Symptoms include pain during sports movements, particularly hip extension, and twisting and turning. This pain usually radiates to the adductor muscle region and even the testicles, although it is often difficult for the patient to pin-point the exact location.
Following sporting activity the person with athletic pubalgia will be stiff and sore. The day after a football match, getting out of bed or a car will be difficult. Any exertion that increases intra-abdominal pressure, such as coughing, sneezing, or sporting activity can cause pain. In the early stages, the person may be able to continue playing their sport, but the problem usually gets progressively worse.
As pain in the groin and pelvis can be referred from a number of problems, including injuries to the lumbar spine, the hip joint, the sacro-iliac joint, the abdomen, and the genito-urinary system, diagnosis of athletic pubalgia requires skillful differentiation and pubic examination in certain cases where there is intense groin pain.
The diagnosis of Gilmore's groin is based on the patient's history and clinical signs. The most notable clinical sign is dilation of the superficial inguinal ring on the affected side, which can be palpated by the examining doctor when the scrotum is inverted with the little finger. Typically, there is specific pain on coughing and sneezing, as well as sitting up and squeezing the legs together.
The exact lesion may differ, but common pathologic findings at operation are:
Several of these lesions may occur simultaneously. Also, many athletes have concomitant weakness or tearing of the adductor muscles of the hip.
The exact incidence of these entities is unknown: some believe it is the most common cause of chronic groin pain in athletes, while others argue that it is only rare. Conservative therapies (gentle stretching and a short period of rest) may temporarily alleviate the pain, but definitive treatment consists of surgical repair followed by a structured rehabilitation.