Athletic Pubalgia


Pain in the inguinal region is commonly seen in athletes participating in aggressive competitive sports. This is called athletic pubalgia. It is commonly seen in sportsmen involved in running, sprint, hurdle racing and sports involving excessive stretching of muscles. The location of pain is typical and may cause symptoms even while walking, staircase use and regular activities. Athletes typically involved in sports like football, wrestling and hockey may complain of a vague abdominal/inguinal pain. This usually occurs in the region of the groin where the abdominal and inguinal regions overlap.This is also popularly known as a sports hernia. Athletic pubalgia refers to pain in pubic area of running athletes.


Athletic pubalgia is essentially a soft tissue injury where due to overuse or excessive stretching, the patient complains of sharp pain and stretch in the groin. The patients are sometimes not able to perform activities of daily living without pain. Athletic pubalgia may start suddenly or over a period of time (gradually). Being a core muscle, provision of absolute rest isn’t possible. So, the treatment depends on time of injury and early rehabilitation. 


Essentially sports involving sudden twisting movements result into this pathology over a long period. Most patients have a complain of a dull aching pain especially on straining. Most patients do well with physiotherapy and rehabilitation using core body strengthening regime. Rarely ones who do not improve or have recurrence of symptoms might need further evaluation. This can entail an MRI scan/ USG and may require a surgical procedure to cure symptoms. One of the common sprains in running athletes which is completely curable if diagnosed early. Sports Hernia or athletic pubalgia should not be ignored. It can take about 2 to 6 weeks to get back to warm up exercises of your sport.

Athletic pubalgia
Most common site of pain in athletic pubalgia
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