Groin problems and hernias are common in football, because the pelvic region is subject to large stresses during kicking, sprinting and turning. The most common types are an Inguinal Hernia or "Gilmore's Groin", also known as a Sports Hernia.
Typical symptoms are pain and stiffness in the groin region after a game - you may find that the day after a match, simple tasks like getting out of bed or in and out of the car are painful. You may also be able to feel a small lump of protrusion in your groin.
At first it may be possible to continue playing, but this is an injury that usually gets progressively worse.
If you suspect that you have these signs or symptoms, you should consult a doctor immediately. As diagnosis requires examination by a specialist, it can often take a while to get a diagnosis, even longer to get treatment if you are relying on the NHS.
Fortunately surgery has been revolutionised over the past ten years, with many operations now performed under local anaesthetic - this greatly speeds up the recovery process, with top pros like Michael Owen able to resume playing within ten days of a procedure.
Avoiding this injury can be helped by strengthening the core through appropriate exercises.