One of our goals as Independent Synergy Worldwide distributors is to teach and personally seek Elite Health. There are often bumps along the way. Our bodies often take a bit of a beating as we engage in strength training, running and sports of all kinds. Jackie Edwards wrote the following article for us sharing her knowledge of a serious physical ailment, sports hernias, an issue that is often misunderstood.
Understanding the Painful Truth of Sports Hernias
Each year, 5 million American people  have to deal with the painful and often debilitating symptoms of a hernia. But as sports hernias are often very difficult to diagnose, many are left untreated and the person is left struggling to recover. A sports hernia can have a huge impact on the performance and career of sports players and athletes across the globe. A recent study, for example, found that 37.5% of players on the US Men’s National Soccer Team  have had to undergo surgery for a sports hernia, with 12.5% of the players having bilateral sports hernia surgery. But if left untreated, the impact of a sports hernia can be detrimental to a sports players’ career.
A sports hernia is not actually a hernia
Despite the name commonly associated with the condition, a sports hernia is not actually a hernia. Medically known as an athletic pugalgia or a sportsman’s groin, it can cause severe pain to an individual and force them to stop participating in sports for an extended period of time. It’s a common injury that happens with many sports which require sudden changes in directions or repeated twist and turn movements. A sports hernia is particularly common in soccer , MMA, football, tennis, and hockey. The impact on the player can be a tear in the soft tissues and muscles of the groin area and abdominal wall. The tendons which attach the thigh muscles to the pubic bone can also become stretched or torn. This group of muscles stabilize the pelvis and move the leg towards the body’s midline. While it’s common for there to be a noticeable swelling under the skin with a hernia, there is no swelling with a sports hernia.
Symptoms of a sports hernia make it difficult to diagnose
The symptoms experienced with a sports hernia can often be just the same as with a variety of other types of injury to the groin, which makes it extremely difficult to diagnose. In fact, sports hernias generally display the same symptoms as a traditional hernia, but without the noticeable swelling beneath the skin. Athletes and sports players often get a diagnosis of a groin strain and advised to rest until the pain and discomfort stops. But when a person has a sports hernia, the groin pain becomes more intense when they strain the abdominal area, particularly through sudden activities or twisting. They will also find sit-ups or resistance training exercises to be very painful. This is an important sign that they have a sports hernia and not just simple groin strain.
The treatment options for a sports hernia
Rest is often the first line of treatment for a sports injury, accompanied by an ice pack and compression to help reduce the pain. It can take anything from just a few weeks to a few months for the pain and symptoms to completely go. If resting doesn’t make enough of a difference, then physiotherapy is a key treatment. Physiotherapy and massage therapy can help to strengthen the muscles in the groin and pelvis, along with ice and compression. For less severe cases, this can be all that’s required for the injured area to repair and recover. However, if rest and physiotherapy have not worked, surgery will likely be the next step. Surgery will strengthen the groin and repair the torn tissues, which will also naturally stop the pain 
While many cases of sports hernia continue to go undiagnosed, the medical community has seen great progress in diagnosing cases early, while offering successful treatment plans. With the promise of more research and studies in the future, athletes and sports players can hopefully look forward to a pain-free sports career.