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physical therapy and exercises for sports hernia

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physical therapy and exercises for sports hernia

Sports hernia (also known as ‘Sportsman Hernia’ or ‘Hockey Groin’) is a common injury primarily affecting professional footballers, hockey players, or track athletes. Over 90% of such cases occur gradually with no fixed cause, whereas a few cases of sports hernia occur due to a traumatic incident such as being checked from behind while playing hockey or turning at high speeds to kick/play with the ball. Even fitness enthusiasts and non-athletes can experience sports hernia.

what exactly is a sports hernia?

Hernia occurs when an organ pushes through an opening in the muscle or tissue that holds it in place. Hernias are more common in the abdominal region, but can also occur in the upper thigh, groin and belly button areas. Sports Hernia, on the other hand, does not fit into the above-mentioned category. Injuries that include tears and weakening in the deep layers of the abdominal wall come under sports hernia. Repetitive hip and pelvic movements typical in sports can cause injuries to the lower abdominal areas.

other defining characteristics:

Chronic groin pain is the biggest symptom of a sports hernia. The pain is usually restricted to one side of the groin. You could also experience pain in the groin upon sneezing and coughing, pressure on the lower abdominal region, and pain while doing sit-ups. If such types of pain do not dissipate with ample rest, then you should get yourself examined by a physician immediately.

Rest and physical therapy play a key role in managing the condition. Your physical therapist may suggest particular movements to specifically target the injured soft tissues and muscles. Your therapist will create a customized treatment plan for you for speedy recovery. He may also ask you to avoid doing sit-ups or stretching your upper body to avoid any kind of painful or aggressive stretching. Some of the recommended stretches are:

1. Lunge stretch

Kneel down on your right knee and place both hands on the ground between both knees after bending your left knee to a 90-degree angle. Stretch your hips downwards to the floor to stretch your left groin and hold this position for 15 to 25 seconds.

2. Sitting groin Stretch

Sit on the ground and with the use of your both hands grip the soles of your feet. Pull the heels of your feet towards your body and bring your feet together. Bring your upper body towards the ground until you feel a stretch in your groin area.

3. Hip Extension

Lie down on your stomach and elevate one leg 4 to 5 inches off the floor. Make sure that your leg is as straight as possible and hold this position for the next 30 seconds at least. Repeat this step with other leg.

4. Yogic side bends

Sit in a comfortable asana (sukhasana) or stand with your feet at shoulder width, and lift both your hands straight up above your head and tilt to the right side of your body. Hold this position for the next 30 seconds.

There are some cases of a sports hernia that can be treated only with surgery, but it is not that common. Most physicians and doctors will recommend a rest and rehab period of 4-6 weeks first, before suggesting the option of a surgery.

If you are looking for healing and relief from sport-related injuries  or sports hernia, get in touch with the physiotherapists at PORTEA.


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Mr. Mahesh

I had a serious L4 & L5 disc prolapse when I sought Portea’s physiotherapy. Thanks a lot to Dr. Amitava and Portea for their prompt service. Keep up the good work.

I am very happy to share my feedback regarding the excellent treatment I got. My Physiotherapist Dr. Babita Gurung was extremely helpful in getting back to me normal. She was very clear in her instructions and guides me well for each and every treatment she gives. She was absolutely wonderful and very active while discussing the problem and it’s remedy. She gives full attention and time to the patient and never in hurry to attend more patients by bypassing the under-treatment patients. Worth recommending to friends. Thank you all so much for your excellent care. I am feeling so much better now than when I started my PT. Your professionalism, concern and friendliness were much appreciated.

I think it was the most professional yet personal therapy I have had so far in the last 3 years since I first had the back problems. Dr. Fateh is a polite, good-natured and compassionate gentleman, who is extremely competent at his work and displayed great consistency throughout the sessions, even towards the end without slacking away time or hurrying up through the final sessions like most other Physiotherapists, as I have experienced before. He in fact ensured that he put a little more extra efforts towards the end to ensure that my back remains strong post the sessions.