With many of the inner workings of the body close to the pelvic floor, there are plenty of possibilities for the origin of your groin pain. Some causes of groin pain may be simple and non-threatening, such as a pulled muscle or ligament. More serious conditions that can cause groin pain include cancers, endometriosis or…
Athletic Pubalgia: What it is and How to Treat It
If you play sports, then you may know someone who had a hernia. Also known medically as Athletic Pubalgia, a sports hernia is an injury near the groin.
As the name suggests, Athletic Pubalgia often occurs in sports with intense twisting movements or sudden directional changes.
What is a sports hernia?
A sports hernia is defined as a strain or tear of any soft tissue, tendon or ligament in the lower abdomen or groin area.
Coincidentally, soccer, ice hockey, football and wrestling are the most common sports where these tears occur. In these sports specifically, the tendons that attach the thigh muscles to the pubic bone are activated and often overworked.
Although a sports hernia does not cause a visible bulge in the groin, the surrounding tissues around the injury may form a visible bulge if repeatedly injured.
Luckily, there are plenty of ways to treat Athletic Pubalgia.
Treating Athletic Pubalgia
The first step in determining whether you have a sports hernia is to see your doctor for a physical test. You may be asked to do some light physical activity such as flexing against resistance or performing sit-ups. You may also have a magnetic resonance imaging scan to determine the cause of your pain.
For the first week after injury, resting is your best friend. If you feel any pain near the groin, try compressing the area with ice to relieve pain.
Physical therapy and exercises can also help improve strength and flexibility. This helps stabilize your inner thigh muscles and can prevent future injuries.
If rest and therapy do not help, there are also surgical procedures that can mend the torn tissues near the groin.
Endoscopy is generally the first step. In an endoscopy, a small camera is inserted within the abdomen and can help the surgeon make a small incision to relieve the patient’s pain.
This incision procedure is called an inguinal neurectomy. It is common for both an endoscopy and inguinal neurectomy to be performed for someone who is suffering from a sports hernia.
In some severe cases of Athletic Pubalgia, an additional surgery called adductor tenotomy may be recommended to help relieve additional pain.
This is often only done if there is additional pain in the inner thigh after an inguinal procedure.
For an adductor tenotomy, a surgeon cuts the tendon that attaches the inner thigh to the pubis. This allows the patient to have a greater range of motion and helps release tension from the area.
After surgery, rehabilitation to regain strength and endurance is crucial. This ensures that athletes can return to their activities as soon as possible.
As for surgical outcomes, most people who undergo surgery for this injury can return to their sports without any additional issues.
In any case, one must make sure to stretch and warm up properly to ensure that the injury does not happen in the first case.
Avoiding Athletic Pubalgia
Remember that prevention is the best option when dealing with Athletic Pubalgia. Take time to warm up before exercise. Do not overload your body with too much weight. Always practice proper form to avoid injury.
If you need help treating Athletic Pubalgia, then call our office to begin the treatment process.
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