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Treating a Sports Hernia

Athletic pubalgia is the technical term for the severe groin pain often called a sports hernia—although unlike a true hernia, no abdominal-cavity organs protrude where they should not. Because the cause of the pain is often missed or misidentified, an accurate diagnosis of athletic pubalgia is the first step in treating the condition and often comes only after other conditions have been ruled out and nonsurgical treatment has been ineffective for a long period of time.
Pubalgia most often affects high-level male athletes. The pain results from a stretching and weakening of the internal inguinal ring, a triangular anatomical structure in the groin area through which the ilioinguinal nerve and spermatic cord pass. Tears or strains in the lower abdominal muscles, in tendons or ligaments in the groin area, or in the pelvic lining may also contribute to the pain.
The surgery to repair the inguinal canal wall is performed either through a small traditional incision or through several very tiny incisions. Because lower abdominal muscles are shifted during traditional surgery and need to heal first, some time must pass before you can engage in physical therapy.
However, if your physician wants to manage your sports hernia conservatively to avoid surgery, we can design a program that fosters core stability and carefully balances the interactions between the muscles of the hips, thighs and pelvis. Strengthening the inner thigh and abdominal muscles, and balancing the way they are used in sports can minimize the chance of future injury. In addition, we will teach you the best way to heat and/or ice the affected area and offer deep-tissue massage if appropriate. Similarly, a postsurgical physical therapy program that focuses on increasing your endurance and strength will enhance your recovery.
Whether or not you undergo surgery for athletic pubalgia, we can design a program of physical therapy to alleviate pain and strengthen the muscles, making you more comfortable and preventing re-injury. By following our program, you once again should be able to participate in the sports you love—pain-free.
Apex Orthopedic Rehabilitation in Wyckoff, NJ provides orthopedic and sports physical therapy services for the greater Ridgewood, Wyckoff, and Bergen County region.  This blog is intended for informational purposes only and should not be used for diagnostic or prescriptive purposes. The views expressed here are the author’s views and should be taken as suggestions. Always consult your doctor, physical therapist, or other healthcare practitioner before engaging in a physical therapy or rehabilitative program.

Tom Willemann

Tom Willemann

Tom Willemann is a premier physical therapist based out of Bergen County, New Jersey. He holds an MS in physical therapy from the University of Miami, is credentialed in the world-renowned McKenzie Method of Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy (MDT), and holds an OCS (Orthopedic Clinical Specialist) certification. As of 2018, there are approximately 14,000 ABPTS certified specialists in the nation and less than 400 of them are located in the state of New Jersey. Tom is the owner and director of Apex Orthopedic Rehabilitation in Paramus. He opened the clinic, which specializes in spine and sports injury prevention, in 2004 after many years of experience in the field. Tom’s caring interest in others and his strong belief in continuity of care, combined with his clinic’s ability to find solutions for the most difficult orthopedic problems, have earned Apex Orthopedic Rehabilitation its excellent reputation with patients and medical professionals in northeastern New Jersey and beyond. A true “family man,” Tom takes pride in his clinic’s warm and welcoming environment.
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