The most common cause of groin pain is muscle, tendon or ligament strain, particularly in athletes who play sports such as hockey, soccer and football. Groin pain may occur immediately after an injury, or pain may come on gradually over a period of weeks or even months. Groin pain may be worsened by continued use of the injured area.
Less commonly, a bone injury or fracture, a hernia, or even kidney stones may 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 (death of bone tissue due to limited blood flow)
- Avulsion fracture: How is it treated? (ligament or tendon pulled from the bone)
- Bursitis (joint inflammation)
- Epididymitis (testicle inflammation)
- Hydrocele (swelling of the scrotum)
- Inguinal hernia
- Kidney stones
- Muscle strain
- Orchitis (inflamed testicle)
- Pinched nerve
- Piriformis syndrome
- Retractile testicle (testicle that moves between the scrotum and abdomen)
- Scrotal masses
- Spermatocele (fluid buildup in the testicle)
- Sprains and strains
- Stress fractures
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Testicular cancer
- Testicular torsion (twisted testicle)
- Urinary tract infection (UTI)
- Varicocele (enlarged veins in the scrotum)
May 30, 2014
Causes shown here are commonly associated with this symptom. Work with your doctor or other health care professional for an accurate diagnosis.
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- Miller MD, et al. Sports Medicine: Core Knowledge in Orthopaedics. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2006:134.
- Scrotal pain. The Merck Manuals: Home Edition for Patients and Caregivers. http://www.merckmanuals.com/home/kidney_and_urinary_tract_disorders/symptoms_of_kidney_and_urinary_tract_disorders/scrotal_pain.html?qt=groin pain&alt=sh. Accessed Aug. 16, 2013.
- Khan AM, et al. Hip osteoarthritis: Where is the pain? Annals of the Royal College of Surgery of England. 2004;86:119.
- Swollen lymph nodes. The Merck Manuals: Home Edition for Patients and Caregivers. http://www.merckmanuals.com/home/kidney_and_urinary_tract_disorders/symptoms_of_kidney_and_urinary_tract_disorders/scrotal_pain.html?qt=groin pain&alt=s http://www.merckmanuals.com/home/heart_and_blood_vessel_disorders/lymphatic_disorders/swollen_lymph_nodes.html?qt=lymph node groin&alt=sh. Accessed Aug. 16, 2013.
- Anderson K, et al. Hip and groin injuries in athletes. American Journal of Sports Medicine. 2001;29:521.
- Chest pain. The Merck Manuals: Home Edition for Patients and Caregivers. http://www.merckmanuals.com/home/heart_and_blood_vessel_disorders/symptoms_of_heart_and_blood_vessel_disorders/chest_pain.html?qt=chest pain&alt=sh. Accessed Aug. 16, 2013.
- Cooper CS, et al. Undescended testes (cryptorchidism) in children: Clinical features and evaluation. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Aug. 19, 2013.
- AskMayoExpert. Testicular or scrotal pain in boys. Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2012.