Groin Pain in Athletes – Clinical Experience
Dysfunction of lumbo-pelvic area is a common problem in many sports. Due to insufficient data supporting variables predisposing to lumbo-pelvic dysfunction, and a lack of standards in thorough assessment, understanding the overall problem continues to provide clinical complications; and unfortunately, the prognosis is less than promising. Most often this type of non-contact injury in the groin area is seen in dynamic sports involving running, sprinting, and sports performed over longer time periods, where fatigue plays an important role (soccer, rugby, hockey). There have been proposals in identifying most probable factors influencing the occurrence of pelvic overload injury. Among those we can list: muscle strength and balance, training regimen (including warm-up), fatigue, flexibility, body mechanics, sports specific activities, movement technique, previous injury, and psychological state. During clinical assessment by the physician and physiotherapist, many of these risks of injury factors are found. Currently more attention is given to neuromuscular factors that can affect risk of this pathology.
Our clinical experience suggests that poor neuromuscular control and lack of strength may significantly contribute to injury in the lumbo-pelvic and groin area. Certain objective indexes (e.g., hamstrings to quadriceps strength H/Q, stability deficits) can be important indicators of injury risk, as well as guidelines for motor dysfunction recovery.