Oftentimes, sports hernias don’t make lists of the most common sports injuries. As a result, many athletes and active individuals don’t know what a sports hernia is or how to treat it.
Sometimes referred to by doctors as “athletic pubalgia,” sports hernias tend to affect athletes who must bend forward, twist, and change positions often. This can include sprinters, hockey players, gymnasts, soccer players, and more.
So, what is a sports hernia? What are the symptoms and what can you expect from sports hernia treatment?
Read on to find out everything you need to know in our brief guide to sports hernias.
The Basics: What Is a Sports Hernia?
A sports hernia can lead to the more typical abdominal hernia, but it’s important to understand that there is a difference. A sports hernia refers to a tear or strain in the soft tissue that occurs anywhere between the groin and lower abdomen. These strains often occur when athletes need to plant their feet on the ground while bending or turning the upper half of their bodies.
One area of the body that is most vulnerable to sports hernias is the tendons that attach your lower abdomen (obliques) to your pubic bone.
Signs That You’re Experiencing Sports Hernia Pain
A sports hernia will bring on instant pain. In other words, the moment the injury occurs, athletes are likely to experience sudden and severe pain in or near the groin area. This pain may start to dissipate with rest and return with activity.
When we think of hernias, we often think of visible bulging at the hernia site. A sports hernia will not cause this visible bulging. However, it may lead to visible bulging if the initial injury leads to a more typical hernia in the coming days or weeks.
Seeking Sports Hernia Treatment
Unlike some tears or sprains to the soft tissue, a sports hernia should never be ignored. Without treatment, the condition can lead to chronic pain or continuous damage to the soft tissue. Over time, this can end an athlete’s ability to play a sport or enjoy rigorous physical activity.
The best thing you can do is head to your doctor’s office. They will determine what the next best steps are. In some cases, you may be able to recover at home, while more severe sports hernias may require robotic hernia surgery or other procedures.
Not the Most Common But Still Painful: Stay in the Know About Sports Hernias
Even the most experienced athletes may find themselves asking, “What is a sports hernia?” Although sports hernias aren’t talked about often, that doesn’t mean that they’re less severe than other common sports injuries. Stay in the know and don’t ignore any signs that you may have developed a sports hernia.
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