A sports hernia is the strain or tear of soft tissue (muscle, tendon, ligament) anywhere in the lower abdomen or groin area. It’s most commonly caused when an athlete makes a sudden change in direction or plants their feet and intensely twists the body. The oblique muscles in the lower abdomen are the most frequently affected soft tissue when a sports hernia occurs. The more physically demanding sports such as ice hockey, wrestling, soccer, and football will cause the most sports hernias.
There are several symptoms a person suffering from a sports hernia may experience including immediate and intense groin pain at the time of injury, sensitivity or bruising in the upper thigh and/or abdomen, and pain accompanied by twisting movements. After rest, the groin pain may subside but resurfaces during sports activity or physical exertion. Sports hernias have the same symptoms as other types of groin injuries, making an accurate diagnosis difficult sometimes. In some cases, athletes aren’t aware they have a sports hernia since the only symptoms they experience is chronic groin pain. If you have consistent pain in your lower abdomen, see a doctor immediately. A healthcare professional will give you a proper physical exam and a diagnostic imaging scan to determine if you have a sports hernia.
If you’re diagnosed with a sports hernia, physical therapy in Huntington may be recommended for treatment after about 2-3 weeks of rest. Therapy is different for everyone, but it usually takes 4-6 weeks to complete. Treatment focuses on stretching the lower abdominal, lower extremity muscles. In addition, core strengthening exercises will often be part of therapy. A weak core increases the probability of a sports hernia during physical activity. If physical therapy is ineffective, surgery will be recommended. After a week of rest following the operation, postoperative physical therapy treatment begins. When the pain is gone, patients undergo abdominal stretching and core strengthening.
If you’re suffering from a sports hernia on Long Island, contact us with any questions or to make an appointment. Island Sports Physical Therapy in Huntington will help build a rehabilitation program that fits your needs and lifestyle and help you get back on the field as quickly as possible.