Introduction Pain provocation tests are used to examine and classify longstanding groin pain into clinical entities as adductor-, iliopsoas-, inguinal- and pubic-related. It is unknown if pain provocation tests and clinical entities are associated with pain intensity and disability. We aim to investigate if the numbers of positive pain provocation tests and clinical entities are associated with pain intensity and disability, measured by the five-second squeeze test (5SST) and the Hip And Groin Outcome Score (HAGOS), respectively.
Materials and Methods Forty male footballers (mean 24 [SD: 3.2] years; 182 [5.7] cm; 78 [6.6] kg) with longstanding groin pain (≥ 6 weeks) for a median of 8.5 (IQR: 4–36) months were included. They underwent a bilateral groin examination with 33 pain provocation tests and were classified with clinical entities (0–7) based on test findings.
Results The number of positive tests (median 10, range 2–23) correlated with pain intensity (5SST rs = 0.70 [95% CI: 0.50, 0.83]) and disability (HAGOS subscales r = Sport -0.62 [-0.81, -0.36], Pain -0.38 [-0.69, -0.06], Symptoms 0.52 [-0.73, -0.24], ADL -0.48 [-0.71, -0.18]). The number of clinical entities (median 3, range: 1–7) showed similar but weaker correlations to pain intensity and disability.
Conclusion In footballers with longstanding groin pain, the number of positive pain provocation tests and clinical entities shows weak to strong correlations with pain intensity and disability. Consequently, when pain intensity and disability are severe, a higher number of positive pain provocation tests in the region are positive, and more clinical entities are present.
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