According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, the symptoms of a sports hernia include severe pain in the groin area; a bulge may also eventually develop when abdominal organs push against the soft tissue in the upper groin region. Pain is especially apparent when a person is bending, twisting, turning at the waist, sneezing and coughing.
A sports hernia is also called Gilmore's groin and is not an actual hernia. According to Men's Health magazine, a sports hernia is not uncommon in sports where an excessive amount of stress is placed on the groin region. The underlying source of groin pain is due to the weakness or injury of the lower abdominal area, not necessarily the groin area, notes an article in the International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy. Physical tests, such as sit-ups, and imaging tests like an MRI are performed to determine if an individual has a sports hernia. A physical examination by a doctor may reveal tenderness in the pelvic region.
Various treatments, such as physical therapy and anti-inflammatory medications, are available for sports hernia sufferers. Ibuprofen and naproxen can reduce the swelling and amount of pain but physical therapy is usually effective within four to six weeks for most cases, explains the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Surgical procedures are recommended if the groin pain returns.