Chronic groin pain is a common problem in association football players. Normative values for the strength of hip muscles, measured in an accurate and accessible manner, are needed to gauge strength and inform return to play decisions in this group. The purpose of this study was to define normative values of hip muscle strength using handheld dynamometry. A series of reliable clinical tests that are commonly used when making return to sport decisions in athletes with chronic adductor related groin pain have been selected. One hundred and twenty adult male association football players, free from injury, were recruited. Isometric strength of the hip flexors and adductor muscles was measured using a handheld dynamometer. Mean age was 24.9 years (SD 5.9). Eighty participants (67%) had experienced groin pain in the past. Mean strength for dominant leg hip flexion was 47.3 kg (95% confidence interval 45.6-49.0), non-dominant leg hip flexion was 42.5 kg (41.1-43.9), adduction at 0 degrees hip flexion was 35.6 kg (34.1-37.1), adduction at 45 degrees was 32.0 kg (30.9-33.1), and adduction at 90 degrees was 25.5 kg (24.4-26.5). This study establishes reference ranges and predictive equations for maximal isometric contraction strength of the hip muscles in non-injured adult male association football players. This information will assist assessment and management of an athlete's return to play following injury.
2009 Sports Medicine Australia. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.