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I'm an Athlete With Pain in My Groin: Do I Have a Hip Problem?

I'm an Athlete With Pain in My Groin: Do I Have a Hip Problem?

You pride yourself on leading an active lifestyle, and you’re used to the occasional aches and pains that come with the territory. Recently, however, you’ve developed ongoing groin pain and you want to get to the bottom of the problem. 

Groin injuries aren’t uncommon among athletes — they account for about 1 in 10 visits to sports medicine specialists. Due to the overlap between your hips and your groin area, many causes of groin pain lie in your hips.

The team here at Western Orthopaedics features a hip specialist — Dr. Brian White — who has devoted his practice to solving problems in the hip.

In this month’s blog post, we’re going to take a look at a few hip problems that can lead to groin pain, especially among the more active population.

Muscle strain

Far and away, the most common cause of groin pain among athletes is muscle strain. Whether it’s one of the five muscles in your groin, your gluteal muscles, or the quads or hamstrings in your thighs, strains in these muscle groups can often lead to pain in your groin.

The good news is that muscle strains typically resolve themselves on their own, but you need to take a timeout from your activity of choice to allow time for healing.

Hip tendonitis and bursitis

Your tendons are connective tissues that attach muscles to bones. With tendonitis, the soft tissues develop tiny tears due to overuse and become inflamed and quite painful. 

Athletes who rely on their hip flexor muscles are more vulnerable to hip tendonitis, which can lead to considerable pain in the front of your hips and in your groin area. Compounding the problem, you may also develop inflammation in the bursa sacs behind your tendons, leading to hip bursitis.

As with muscle strains, rest is your best course of action when it comes to hip tendonitis or bursitis.

Osteitis pubis

Another injury that we find in athletes is osteitis pubis, which is caused by inflammation in your pubic symphysis joint. This joint holds the two sides of your pelvis together in the front. While this problem doesn’t involve your hip joints directly, it’s caused by overstressing the muscles in front of your hips, and it can lead to groin and hip pain.

Hip arthritis

If you routinely pound your feet, you may be more prone to hip osteoarthritis, a condition in which the protective cartilage that covers the ends of the bones in your hips begins to break down. The pain that comes with hip arthritis can strike the front of your hip and may radiate into your groin area, and it often flares after activity.

There’s not much we can do to undo the damage that’s already occurred, but Dr White excels in hip preservation techniques that can help maintain the health of your hip.

Labrum issues

Each of your hips is a ball-and-socket joint that seals your thigh bone into the socket with a soft tissue called the labrum. If there’s a tear in this tissue, you can experience pain in your hips and groin area.

If a labrum tear is causing your groin pain, the good news is that Dr. White is one of the world’s leading experts in labral reconstruction.

While we can go on and list more conditions, the best way to determine whether your groin pain is related to a problem in your hips is to schedule a consultation with Dr. White. To get started, contact one of our offices in Denver or Arvada, Colorado.

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