Sports Hernia Symptoms in Women

female sports herniaAnother doctor’s office. Another specialist referral. And another explanation for your torso and groin pain. Yet with all of the visits and appointments, the pain still hurts, unexplained and present. There is one possible explanation for groin pain in women that you and your doctor may be missing: a sports hernia.

Female sports hernias are painful soft tissue injuries to the lower torso and groin area. More commonly occurring in men, these injuries often go undiagnosed in women. It’s important to be aware of sports hernia symptoms in women, especially if you think that you may be living with one.

Sports hernias are common after sharp, twisting movements of the hips, like those in basketball, soccer and even dancing. A sports hernia is the result of a tear in the abdominal wall due to tremendous pressure on the ligaments and muscles attached to the pelvic bone. This tear causes extreme pain, though it doesn’t show as a bulge like other hernia types can.

Post injury, patients report severe pain at the sports hernia site and surrounding area. This pain may fade over time with rest, but once normal activity resumes, so does the pain and can intensify. It’s common that pain subsides, returns and gradually increases in severity over time, making it impossible to return to your previous activity level.

While the pain associated with sports hernias is very concentrated, it may be difficult for women to pinpoint exactly where the pain radiates. Sports hernia pain usually comes from the same area on one side of the groin or other. Pain can worsen with coughing, sneezing or lifting objects, as all of these actions require the use of the abdominal muscles. However, if the pain is not specific to your groin and/or abdominal area, a sports hernia may not be the correct diagnosis.

In females, sports hernias tend to be smaller and more internal, rarely leading to visible bulges. Not being able to see or feel the source of pain can make diagnosis (and repair) a long process. Only 8% of all sports hernia diagnoses occur in women, putting them at the bottom of a doctor’s list of possibilities.

With sports hernias so uncommon and difficult to diagnose for women, it’s important to mention you think it may be a possibility to your doctor. Pain with physical activity, swelling of the groin or abdomen and chronic groin pain are all symptoms that possibly indicate a female sports hernia.