How to Overcome Groin Pain from Running

Groin pain from running can make even the seasoned runner stop in their tracks. 

Below I share the causes, what to do if happens to you, and ways to avoid it. 

How to Overcome Groin Pain from Running & Ways to Avoid It

What Causes Groin Pain?

Groin pain could be caused by a number of factors. The most common factor among athletes is inflammation, however the pain could also be caused by arthritis or a pinched nerve in your hip.

Many do not think of your groin area as your hip, but your groin is where the ball and socket joint really is.

Therefore, if there is any inflammation around that joint it is going to hurt far more than the normal feeling of inflammation that is not around a joint.

While there is not a whole lot you can do, there are a few things that can help you get back to your normal running and training on your feet again.

If the pain is sharp and unbearable, you should definitely go see your doctor. They can run tests to see if it is an issue more serious than inflammation such as a pinched nerve.

The pinched nerve could be the cause of inflammation at the joint as well as pain.  If you do discover that you have a pinched nerve, do not worry.


Here are 4 things you can do on your own to help ease the pain.

1. Physical Therapy

Your doctor will likely prescribe you some sort of physical therapy in order to decrease the pressure put on your joints.

The physical therapy is meant to strengthen the muscles surrounding your joints and alleviate pressure from the area of tension.

2. Medications

Throughout the process nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen, can be taken to relieve pain and swelling from the area.

In addition to drugs like ibuprofen, there are corticosteroid injections that can help to relieve the pain and swelling if the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are not strong enough to combat the swelling and pain.

3. Posture/Running Form

Your posture while you are running and your form are possible reasons for the pinched nerve and swelling, so this is something to look out for if you notice it.


4. Rest

Resting is incredibly important in healing.  While it might be upsetting to be injured and unable to run or train the way you originally were, it is important to really listen to your body.

If it does not heal well, it could get worse and become more painful and more difficult to treat.

One you cannot do on your own but may happen is surgery

Surgery might be recommended if the pinched nerve does not improve over several weeks or months of conservative treatment.

It is important to remember that doctors see issues and injuries like this all of the time.

They know what is going to be the right thing for your body, and sometimes surgery is what is needed for you to eventually heal.

There is a chance that the pain is caused by arthritis. The arthritis can also cause severe swelling around the joints that it is affecting, so you can use the tips to help the inflammation as well once you check with your doctor.

If you know that you do have arthritis, you are going to need to treat it in whatever way your doctor has prescribed for you.

Answer: The most common cause of pain is joint inflammation around the hip joint itself. There are some things that you can do, but you do need to listen to your body in regards to running if there is still pain.

1. Rest

The most important thing to do when you have inflammation anywhere is to rest the area.  Your body can not heal if you are constantly putting more pressure on it.

Resting your body can help to prevent any more serious injury from occurring in that area or other areas from compensation.

2. Ice/Heat

Ice and heat really help to bring inflammation down, especially if the inflammation is in a localized area.

The icing will help to bring down inflammation while the heat will help with tightness or stiffness of the muscles surrounding the area.

By alternating the two, your body can slowly heal to get the swelling to go back down.

3. Stretch

One thing that can help prevent swelling is stretching your muscles before and after runs.

This step is often overlooked by many in order to save time, but if your muscles are not warmed up before a run or workout you are much more likely to get injured or at least have inflammation.

One great tool to use after a run is a roller, whether it is foam or another material as it helps to stretch out and relax the muscles surrounding your joints so the pressure is not on the joints.

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4. Strengthen

This goes along with stretching in many ways. If you work to strengthen the muscles surrounding the joints it will remove pressure from your joints.

By removing this pressure, it will greatly alleviate the swelling and inflammation in the area therefore alleviating much of the pain.

5. Diet

Eating anti-inflammatory foods while avoiding inflammatory foods can be incredibly helpful in your life overall.

While this might not immediately show positive progress on its own, if you combine an anti-inflammatory diet with the above tips, it can help heal and prevent inflammation in the future.

As always, listen to your body and make sure everything is in moderation if you have trouble eliminating specific foods and drinks.


Groin pain is incredibly common among many athletes, especially runners.

While there are possible more serious medical conditions, your best bet in healing and alleviating pain is to ensure there is as low inflammation as possible.

Using the above tips, you can start to spring back from injury for pain free running again!

Hi, Jeremy Here, 

I am the the guy behind Train for a 5K. On this site, I share everything that learned along my running journey. The content I create is the running training I wish I had before we started this journeyAbout Me.