Sports Hernia Treatment

Hernias occur when internal organs protrude through a natural weakness of the abdominal wall, these can be caused by a number of factors including pathological conditions such as chronic coughing or constipation; and environmental factors such as weight lifting.

A sports hernia can be defined as a soft tissue injury. It’s painful and it frequently occurs due to vigorous sports activities that require intense or aggressive twisting movements, like wrestling, soccer, football and ice hockey, it is more common in males than females.

Non-athletes can also experience a sports hernia, it’s not that common but normal or most casual exercises could be causing stress to the muscles.

Also See: Sports hernia or athletic pubalgia signs and symptoms

A sports hernia usually causes a lot of pain and weakness in the groin area, it could get better with rest and therapy, but without the proper treatment it can lead to chronic and disabling pain.
It's hard to say if this condition could be prevented, but those at the highest risk to have a sports hernia could add these to their routine: doing abdominal and core stabilization exercises, exercises to strengthen the hip abductor muscle and to help decrease stress on the pelvis and low abdominal area.
Diagnosing a sports hernia could be difficult. Not all doctors can recognize sports hernia symptoms because it is the most unique cause of groin pain. Some of the tests the patient should take are the X-Ray studies, physical exam; especially in the groin area and explaining to the doctor what they were doing when the injury occurred can be very helpful as well.

The treatment options to a sports hernia are:

  • Surgical Treatment
  • Non-surgical Treatment

Sports hernia surgery:

The surgical treatment will repair the torn tissues in the groin. This treatment could be done as an endoscopic procedure that can be done with sedation and local anesthesia, but the patient has the right to choose the general anesthesia too, it could be also done as the traditional open procedure (long incision in the upper part of the groin) it allows a full evaluation and repair of the damaged muscles, this one it’s done under general anesthesia.  Sports hernia surgery cost: It may vary depending on the severity of the hernia and the place surgery is being done.

Sports hernia surgery recovery time:

Sometimes, additional procedures are required to fully treat the athlete. After the surgery, the patient will get a rehabilitation plan; most of them are able to return to their activities within 6 and 12 weeks after the surgery.

Sports hernia surgery recovery time:

Sometimes, additional procedures are required to fully treat the athlete. After the surgery, the patient will get a rehabilitation plan; most of them are able to return to their activities within 6 and 12 weeks after the surgery.

How to treat sports hernia without surgery:

The non-surgical treatment includes resting, manual therapy, anti-inflammatory medication, physical therapy, stretching, muscle retraining, icing and compression. If the non-surgical treatment isn’t 100% effective, the patient will have to go under surgery to be fully recovered.

Physical therapy:

Patients should complete a period of 4-6 weeks of physical therapy; they will get a good response to the therapy and won’t require the surgery. This physical therapy basically focuses on stretching properly the low abdominal, lower extremity muscles, and tendons. It will help the patient improve their strength and flexibility in their muscles.

It's always recommended to get a physical therapist that has treated a sports hernia before, because they have more experience, practice and skills to treat the patient’s condition.

Rest:

It's very important that the patient gets the rest they need; this can be very helpful along with the physical therapy.  Icing and compression can also help relieve some painful symptoms.
Anti-inflammatory medication: Anti-inflammatory medicines like ibuprofen and naproxen can be recommended by the doctor to reduce the pain and the swelling as well. Sometimes, a cortisone injection is needed to help relieve the pain.

Sports hernia prognosis:
We’ve already mentioned the treatment options to a sports hernia, if the non-surgical treatment is  not enough, surgery may be required. 
Luckily, after the surgery and the proper rehabilitation, patients will be able to go back to their normal activities (including sports, they can even be able to perform at their highest level again) in a few months, they will be fully recovered. 
After a proper recovery, athletes can easily go back to their usual sports, and practice them without any limitations.

The most important thing is to always visit your doctor in case of any particular discomfort or unusual symptoms. Along with doctors recommendation, choose that option which is best for you. Part of his recommendations may include prolonged rest of the affected area and a special workout regime that will generate less stress for that area.