Sportsman’s Hernia: The A to Z guide.
In the medical community, sports hernia are commonly known as Atheletic pubalgia or Gilmores groin, but for the purpose of this blog, I will continue to use the term sportsmans hernia.
Sportsman’s hernia or Sports hernia was first described in the 1980’s and over the course of 4 decades, sports hernias are an increasingly recognized cause of chronic groin pain with a number of high profile athletes presenting with insidious vague exercise / sport related groin pain.
Thanks to the high profile cases and popularized by media attention, this condition remains misunderstood. Sports hernia is a strain or tear of any tissue in the lower abdomen or groin area. It may be differentiated from other hernias keeping in mind the different tissues that are affected with or without the symptoms of traditional abdominal hernia.
How does an athlete get it and what are his symptoms?
Athlete involved in a sport requiring him to plant the feet and twist it with maximum exertion can predispose him to sports hernia. Most common in Football, Hockey and Wrestling.
Although, this mechanism of injury may seem straight forward, ever since it has been first described, it remains poorly understood.
The athlete may complaint of vague dull uni / bi-lateral lower abdomen / groin pain. Majority of them will complaint of pain on exertion especially twisting or quickly changing directions which will warrant in stopping the activity. The athlete remains pain free in this period of inactivity but symptoms flare up as soon as activity is resumed.
Do you have Sports hernia?
Usually athletes / non athletes with sports hernia present to their GP’s and physical therapists, only to be given a diagnosis of Groin pain.
It is important to visit a sports medicine expert who will have a high degree of suspicion and works with a multi-specialized team of experts consisting of surgeons, sports physiotherapists and musculo-skeletal radiologists.
What to do if you are diagnosed with Sports hernia?
Depending on the extent and severity, non-surgical as well as surgical options are available.
This will be decided upon by the panel of specialists working on the case, who will work in tandem to treat this condition. Mild to moderate symptoms usually are tackled alone or in combination with complete inactivity, physical therapy and Anti-inflmmatory and injections therapy.