Description Of The Injury: This injury occurs in the inguinal canal area, a natural opening through the muscles of the abdominal wall located between the inner thighs. It is usually caused by repetitive twisting motions in sports such as ice hockey, soccer and tennis. When a sports hernia occurs, tissue from the inside of the abdominal wall is allowed to bulge through, resulting in pain and inflammation. A sports hernia may initially be difficult to diagnose.
Injury Symptoms: The most common sign of a sports hernia is groin pain that has remained after several weeks or months. Tenderness in the inner thigh area may be identified but no particular bulge, inflamed or swollen area may be present.
Conservative treatment of a possible sports hernia will primarily be resting. This requires the person to refrain from engaging in sports and physical activities, particularly those that require the flexing and extending of the thigh which may aggravate the injury. Common pain relief medication may be used to cope with the associated pain from the sports hernia.
Professional Medical Treatments:
The most important point in successfully treating a sports hernia is confirming that the injury is actually a sports hernia. Once the diagnosis is clear, cortisone injections can be administered to reduce the inflammation and pain. Ice packs may be advised to further aid recovery. Surgical exploration and open surgery of a sports hernia is usually considered if conservative treatment does not cure the problem within three months.
Physical Therapy and Exercises:
Recovery from conservatively and surgically treated sports hernias respond well to rehabilitation in water. This includes range of motion exercises of the hip and thigh done in chest level water, light jogging in water and swimming exercises. The water reduces the the amount of impact on the abdominal wall and reduces inflammation.
Exercise Techniques to Prevent Injury:
To prevent this injury from occurring, abdominal strength should be maintained. This involves abdominal specific exercises such as crunches, curl ups, pelvic tilt, knee ups, seated knee ups, twists, oblique crunches and cross crunches. Additionally, getting adequate rest and recovering from fatigue will prevent the muscles from becoming overtly weak.