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No Relation Between Pelvic Belt Tests and Abdominal Muscle Thickness Behavior in Athletes With Long-Standing Groin Pain. Measurements With Ultrasound

Jansen, Jaap MSc*†; Mens, Jan MD, PhD; Backx, Frank MD, PhD*; Stam, Henk MD, PhD

Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine: January 2010 - Volume 20 - Issue 1 - p 15-20
doi: 10.1097/JSM.0b013e3181c9679f
Original Research

Objective: To investigate whether abdominal muscle thickness in athletes with long-standing adduction-related groin pain (LAGP) differs between subgroups with a positive or no response to a pelvic belt. The response to a pelvic belt is defined positive in case of a decrease ≥1 on a Likert pain scale (0-10) during the squeeze test (SQT) or a decrease ≥1 on the active straight leg raise (ASLR) test score (0-10).

Design: Cross-sectional study.

Setting: Physical therapy practice.

Patients: Fifty athletes with LAGP.

Independent Variables: Squeeze test and ASLR test.

Main Outcome Measures: First, the effect of a pelvic belt on pain during the SQT and the ASLR test score was evaluated. Then, thickness of m. transversus abdominis (TA) and m. obliquus internus (OI) was measured using ultrasound during rest, ASLR left and right, and SQT.

Results: Of the 50 participants, 25 (50%) experienced a decrease in pain during the SQT when wearing a pelvic belt and 10 (20%) improved in ASLR performance with a pelvic belt. Thickness of TA and OI at rest (both cases P > .08) and relative thickness compared with rest during tasks (in all cases P > .12) revealed no significant difference when comparing the 2 subgroups based on the belt response during the SQT or ASLR.

Conclusions: Using these methods, abdominal muscle thickness behavior in athletes with LAGP did not differ between the subgroups based on a positive or no response to a pelvic belt. However, the ultrasound method used may not have been sensitive enough to reveal differences between groups.

From the *Department of Rehabilitation and Sports Medicine, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht, the Netherlands; and †Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

Submitted for publication May 4, 2009; accepted October 4, 2009.

Supported by The Netherlands Organization for Health Research and Development (ZonMw), The Hague, the Netherlands.

The authors state that they have no financial interest in the products mentioned within this article.

Reprints: Jansen JACG, MSc, Department of Rehabilitation and Sports Medicine, University Medical Center Utrecht, H.P. Q05.4.304, Heidelberglaan 100, 3584 CX Utrecht, the Netherlands (e-mail:

© 2010 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.