The Sportsman’s Hip

Symptoms can develop rapidly in the hip from as little as a simple twist or stretch.

The overwhelming majority of sportsmen with hip and groin symptoms are suffering from Femoro-Acetabular (Hip) Impingement. Almost all athletes have both Pincer and CAM deformities with tearing of the labrum.

Symptoms usually become noticeable from the age of 15 years onwards. The most common age of presentation for surgery is 31 years old but for many at this age, the damage to the cartilage of the hip joint is already irreversible.

Twisting and turning when running is the single most common cause of progressive hip injury most often observed in field sports such as soccer, rugby, GAA football and hurling and to a lesser extent in tennis, running, boxing, martial arts, and many more.

“Symptoms are gradual and often go unnoticed for years”.

Progressive stiffness in the hip and groin region develops initially with increasing hamstring tightness and loss of general hip flexibility. Many sportsmen think this is a normal by-product of training and playing; they often work on stretching and massage for short-term relief.

The stiffness becomes more limiting especially the morning following training/playing – tightness may make it difficult to put on shoes and socks. After a few days the stiffness eases out and the player can train again.

Young sportsman

Progressive stiffness in the hips and groin after training/playing with increased hamstring tightness are the main symptoms

As the damage to the hip continues, increasing groin pain begins to develop, occasionally referring pain into the abdomen and inner thigh with coughing and sneezing. Sprinting and rapid twisting and turning become difficult and painful. The hips become more inflexible.

Young Sportsman

The later development of groin pain eventually forces the player out of sports altogether

The groin pain and progressive stiffness make playing and training more difficult and eventually the player is forced to rest from sports and seek treatment.

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Hip Impingement & Treatment For Sports Hip Injury