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)
Causes shown here are commonly associated with this symptom. Work with your doctor or other health care professional for an accurate diagnosis.
Jan. 12, 2021
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- Johnson R, et al. Approach to hip and groin pain in the athlete and active adult. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Sept. 25, 2017.
- McMahon P, et al. Sports medicine. In: Current Diagnosis and Treatment in Orthopedics. 5th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2014. http://www.accessmedicine.mhmedical.com Accessed Sept. 25, 2017.
- Brooks DC, et al. Sports-related groin pain or "sports hernia." https://www.uptodate.com/contents/search. Accessed Sept. 25, 2017.
- Shah AJ, et al. Scrotal pain. Merck Manual Consumer Version. 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 Sept. 25, 2017.
- Luke A, et al. Sports medicine and outpatient orthopedics. In: Current Medical Diagnosis & Treatment 2018. 57th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2018. http://accessmedicine.mhmedical.com. Accessed Sept. 25, 2017.