Sometimes, inguinal hernias are hard to palpate on exam, i.e., there is no visible or palpable bulge or “impulse.” There may still be a hernia there. These are called occult or hidden hernias. Athletes may present with groin pain after a sports injury that does not resolve with rest. This is thought to be related to small tears in the muscle wall of the groin which cause pain with return to vigorous activity. Typically rest and physical therapy will be prescribed first, and surgery is reserved for patients who continue to have pain at least 6-8 weeks after the injury.