Sports Hernia Symptoms & Treatment
If you play sports and suffer from mid section pain then you may have sports hernia symptoms. There is nothing fun about a sports hernia, also known as athletic pubalgia, or Gilmore’s groin. The more common name – sports hernia – stems from the fact that it is quite prevalent among athletes, especially those who play sports that require fairly constant bending or leaning forward. Sports like soccer, football, ice hockey, tennis and track especially tend to lend themselves to the development of sports hernias.
Sports Hernia Symptoms
The pain from a sports hernia usually starts as a small, nagging pain, and grows slowly in intensity. Symptoms may include:
- Lower abdominal pain
- Groin pain
- Pain just one side of the abdomen
- Pain that intensifies with sudden movements
Sports Hernia Diagnosis
The common way to diagnose a sports hernia is by interview with the patient and a physical examination, the physical exam is needed to differentiate between a hernia and a groin strain. There are no tests to perform to identify the condition; however, tests may be run to rule out other possible conditions.
Treatment For Sports Hernia
With all other abdominal hernias, there is no cure for the condition but surgery. They will not improve or cure themselves. Sports hernias are different. The initial treatment for this type of hernia is rest.
Continued activity such as caused the hernia in the first place will only exacerbate the problem and prolong the healing process. It can take from several weeks to a few months for symptoms to subside.
Ibuprofen may be prescribed to reduce inflamation. Physical therapy is also usually prescribed to strengthen other muscles and enhance the healing.
If rest and physical therapy fail to eliminate the symptoms of a sports hernia, surgery may become necessary. The surgeon will release and reattach the lower abdominal muscles and connective tissues. Some hip muscles may also be loosened.
Sports Hernia Recovery
While the ultimate goal is to return the patient to their sport or activity as soon as possible, it is wise to err on the side of caution. Returning too soon to normal activities will worsen the injury and could cause permanent damage.
As a general rule, when the patient can bend at the waist and touch his toes, and then rise back into the standing position without pain, he may resume his activities. It is also advisable to ensure that a sit-up or abdominal crunch can be accomplished without pain.