A sports hernia is a tear or strain in the muscles, tendons, or ligaments of the groin or lower abdomen. The tendons that attach the thigh muscles to the pubic bone and the lower oblique muscle tendons are commonly affected. It is caused due to sudden changes in direction while running or with twisting movements. Participation in vigorous sports such as football, soccer, ice hockey, and basketball increase your risk of developing a sports hernia. Symptoms include pain that is exacerbated by physical activity and relieved with rest. If left untreated, a sports hernia may develop into an inguinal hernia and there will be a noticeable bulge at the site of the hernia.
A diagnosis of a sports hernia may be made by physical examination and certain tests. Imaging studies such as X-rays and an MRI scan may also be ordered. Conservative therapy with rest, ice application, physical therapy, and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication may be tried as the first line of treatment. If symptoms fail to improve, surgical repair of the sports hernia will be necessary.