Sports Hernia Treatment Using Physical Therapy
Sports hernias are a common injury among athletes, particularly those who engage in high-intensity activities that involve sudden stops and starts, twisting, or kicking. Unlike traditional hernias that involve a protrusion of tissue or an organ through a weakened area of the abdominal wall, sports hernias are a result of a tear or strain in the muscles or tendons in the groin area. Although they are not life-threatening, sports hernias can cause significant pain and discomfort, and they can sideline athletes for weeks or even months.
Treating Hernias with Physical Therapy
Physical therapy can be an effective treatment for sports hernias. By addressing the underlying muscle imbalances and weaknesses that contribute to the injury, physical therapists can help athletes recover from sports hernias and return to their sports at full strength.
The first step in sports hernia treatment using physical therapy is a thorough evaluation by a physical therapist. The therapist will assess the athlete’s range of motion, strength, and flexibility, as well as the specific muscles and tendons involved in the injury. Based on this evaluation, the therapist will develop a customized treatment plan that may include a variety of exercises and techniques.
One of the primary goals of physical therapy for sports hernias is to strengthen the muscles and tendons in the groin area. This may involve exercises that target the hip adductors, which are responsible for bringing the legs together, as well as the hip abductors, which are responsible for moving the legs apart. Strengthening these muscles can help support the pelvic area and prevent further injury.
In addition to strengthening exercises, physical therapy may also include stretching and flexibility exercises to improve range of motion and reduce muscle tension. Therapists may also use manual therapy techniques, such as massage or joint mobilization, to release muscle tightness and improve circulation to the affected area.
Another important aspect of sports hernia treatment using physical therapy is addressing any imbalances or weaknesses in the core muscles. The core muscles, including the abdominals, back, and hip muscles, are essential for stability and balance during physical activity. Weakness or imbalances in these muscles can contribute to sports hernias and other injuries. Physical therapists can prescribe exercises that target the core muscles and help athletes achieve better overall body mechanics and stability.
Finally, physical therapy may include functional exercises and sport-specific training to help athletes transition back to their sports. This may include exercises that mimic the movements and demands of their specific sport, as well as drills that focus on agility, balance, and coordination.
Get Hernia Treatment by One of Our Physical Therapists
In conclusion, sports hernias can be a frustrating and painful injury for athletes, but physical therapy can provide effective treatment. By addressing the underlying muscle imbalances and weaknesses, physical therapists can help athletes recover from sports hernias and return to their sports at full strength. If you are experiencing symptoms of a sports hernia, don’t wait to seek treatment. Contact our Foothill Ranch Physical Therapy, Placentia Physical Therapy, Mission Viejo Physical Therapy, or Lake Forest Physical Therapy locations to start your journey toward recovery.