Warming Up to Warm Weather Sports Without Injury

It’s heating up all over the country, and for many, that means taking up summer sports again. With these warm seasons come tennis, running, basketball, and soccer, among others. Warmer weather also brings more activity for weekend warriors who love to spend their spare time being active.

Because so many are getting back into their sports habits, it’s a good time of year to be very aware of recognizing the signs of a sports hernia. A sports hernia can be a “hidden” injury since it’s not noticeable by the eye—only by the pain it causes. (Regular hernias can be detected by a bulge under the skin, but sports hernias do not have a bulge.)

Sports hernias develop due to the repetitive, quick movements that many sports require, as well as athletic twisting and turning while playing. And summertime is a good time to be careful and understand the signs, since there are many summertime sports that can lead to a sports hernia, such as water skiing, basketball, kayaking, soccer, tennis and running.

Sports hernias cause pain when a tendon, a muscle, or a ligament in the lower abdomen or groin area rips. The warning signs are important to know so that you can seek help as soon as possible and begin a treatment plan.

Athletes and other individuals who are suffering from a sports hernia will typically feel a sharp pain in the lower groin area, the thigh, or in men, the testicles. This pain may subside if the individual rests for a while, but if it’s a sports hernia, it will always come back no matter how much you take it easy. It’s a pain that can be felt during heavy lifting, sneezing, laughing, coughing, or of course, playing. The pain is usually only one side.

Many people who feel this pain are under the impression that they have strained a muscle or done something less harmful than develop a sports hernia. Because it’s not a widely-known condition, it often gets mistaken for something else or misdiagnosed. 

Anyone can develop a sports hernia. No one is immune, even those athletes who are in top shape or people lifting a heavy box from the car trunk. While the condition can be difficult to diagnose for some doctors, there are specialists like Dr. William Brown who can diagnose a sports hernia by listening to an athlete’s history and doing a physical exam. Dr. Brown and his team are experts in treating all sorts of athletes, and will develop the right treatment plan to get athletes back in the game.

So, this summer, be on the lookout (or feel out) for any strange pains that you’re not used to and make sure to work on strengthening core muscles before engaging in strenuous activity. Or, if it’s a familiar pain that you haven’t had checked out, contact Dr. Brown and see what’s going on. As an expert in the field of sports hernias, he can diagnose you and get you on the road to recovery.