What You Should Know About Osteitis Pubis (OP)
Osteitis pubis, or OP as it is commonly referred occurs when there is inflammation of the pubic symphysis - the joint between the two major pelvic bones at the front of the pelvis and often manifests in pain in the groin and pelvic area.
The pubic symphysis is a thin joint that holds the two sides of the pelvis together in the front and in most people there is little or minimal motion.
Osteitis Pubis Causes
In some people, the pubic symphysis can become inflamed and irritated, causing the symptoms of osteitis pubis. Osteitis Pubis can be caused by:
- Sports activities (football, soccer and hockey are the most common activities)
- Surgical procedures (abdominal or gynaecological)
Symptoms of Osteitis Pubis
The most common symptom of Osteitis Pubis is pain over the front of the pelvis. It is important to consult your medical practitioner as sometimes the diagnosis of Osteitis Pubis can be confused with causes of groin pain or groin strain.
A person with Osteitis Pubis usually feels tenderness directly over the front of the pubic bone. Your medical practitioner may manipulate your hip joint, specifically placing tension on the rectus muscle and abductor muscle groups which will most often cause discomfort.
Sometimes an X-ray or an MRI test is may be needed and may show inflammation of the joint and the surrounding bone. Tests may be done to ensure there is no infection of the bone that could cause similar symptoms. This is usually more of a concern in people who are prone to infections or have had recent surgery.
Treatment of Osteitis Pubis
The most important treatment for Osteitis Pubis is to allow the acute inflammation to subside. Often this is the only step needed to relieve the pain. If the symptoms are severe, crutches or a cane may be helpful as well.
Ice and heat
Ice packs and heat pads are among the most commonly used treatments for inflammation. Ice is most commonly used for acute injuries to reduce swelling, pain, and inflammation. Heat is used to treat chronic injuries. It is important to get your physiotherapist or doctor to advise you.
Physical therapy can be helpful and is often recommended in the treatment of Osteitis Pubis. Physiotherapists may help to increase strength, regain mobility, and help return you to your pre-injury level of activity. While rest is needed for the inflammation to subside, physical therapy can help maintain strength and flexibility.
Anti-inflammatory medications often have their place in the treatment of Osteitis Pubis – often a multi layered approach and a combination of medication, rest and physical therapy may benefit you in your recovery.
Recovery from Osteitis Pubis can take several months or longer and this can be a frustrating and painful process, especially if you are an elite athlete. Studies show that wearing compression whilst recovering may facilitate your recovery and get you back to your preferred sport and help prevent further injury.
Learn more about Coretech compression and Osteitis pubis recovery