Osteitis Pubis – What is it and how to recover?

Osteitis Pubis-01

Osteitis Pubis is an overuse injury (repeated trauma) occurring commonly in footballers,  resulting in painful inflammation of the pubic bones.


What are the symptoms of Osteitis Pubis?

Mild condition

  • Groin pain on kicking side
  • Pain eases during warm-up but comes back after training or game

Moderate condition

  • Groin pain on kicking side or both sides and pain spreads to the lower abdominal area
  • Increased pain after training
  • Pain when kicking ball, sprinting, change of direction, walking long distances or running
  • Loss of running speed and ability to accelerate

Severe condition

  • Unable to train or play
  • Pain in groin and / or lower abdominal area when cough or sneeze
  • Pain when walking on uneven surfaces
  • Pain when roll over in bed at night
  • Stiff and sore when get out of bed in the morning
  • Pain on standing on one leg or going up or down stairs


What causes Osteitis Pubis?

  • Sudden increase in level of training – both volume and intensity – too much too soon
  • Returning to full training after a long break in training
  • Poor core stability
  • Tight hip muscles / stiff hip joints
  • Weak hip muscles
  • Weak groin / adductor muscles
  • Previous groin injury


Identify the solution to the pain

Stage 1

  • Ice
  • Anti-inflammatories
  • Rest

Stage 2

  • Massage to adductor muscles and gluteal muscles
  • Stretch hip muscles
  • Get back and pelvis checked out and treated if needed by physiotherapy, chiropractor or osteopath
  • Learn how to work your “deep” core stability muscles (transversus abdominus and pelvic floor) – physiotherapist or Pilates instructor.  An assessment with real-time ultrasound can help with this.
  • Strengthen your gluteal muscles
  • Improve the strength and endurance of your adductor muscles

Stage 3

  • Core stability program (Swiss Ball program or Pilates)
  • Strengthen hips with elastic band
  • Stationary bike
  • Running program in water
  • Basic running program on land
  • Wear “sacro-iliac joint” belt or wear tape on pelvis
  • Wear Supacore Coretech compression shorts or leggings 


How Long Will It Take to Recover?

12 to 20 weeks is a normal time frame to expect for recovery from osteitis pubis.


Author: Carolyn Taylor, Physiotherapist

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