Athletic Pubalgia, more commonly known as sports hernia, is defined as chronic lower abdominal and groin pain without the presence of a true hernia. It is increasingly recognized in athletes as a source of groin pain and is often associated with other pathology. It most often occurs during sports that require sudden changes of direction or intense twisting movements. The most common structures involved are the rectus abdominus muscle, the adductor muscles, the pubic symphysis (where the pelvic bones meet at the groin) and various sensory nerves than can cause intense pain in various regions of the groin, abdomen and hip.
Athletic Pubalgia occurs in sports or activities that involve planting the feet and twisting with maximum exertion which can cause a tear in the soft tissue of the lower abdomen or groin. Sports hernias occur mainly in vigorous sports such as ice hockey, soccer, wrestling, lacrosse and football.
Treatment is typically nonsurgical consisting of rest, ice, anti-inflammatories and physical therapy. Occasionally, surgery is required to repair the torn muscle which involves repairing the rectus abdominus muscle down to the pubic bone.