In the world of athletics, hip and groin injuries are two of the biggest problems that have always baffled surgeons. That’s because these two injuries somehow interact even if they are entirely different from each other. If not treated immediately and properly, both issues can also put an abrupt end to an athlete’s promising career.
Hip and Groin Pain are Often Quite Complex to Diagnose
Hip and groin pain is one of the most common issues faced by athletes today. Groin pain, in particular, accounted for four to 16 percent of all injuries sustained per season among soccer and Australian Rules football. Despite the prevalence of these problems, finding proper treatment proves to be difficult, given that both hip and groin pain are quite complex to diagnose.
For starters, the two most common conditions causing groin pain, namely osteitis pubis and adductor strains, are often hard to tell apart. There are also other conditions that can cause pain in the groin, including groin disruption, stress fractures, nerve compression, avulsion fractures, snapping hip syndrome, iliopsoas bursitis and sports hernia.
The source of hip pain for athletes is also hard to pinpoint, since this kind of pain can also be linked to a wide variety of conditions. Sometimes, one of the most useful guides is the athlete’s age. Young adults and adolescent athletes are at risk for several epiphyseal and apophyseal injuries because they lack ossification of the cartilaginous growth plates. Meanwhile, older athletes are more prone to developing tendinitis because their growth plates have closed.
Symptoms Can Overlap
Diagnosing any of these problems can be quite a challenge for sports medicine professionals because it’s possible for symptoms of both hip and groin pain to overlap. In fact, in some cases, a physician would have to rule out certain hip problems when diagnosing groin pain.
As a consequence, the cause for over 30% of hip and groin pain cases remain unclear. This sometimes leads to ineffective, inadequate, or even improper treatment. With the wrong treatment, the patient never gets to fully recover from their injuries, resulting in an adverse effect in their performance.
Fortunately, physiologists have found ways to help treat and prevent hip and groin pain effectively among today’s athletes. In fact, here are some recommended by these medical professionals today.
Dual Diagnosis Needed
At the onset of the problem, it helps to seek consultation from both hip and groin specialists. In the past, there have been cases when an athlete had come in to be treated for a problem in the hip only to realize that they also have a problem in the groin only after the procedure is done. With dual diagnosis, the rate of revision would be much lower, which also means that the athlete can return to the field in a shorter amount of time.
Exercises That Prevent Injury and Enhance Athletic Performance
Exercises such as abdominal crunches, single knee to chest, double knee to chest, alternating hip flexion, seated butterfly stretch and figure four piriformis stretch can help in preventing and rehabilitating from both groin and hip pain. That’s because these exercises can help in further strengthening the abdominal muscles and hips, while also elongating the patient’s low back muscles and improving their range of motion.
Depending on the diagnosis, a physio can recommend a number of treatment therapies including an interferential treatment that utilizes a mid-frequency electrical current in order to produce a massaging effect around the injury. This would also stimulate the secretion of endorphins, the body’s very own natural pain relievers, to promote healing.
If you happen to be a professional athlete who plans to keep playing for many years to come, consider paying your physio a visit today. Phone 379 5767 for an appointment with Graeme Hayhow at Institute of Sport Physiotherapy, a hip and groin expert, if you happen to be suffering from any kind of hip and groin pain. Ensure that you would still have a long career in sports by having your problem checked and treated now before it has a chance to get worse.
Treating, Preventing Hip and Groin Problems in the Athlete, medscape.com
Approach to hip and groin pain in the athlete and active adult, uptodate.com
Hip and Groin Pain in the Professional Athlete, sciencedirect.com
Hip and groin injuries in the athlete, philly.com
Groin Injuries in Athletes, aafp.org