The two halves of the pelvic bone join anteriorly at the symphysis pubis. A sports hernia is thought to be the result of poorly coordinated contraction of the abdominal oblique muscles and the adductor muscles.

This can lead to stress across the symphysis pubis. This results in chronic inflammation and pain. This inflammation and pain is called osteitis pubis. Repair of a sports hernia often allow osteitis pubis to heal by relieving this stress.