Sports Hernia Treatment

Sports hernias – an injury to the soft tissue around the groin/abdominal region. This happens most frequently in athletes that require a quick explosive change of direction or any twisting motion. 

Inguinal hernias – an injury when soft tissue protrudes through the inguinal canal/abdominal wall; most commonly the intestines protrude due to weakening of the muscles.

These types of hernias have similar presentations with pain in the groin region, especially with activity/exercise. One will need to see a doctor to further diagnose their injury. Hernias have similar presentations to a groin/abdominal strain, so seeking a professional’s opinion is strongly encouraged to decrease the risk of further injury. Inguinal hernias cause a visible bulge in the groin area due to the intestines protruding from the abdominal wall, while sports hernias cause no visible bulge. Sports hernias may lead to inguinal hernias if the individual does not act on treating the underlying issue whether it be rest, proper exercise, or even severe cases may lead to surgery to repair the torn tissues.

The Physical therapy approach for sports hernia treatment:

The main goal of physical therapy is to relieve pain by improving abdominal/lower extremity strength and range of motion. Core strengthening is a big component of the rehabilitation approach. Hip strengthening and balance exercises are also beneficial in returning to one’s sport or activity. Contact your local physical therapist to get a comprehensive exercise routine that will benefit your needs. Here are a few exercises that one may perform if they are in need to sports hernia treatment or want to prevent a sports hernia from occurring: 

Bridge: maintain core contraction while you lift your pelvis up and keep your knees apart. This will increase the strength in your core, hamstrings, and gluteal muscles. Perform 3 sets of 10 repetitions with a 3-second pause at the top

Hip adduction: this can be performed static at first and then progress to performing through range. This exercise works on strengthening your hip adductors or groin muscles. Perform 3 sets of 10 repetitions. 

Hip circles: lift your leg and rotate in a circular motion (perform clockwise and counterclockwise). This will strengthen your hip musculature as well as increase mobility. Perform 4 sets of 5 repetitions in each direction.  

Balance: stand on one leg limiting support from the upper body. This will increase your balance as well as strengthen the muscles in your hip. Perform 3 sets for 30-second hold. 

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