My 15-year old daughter has taken up kick-boxing as her new favorite form of exercise. Now she's having groin pain every time she kicks. We had X-rays taken that didn't show anything. We don't know what to do next. Would physical therapy help with this problem?

Physical therapists are doing studies of athletes with chronic groin pain. They are trying to find out which muscles might be the problem. Perhaps an exercise program to restore normal function of muscles could help patients with groin pain.

A recent study of Australian football players showed a link between poor motor control of the transversus abdominis (TrA) muscle and groin pain. The TrA is one of several abdominal muscles. It seems that lifting the leg normally activates the TrA. With groin pain, the contraction of the TrA is delayed.

Therapists aren't sure if the groin pain causes delayed muscle contraction or the other way around. Working to restore normal muscle function is the first step to answering this question. There aren't a lot of other options for treating groin pain. It may be worth giving it a try.