Sports Hernias: What you Need to Know

Athletes are special individuals in many ways and their high risk for sports hernia is just one of the signs. Keep in mind that a traditional hernia as it happens in non-athletes is different from a sports hernia although these conditions share many similarities in treatments.

What is a sports hernia? It is a painful injury to the soft tissues in the lower abdomen or groin area. The injury may be a strain or a tear while the soft tissues may be the muscle, tendon or ligament in either of these areas.

The most frequently affected and most at risk are the tendons attaching the oblique muscles to the pubic bone. The adductors, the tendons attaching the thigh muscles to the pubic bone, may also be stretched or torn. In athletes, it is typically the result of sudden changes in direction or of intense twisting movements, which exerts undue pressure on the area.

Medical professional typically refer to a sports hernia as athletic pubalgia. It must be emphasized that traditional hernia may not exist and different tissues may be affected in the athlete-related condition. It occurs mainly in athletes engaged in ice hockey, football, and wrestling.

A sports hernia is hard to miss or dismiss. You will typically experience severe pain in the groin area once it is injured, said pain of which will subside with rest but recur when your return to sports activities especially those involving twisting movements. Your pain can become disabling without appropriate treatment. It is important to seek medical treatment as soon as possible.

You will not observe a visible bulge in the affected area, in contrast with traditional hernia. But when sports hernia is left untreated, you will start noticing an obvious bulge.

But why wait for the bulge to appear? As soon as you suspect a sports hernia, set a doctor’s appointment for a definitive diagnosis and appropriate treatment. Your doctor will ask about your activities and symptoms as well as perform a physical examination (e.g., tenderness in the groin area).

You may also be asked to perform a set or physical activities, such as sit-ups, which will determine whether you have pain or not. Your doctor may also order imagine tests, such as x-rays and magnetic resonance imaging for more clarity. You and your doctor can then discuss the appropriate treatment methods for your case, said methods of which can include rest, physical therapy and anti-inflammatory medications, perhaps even surgery.

For athletes, who may have sports hernia, be sure to contact Healthpointe’s medical professionals. Our clinics are in many cities in California including Los Angeles, which is conveniently located near Burbank, Glendale, Pasadena, Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, Inglewood, Hawthorne, Huntington Park, South Gate, Lynwood, Montebello, Monterey Park, Alhambra, and Burbank.

About Healthpointe:

Healthpointe is a leading multidisciplinary healthcare organization offering a full range of medical services in practice locations throughout Southern California (Los Angeles County, Orange County, San Bernardino County, and Riverside County). Healthpointe has locations situated in over 10 cities in Southern California including Anaheim, which is conveniently located by Fullerton, Placentia, Villa Park, Buena Park, Cypress, Cerritos, and Garden Grove. As a highly regarded musculoskeletal group, we have a personal investment in the highest level of service, and we are proud of our record of excellence over the last four decades with private patients, injured workers, urgent care, personal injuries, and professional and non-professional athletes. Leading our organization is a dynamic team of healthcare professionals who continually strive to be at the forefront of medical innovation and healthcare service delivery. For more information, a complete list of services, and Healthpointe locations, visit


About Brandon Davila

Hello! This is Brandon Davila, the Content Manager of Healthpointe. I’m a lifelong learner and chronic book-reader with a strong passion for the healthcare industry and search engine optimization. For more of Brandon, check out his articles on the Healthpointe blog.

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