Osteitis pubis is an inflammatory condition that affects the Symphysis Pubis (the joint between the pubic bones-see image to right). Osteitis Pubis is most common in sports where a large shearing force goes across the Pubic Symphysis. This occurs during kicking activities, running and changing directions and therefore is relatively prevalent in the football codes. The excessive forces overstrain the Pubic Symphysis causing a painful inflammatory response which if not managed early can subsequently lead to an erosion process affecting joint margins of the Sympysis Pubis.
Osteitis pubis usually causes pain in the groin and inner thigh area. In its early stages it tends to be related to exercise, but as it progresses pain can become more persistent and begin to have an impact on every day activities.
Frustratingly, Osteitis Pubis can be resistant to treatment and can take several months to resolve. For this reason a preventative approach is preferable. Over training should be avoided, particularly in those who participate in long or repetitive kicking sports.
Other causes of groin pain, such as the hip joint, or the adductor (groin) tendons, also need to be considered as part of investigating this condition.
In cases of Osteitis Pubis a thorough rehabilitation under the guidance of an experienced Physiotherapist or Sports Physician is highly recommended. This should be specifically designed for each individuals needs but will generally consist of a period of rest, core stabilisation exercises, stretching, and soft tissue therapies aimed at loosening overactive abdominal or groin muscles exerting excessive loads on the pelvis. Once symptoms are under control a graduated return to functional exercise and sport can proceed under close guidance of you physio.
Shay McLeod is an APA Physiotherapist at the Hoppers Crossing clinic for Advance Healthcare. Shay has a keen interest in sports and spinal injuries and rehabilitation.
The Advance Healthcare Hoppers Crossing clinic services nearby areas such as Point Cook and Altona with high quality physiotherapy, psychology and multidisciplinary pain management services.