Thorborg, Kristian3; Branci, Sonia2; Nielsen, Peter Martin2; Tang, Lars2; Nielsen, Michael Bachmann3; Hølmich, Per3
1 Department of Clinical Medicine, Department of Clinical Medicine, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, Københavns Universitet2 unknown3 Department of Clinical Medicine, Department of Clinical Medicine, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, Københavns Universitet
An Assessor-Blinded Comparison
BACKGROUND: Adductor-related pain is the most common clinical finding in soccer players with groin pain and can be a long-standing problem affecting physical function and performance. Hip adductor weakness has been suggested to be associated with this clinical entity, although it has never been investigated. PURPOSE: To investigate whether isometric and eccentric hip strength are decreased in soccer players with adductor-related groin pain compared with asymptomatic soccer controls. The hypothesis was that players with adductor-related groin pain would have lower isometric and eccentric hip adduction strength than players without adductor-related groin pain. STUDY DESIGN: Cross-sectional study; Level of evidence, 3. METHODS: Male elite and subelite players from 40 teams were contacted. In total, 28 soccer players with adductor-related groin pain and 16 soccer players without adductor-related groin pain (asymptomatic controls) were included in the study. In primary analysis, the dominant legs of 21 soccer players with adductor-related groin pain (≥4 weeks duration) were compared with the dominant legs of 16 asymptomatic controls using a cross-sectional design. The mean age of the symptomatic players was 24.5 ± 2.5 years, and the mean age of the asymptomatic controls was 22.9 ± 2.4 years. Isometric hip strength (adduction, abduction, and flexion) and eccentric hip strength (adduction) were assessed with a handheld dynamometer using reliable test procedures and a blinded assessor. RESULTS: Eccentric hip adduction strength was lower in soccer players with adductor-related groin pain in the dominant leg (n = 21) compared with asymptomatic controls (n = 16), namely 2.47 ± 0.49 versus 3.12 ± 0.43 N·m/kg, respectively (P < .001). No other hip strength differences were observed between symptomatic players and asymptomatic controls for the dominant leg (P = .35-.84). CONCLUSION: Large eccentric hip adduction strength deficits were found in soccer players with adductor-related groin pain compared with asymptomatic soccer players, while no isometric strength differences were observed between the groups.
Orthopaedic Journal of Sports Medicine, 2014, Vol 2, Issue 2, p. 1-7