Hip and groin pain in sub-elite South African footballers
Background. Groin injuries are common in football. This can be attributed to the nature of the sport involving rapid accelerations, decelerations, abrupt directional changes and kicking. Groin injuries require lengthy rehabilitation times and predispose players to further injuries. Previous groin injury is a risk factor for future groin injuries, suggesting players are inadequately rehabilitated or the original cause has not been addressed.
Objectives. To describe the prevalence, nature and treatment patterns of groin injuries in sub-elite players, and to investigate differences in hip strength and range of motion between players with and without a history of groin injury.
Method. Thirty sub-elite, senior university male players were interviewed and questioned regarding groin injuries sustained in the preceding three years. They were assessed using the HAGOS questionnaire, and underwent isokinetic hip flexion/extension strength, adductor squeeze and range of motion tests.
Results. Seventeen players (57%) reported having a previous groin injury, with an average score of 83 (16) [mean (SD)] on the HAGOS, compared with 92 (5) for non-injured players. Of the previously injured players, 29% did not seek treatment from a medical professional. Injuries included adductor strain (35%), inguinal-related (18%), iliopsoas-related (12%) and hip joint pathology (6%). The average time off was 25 days. There were no significant differences in isokinetic hip flexion/extension strength, adductor strength and range of motion.
Conclusion. The prevalence of groin injuries in this population is relatively high (57%) and requires lengthy rehabilitation time. The HAGOS is a suitable tool to identify groin pain in this population within the sports and recreation and quality of life subscales. Isokinetic hip strength and range of motion testing lacked sensitivity in detecting deficits in players with a previous groin injury. Only two-thirds of injured players consulted a medical practitioner, increasing the likelihood that rehabilitation was inadequate. It is therefore recommended that player/coach education regarding injury management improve in order to reduce subsequent injuries.
Keywords. HAGOS, groin injury, prevalence, range of motion, isokinetic strength