Sports Hernia, also known as Athletic Pubalgia is a condition of overuse injury caused by excessive strain on the muscles and tendons of the lower abdomen or groin area. It is common in athletes who participate in sports such as soccer, hockey, football, and tennis.
Sports hernia is a soft tissue injury caused due to tear or stretching of the muscles. This often occurs during sports or activities that involve twisting, overextending, landing from a jump incorrectly, and abrupt change in direction or speed of movements.
The major symptom is chronic debilitating pain in the lower abdomen or groin area that is aggravated by activities and is relieved by rest. There is no visible bulge or swelling beneath the skin with sports hernia.
The diagnosis of sports hernia is based on the patient’s personal history, comprehensive physical examination, and diagnostic test results. Your doctor may order a MRI scan to rule out other causes of pain.
The treatment options vary depending upon the severity of injury and include:
- Rest: Avoid activities that worsen the symptoms.
- Ice: Applying ice over the injured area may help reduce pain and inflammation.
- Medications: Your doctor may prescribe NSAIDs to relieve pain and make you feel comfortable.
- Physical therapy exercises to improve the strength and flexibility of the affected muscles.
Surgery is indicated only when the conservative treatment measures fail to relieve the symptoms. Arthroscopic or traditional open technique may be employed to repair the deteriorated muscle or tendon of the lower abdomen or groin area.