Preventing sports hernias

When you think about sports injuries, do hernias come to mind? A sports hernia is a strain or tear of any soft tissue (muscle, tendon, ligament) in the lower abdomen or groin area. Sports hernias are most common in activities that require repetitive or explosive motions. Twisting, bending, kicking and turning at high speeds can cause a tear in the soft tissue of the lower abdomen or groin. The pain associated with sports hernias is caused by torn tendons that attach to the pelvis. Its symptoms may include lingering pain in the lower abdomen, groin or in the testicle (males). Athletes at risk for sports hernias should practice exercises that increase flexibility and strengthen the muscles in and around the pelvic area. At the first sign of strain or stress in the groin or lower abdomen, it is recommended that you rest briefly to ensure the injury doesn’t worse. Apply ice to the region after intense exercise. Specific treatment for a sports hernia will be determined by your doctor. Rest, physical therapy and anti-inflammatory medicines (ibuprofen or naproxen) may help alleviate symptoms, but some sports hernias require surgical treatment. More than 90% of patients who go through nonsurgical treatment and then surgery are able to return to sports activity. To find a provider or schedule an appointment with Portneuf Primary Care, call 208-239-3815.