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Hip and Groin Injuries

Hip and groin injuries can occur in any exercise activities which involves the lower limbs and hip joints such as running , football, skiing, horse riding and intense gym activity.

Pain is the main symptoms and localised tenderness may also be present. Pain due to hip and joint injury can be felt deep in the groin and down into the genital region. It can be felt in the buttock, it can radiate down the thigh and up into the lower abdomen. Occasionally referred pain can be felt in the groin. This can be due to conditions of the lower spine such as degenerative disease or a damaged intra vertebral disc. The pain and discomfort due to a femoral hernia can sometimes be referred to the groin.

Hip and groin injuries an be due to soft tissue damage, bone injury or joint conditions. Most soft tissue damage is associated with overuse of the lower extremities and hip joints associated with marathon running, unsuitable and worn out footwear, running on hard sloping and uneven surfaces, hill running and any sudden increase in the intensity and duration of exercise.

Soft tissue injury produces tearing or inflammation to the tendons of the muscles responsible for hip and leg movement. The injury occurs at the point or close to the point where the tendon is attached to bone, either the pelvic bone or the femur. Inflammation, that is bursitis of the bursa or hip joint can also occur.

Bone injury usually involves a stress fracture due to a continuous over stressing of the bone.

Arthritis of the hip joint which is a pre-existing condition is often painfully aggravated by exercise, particularly in the older person.

With persistent or recurring groin or hip pain you should consult your doctor in order to establish the exact cause. Bone scans may be necessary in order to eliminate the possibility of stress fracture. In the older person, malignant secondaries in the bone from cancer elsewhere in the body may be present.

The treatment of hip and groin injuries may extend over several months. Initial treatment includes immediate rest from activity which has produced the condition. Modified activity might be possible in less severe cases. Anti-inflammatory medications and injections of cortico steroids may be indicated.

Once the initial symptoms of pain and discomfort have settled, physiotherapy involving muscle strengthening exercises will be necessary to stabilise and strengthen the joint.

Stress fractures will require complete cessation of all exercise activity involving the joint until pain free exercise is possible. This may take up to 2 to 3 months.

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