Warning Signs: It Might Be a Sports Hernia

Pain, bruising and restricted movement are all warning signs of a sports hernia, but are often attributed to other injuries. Sometimes, minor symptoms can seem easy to ignore. But a sports hernia won’t go away on its own, so it’s critical to pay attention to the warning signs and seek treatment early. Don’t delay when it comes to seeking out an expert opinion from a sports hernia specialist. Early diagnosis and treatment can mean the difference between a quick return and a season spent on the sidelines.

So, when should you consider seeing a sports hernia specialist? Here are a few warning signs:

  1. Sharp pain. Sports hernias happen when muscles in the lower abdominal area tear. This can cause pain when those muscles are used. The pain is usually sharp, although it can be hard to pinpoint its source. Twisting or quick movements can worsen the pain.
  2. Chronic pain. The second type of pain associated with sports hernias is pain that lasts. Sports hernia injuries do not heal on their own, so even with rest, the pain may not just fade away. Athletes often rest and the pain goes away, only to return to activity and pain. This can start a cycle that will only worsen until the sports hernia is surgically repaired.
  3. Lumps and bumps. Sports hernias are internal injuries, meaning that they usually don’t show many outward signs. But for men, sometimes a small bulge may be visible in the area in the injury. It isn’t large, but it can be felt and can be painful to touch. However, a bulge doesn’t present in all cases, and it’s completely normal for nothing to show, especially for women.
  4. Pulling or stretching feeling. One of the more common symptoms of a sports hernia is a pulling or twisting feeling with activity. It can sometimes be hard to pinpoint and to describe, but is a common sign of a soft tissue injury. Combined with pain, a stretching feeling can be incredibly uncomfortable.
  5. Bruising. While uncommon, bruising can occur with a sports hernia injury. It would be centered in the groin area, which is most affected by a sports hernia. It can be tough to determine the cause of bruising, but if it appears along with other symptoms, it’s time to get an opinion from a specialist.
  6. Difficulty with everyday activities. If you have a sports hernia, you might find it difficult or painful to do common tasks, like reaching, bending and lifting.

Watch out for these warning signs of a sports hernia when exercising or playing sports. Sometimes what seems like a simple injury can be a symptom of something more serious. By keeping these in mind, you’ll be more aware of when to seek out the help from a sports hernia specialist. Dr. William Brown and his team have years of experience helping athletes of all calibers get back on the field. If you are experiencing some of these warning signs, seek out expert advice sooner versus later.