New Window Reference Opens New Window.
Causes of groin pain
Pain felt in the groin may be coming from other parts of the body (radiating or referred pain). This kind of pain may be caused by:
- A Reference kidney stone Opens New Window passing through a Reference ureter Opens New Window.
- A Reference urinary tract infection Opens New Window.
- Hip problems, especially in children and older adults.
- Infections, which may cause lump, bumps, and swelling in the groin area. Glands (Reference lymph nodes Opens New Window) in the groin may become enlarged when there is infection in the surrounding part of the body or in the legs or feet. If the infection is minor, the swelling may last a few days and go away on its own.
- Spasm, infection, inflammation, or decreased blood flow (ischemia) in the large intestine.
- Female pelvic problems, such as Reference pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) Opens New Window, Reference ovarian cyst Opens New Window, or Reference ectopic pregnancy Opens New Window.
- Male genital problems, such as a skin infection of the scrotum, a prostate infection (Reference prostatitis Opens New Window), or Reference torsion of a testicle Opens New Window.
- A broken hip (fracture), an infected hip joint, or a Reference stress fracture Opens New Window of the hip.
- Reference Arthritis Opens New Window. Arthritis can cause groin pain, stiffness, and a limp.
- Back problems. Reference Spine Opens New Window problems in the back near the lower ribs can pinch the nerves that travel through the groin area and cause groin and thigh pain. Spine problems include a Reference herniated disc Opens New Window or lumbar narrowing (stenosis).
Pulled muscles, ligaments, or tendons in the leg may cause symptoms in the groin. Be sure to look for other symptoms when you have groin pain that is not related to an injury.
Groin symptoms in children
Groin problems may cause pain in the groin, hip, or knee. Common causes of groin symptoms include:
- Reference Legg-Calve-Perthes disease Opens New Window. This condition affects the blood supply or proper placement of the upper part of the thighbone (head of the femur) in the hip socket.
- Reference Slipped capital femoral epiphysis Opens New Window. This condition occurs when the femur slips at the growth plate (physis) and does not fit in the hip socket correctly.
- Reference Developmental dislocation of the hip (DDH) Opens New Window. This condition is caused by abnormal development of the hip joint. The femur may fit loosely into the hip socket (subluxation) or be completely out of the hip socket.
- Swelling (inflammation) of the lining of the joint space of the hip (Reference toxic synovitis Opens New Window).
- Reference Juvenile idiopathic arthritis. This disease causes inflamed, swollen, stiff, and often painful joints.
- Reference Infectious arthritis Opens New Window (septic arthritis). This is caused by a bacterial, viral, or fungal infection inside the hip joint.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: March 1, 2011|
|Medical Review:||Reference Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Reference H. Michael O'Connor, MD - Emergency Medicine