Movement Variability and Loading Characteristics in Athletes With Athletic Groin Pain: Changes After Successful Return to Play and Compared With Uninjured Athletes

Samuel Baida, Enda King, Shane Gore, Chris Richter, Andrew Franklyn-Miller, Kieran Moran

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Background:: Athletic groin pain (AGP) can lead to altered movement patterns during rapid deceleration and acceleration. However, the effect of AGP on movement variability and loading patterns during such actions remains less clear. Purpose:: To investigate, using a continuous lateral hurdle hop task, how movement variability and magnitude measures of 3-dimensional (3D) kinematic, kinetic, and vertical ground-reaction force (vGRF) variables are (1) affected by AGP (AGP vs uninjured controls [CON]) and (2) changed after successful rehabilitation (AGP prerehabilitation vs AGP postrehabilitation vs CON). Study Design:: Controlled laboratory study. Methods:: A total of 36 athletes diagnosed with AGP and 36 uninjured CON athletes matched on age (18-35 years), level (subelite), and type of sports played (multidirectional field sport) performed a continuous lateral hurdle hop test that involved 10 side-to-side hops over a 15-cm hurdle. The 3D joint kinematic, kinetic, and vGRF variables (total, eccentric, and concentric; ground contact time, peak force, and impulse; and eccentric rate of force development) were examined. The AGP and CON groups were tested at baseline, and the AGP group was retested after participants successfully completed a standardized, exercise-based rehabilitation program targeting intersegmental control. Results:: There were no differences in baseline characteristics between the AGP (mean ± SD: age, 27.5 ± 4.8 years; height, 179.8 ± 6.3 cm; mass, 80.3 ± 7.1 kg) and CON (mean ± SD: age, 24.1 ± 4.5 years; height, 181.0 ± 5.8 cm; mass, 80.4 ± 8.2 kg) groups. At baseline, athletes with AGP demonstrated altered loading patterns in the vGRF (longer ground contact times, reduced peak force, and reduced rate of force development) compared with CON athletes, while no significant difference in any movement variability variables was evident. After rehabilitation, the athletes with AGP demonstrated significant changes in transverse and coronal plane hip and trunk kinematics, with no significant differences in vGRF variables compared with the CON group. Conclusion:: The differences in baseline vGRF measures between the AGP and CON groups were no longer evident after athletes with AGP underwent rehabilitation. No differences in movement variability were evident between the AGP and CON groups, either before or after rehabilitation. Clinical Relevance:: Rehabilitation programs should consider targeting intersegmental hip and trunk movement patterns to positively influence loading patterns in athletes with AGP.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)23259671221125159
    JournalOrthopaedic Journal of Sports Medicine
    Issue number10
    Early online date31 Oct 2022
    Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 31 Oct 2022


    • rehabilitation
    • biomechanics
    • hip pain
    • groin pain

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