What Causes Pain in the Groin Area That Radiates Down the Leg?

Injury to the gracilis muscle?s obturator nerve causes groin pain that radiates down the leg, states Healthline. Tearing or over-stretching a groin muscle can also cause pain that moves into the thigh. Additionally, an inguinal hernia can cause pain in the groin area and thigh, explains WebMD.

The obturator nerve innervates the groin?s gracilis muscle through the vertebrae of the lumbar spine. Damaging this nerve can reduce muscle control and sensory input from the groin area. Pain due to nerve impingement may start at the hip, move through the inner thigh and radiate down to the knee, states Healthline. The gracilis muscle is one of five muscles used for adducting the hip inwards, stabilizing, rotating and flexing the knee and stretches from the pubic bone to the upper tibia.

Torn or stretched groin muscles are often a cause pain and tenderness in the groin and the inside of the thigh. Groin muscle injuries are common in people who play contact sports and those that involve jumping and running. These injuries generally heal on their own and performing groin stretches before exercise can help to prevent them.

An inguinal hernia occurs when an internal organ pushes through the surrounding protective muscle. The hernia may cause a bump, a burning sensation, and swelling in the area of the hernia and down the inner thigh. A hernia that becomes strangulated is a medical emergency, explains WebMD.