If you read our previous blog on hip and groin pain, you would have seen that it can be quite prevalent in athletes. In fact in AFL and soccer it can account for up to 20% of all injuries! Because of this it is important that you try every possible way to minimise your risk of developing hip or groin pain. Read on to find out about some of the risk factors for developing hip and groin pain.
Non-Modifiable Risk Factors
Unfortunately, there are some risk factors that you just can’t change no matter how much physiotherapy and rehab you undertake. One of the main ones is age, and as we get older our risk of injuring ourselves increases. Another big one with hip and groin pain is the bony structure of our hip joints. The hip joint can structurally differ a lot from person to person, and there are some make ups that can unfortunately predispose us to suffering from hip or groin pain. The third biggest non-modifiable risk factor for hip or groin pain is actually having injured the area in the past. We do question this being categorised as a non-modifiable factor, as I feel with appropriate intervention and training then you should be able to avoid most hip and groin injuries in the first place!
Modifiable Risk Factors
There are several modifiable risk factors for hip and groin pain that are very easy to manage with a bit of guidance and time dedicated to proper training. One risk factor that can be addressed is decreased hip flexion and internal rotation range of motion. Studies have shown that less than 90 degrees hip flexion and less than 30 degrees hip internal rotation can increase your risk of hip or groin pain.
*picture of hip flexion and hip internal rotation*
Strength of the musculature of the hip and groin complex is also a very common area where we see deficiencies. Research shows that decrease adductor muscle strength is a big risk factor, both in absolute terms and also as a ratio to hip abductor muscle strength. You should be aiming for a strength score of roughly 4 x your bodyweight for both your hip adductors (groins) and hip abductors (glutes) to keep your risk low. You should also be aiming to keep your hip adductor to hip abductor muscle ratio at about 1 to 1.05.
Control of your hip and groin complex during dynamic tasks can also preclude you to hip and groin pain. For example, poor hip pelvis and hip positioning during change of direction can cause overload through certain structures. Poor control of your knee and hip during jumping and landing can also lead to groin pain due to areas taking too much load. As we spoke about in the first blog of this series, getting a biomechanical diagnosis can help address these flaws and help reduce your risk of having any issues in the future. Hopefully you now have an idea of some of the reasons you might be susceptible to hip or groin pain.
Stay tuned for the next blog where we go into more depth and give you some strategies to address these risk factors and minimise your risk of developing any pain!