Background: Clinical assessments and rehabilitation in athletic groin pain (AGP) have focused on specific anatomical structures and uniplanar impairments rather than whole body movement.
Objective: To examine the effectiveness of rehabilitation that targeted intersegmental control in patients with AGP and to investigate post rehabilitation changes in cutting biomechanics.
Methods: Two hundred and five patients with AGP were rehabilitated focusing on clinical assessment of intersegmental control, linear running and change of direction mechanics in this prospective case series. Hip and Groin Outcome Score (HAGOS) was the primary outcome measure. Secondary measures included pain-free return to play rates and times, pain provocation on squeeze tests and three-dimensional (3D) biomechanical analysis during a 110° cutting manoeuvre.
Results: Following rehabilitation, patients demonstrated clinically relevant improvements in HAGOS scores (effect size (ES): 0.6-1.7). 73% of patients returned to play pain-free at a mean of 9.9 weeks (±3.5). Squeeze test values also improved (ES: 0.49-0.68). Repeat 3D analysis of the cutting movement demonstrated reductions in ipsilateral trunk side flexion (ES: 0.79) and increased pelvic rotation in the direction of travel (ES: 0.76). Changes to variables associated with improved cutting performance: greater centre of mass translation in the direction of travel relative to centre of pressure (ES: 0.4), reduced knee flexion angle (ES: 0.3) and increased ankle plantar flexor moment (ES: 0.48) were also noted.
Conclusions: Rehabilitation focused on intersegmental control was associated with improved HAGOS scores, high rates of pain-free return to sporting participation and biomechanical changes associated with improved cutting performance across a range of anatomical diagnoses seen in AGP.
Keywords: biomechanics; groin; injury; performance; rehabilitation.
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