What Is a Sports Hernia? Popular Top 3 Reasons of Hernia

By Adelaide | Body Care

Jun 16

What is a sports hernia? What are the causes of the condition? I will tackle these topics in a simple manner that even non-medical persons would understand.

It’s important that you should know the answer to this question because sports hernia is a common ailment that often goes unnoticed because it is asymptomatic (no symptoms) in certain individuals.

What is A Sports Hernia?

Also called Athletic Pubalgia, sports hernia is an injury of the tissues, ligaments, joints or tendons in the areas, such as the groin, upper thigh, or abdomen.

A repeated or sudden twisting movement of the body can eventually cause a tear or injury in the tissues, where the body rotates.

The differences between inguinal hernia and sports hernia is that inguinal hernia can occur even when the person is not engaged in sports. Also, persons with sports hernia usually don’t have evident bulges in the groin, which is typical of inguinal hernia.


The Popular Top 3 Reasons or Causes

1. Twisting motions

Activities that involve twisting the body, while the feet are firmly planted on the ground

2. Strenuous Sports, such as wrestling and ice hockey

The same motions are done in these sports

3. Certain ball sports, such as, football and soccer

Twisted movements are also performed in these ball games.

The pain is dependent on the severity of the injury. When you experience these symptoms, you have to consult your doctor before it gets worse and turn you into a disabled person.

Symptoms of Hernia

  • Pain in the abdominal area
  • Pain in the groin
  • A bulge in the groin area may appear after non-treatment (this does not commonly appear in sports hernia)
  • Recurrent pain when performing a certain sport

Some people with sports hernia may not have any symptoms, except pain in the groin. Hence, you have to disclose to your doctor the sports that you are engaged in, so he can rule out sports hernia.

What are The Tests Done to Detect Sports Hernia?

Aside from the person’s physical examination and the history, the doctor may request several diagnostic tests done.

In the Physical Examination, watch how you can palpate a sports hernia.

Diagnostic Tests

  • X-rays: An X-ray is performed in the areas where you felt pain. The X-ray plates will show broken bones or torn ligaments.
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI): This is similar with X-rays because it uses sound waves to display an image of the painful area. It can show injuries in the bones or muscles.
  • Laboratory tests: The Complete Blood Count (CBC) can determine the presence of bacterial or viral infection. It can also identify muscle diseases that can be identified with the pain (myoglobin test)

Treatment of Hernia

1. Natural Home Remedies

A swelling caused by sports hernia can be treated with an ice pack, then a compression may be applied if there’s swelling. Reportedly, some herbs are useful in treating pain and inflammation.

Watch the video below:

2. Therapeutic Exercises or Physical Therapy

You can perform therapeutic exercises 10 to 14 days after the injury. The pain would have subsided by then.

You must strictly stick only to the exercises prescribed for you by a licensed physical therapist or physiatrist. This is because a number of exercises will worsen your sports hernia.

Watch the video for exercises that you can do at home.

3. Rest

Rest is vital to cure sports hernia. You have to rest the injured tissue to allow it to heal. You should not play the sport until you are fully well. Rest should be done right after the injury to prevent further damage to the tissue or muscle.

4. Therapeutic Drugs

  • Anti-inflammatory drugs - these drugs are used when the affected area is inflamed or swelling. Examples are non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID), such as Celebrex, Cataflam, Advil, and Voltaren-XR.
  • Analgesics - these are pain relievers. Examples of these are: Acetaminophen and Acetaminophen combinations.
  • Steroids - these are also anti-inflammatory medications, such as corticosteroids.

5. Surgery

Surgery should be your last resort. Non-invasive procedures are preferred over invasive methods because they are safer, more convenient and less painful. You may want to use the other therapeutic methods first, before choosing surgery.

Ilioinquinalneurectomy may be done to lessen the pain of sports hernia. This is done by severing the inguinal nerve in the groin to eradicate pain.

Prevention of Sports Hernia

In the end, prevention is still better than cure. Here’s how you can prevent sports hernia.


I have answered the question: What is a sports hernia? You can now use this information to know if your abdominal or inguinal pain is due to sports hernia. You can also help your friends who may have the same problem.

Have you ever encountered sports hernia? What treatment option did you use to alleviate your pain, or eliminate your illness altogether? It would be awesome if you could share them in this post.

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(1) comment

Jon January 16, 2018

How long after being injured with a sports hernia does a bulge develop? I thought a sports hernia doesn’t have a visible bulge? Thanks in advance!

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