Aim: Groin pain is common in soccer players. Comparison of results from different studies, especially between genders, is difficult as studies use different definitions and data collection procedures. Therefore we conducted a study of both male and female soccer players enabling direct gender comparison.
Methods: The study enrolled 479 male soccer players aged 25 years (17-43) (mean with range) and 144 female soccer players aged 23 years (16-47), who answered a mailed questionnaire that included specific questions on groin pain and sports history. Data are presented as proportions (%) or as mean with 95% confidence intervals (95% CI).
Results: Groin pain was experienced by 55% of male soccer players and 28% of female soccer players, resulting in an odds ratio (OR) of 2.9 (95% CI 1.9, 4.5). Groin pain occurred more often in the preseason, than during the rest of the season in both male and female players (both P<0.001). Playing position in the team or playing league did not seem to influence the risk of suffering groin pain.
Conclusion: In soccer players, male gender and preseasonal training appear to be risk factors for developing groin pain.