Background: Despite the high groin-injury (GI) prevalence in tennis, no studies have assessed the extent to which intrinsic groin injury risk factors, such as hip muscle strength, have recovered in elite tennis players with a history of previous GI.
Objective: To investigate whether elite tennis players with a history of GI show differences in hip strength and jump height between injured and uninjured limbs and compared with dominant limb in tennis players without history of acute groin-injuries (NGI).
Design: Cohort study.
Participants: Sixty-one tennis players completed this study: 17 in the GI group and 44 in the NGI. Isometric adductor and abductor hip strength were assessed with a handheld dynamometer, and unilateral counter-movement jump tests were performed on a contact mat connected to an Ergo tester. Paired t-tests were conducted to identify differences between injured and non-injured limbs in the GI group, and independent measures t-tests were conducted to compare between GI and NGI groups.
Results: Isometric adductor strength and adductor/abductor strength ratios were lower in the injured limb (16.4% and 20.1%, respectively) compared with uninjured side within the GI group, and lower than the dominant side in the NGI group. No significant differences were found for unilateral jump heights between sides in the GI, nor isometric abductor strength, when comparing GI to NGI groups.
Conclusions: Isometric adductor weakness and adductor/abductor strength ratio deficits suggest that adductor muscle strength is not fully recovered in these athletes, potentially increasing their risk of a repeat groin injury.
Keywords: Adductor strain; Elite athlete; Hip strength; Risk factors.
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