What is osteitis pubis?

Osteitis pubis is inflammation pubic symphysis, the joints of the two major bones in the front of the pelvis. Osteitis pubis is a common cause of groin and pelvic pain in certain sports athletes.

The pubic symphysis is the joint located in front of and below the bladder. It holds the sides of the pelvis together in front. Under normal conditions, there is little movement of the pubic symphysis. However, osteitis pubis can occur when the joint is under abnormally constant pressure.

This article describes the symptoms and causes of osteitis pubis. It also explains how this overuse injury is usually diagnosed and treated.

Osteitis pubis symptoms

The most common symptom of osteitis pubis is pain in the front of the pelvis. Although pain most often occurs in the center of the pelvis, one side may be more painful than the other. Central pain usually radiates outward.

Other signs and symptoms of osteitis include:

  • limp
  • hip or leg weakness
  • Difficulty climbing stairs
  • Pain when walking, running, or changing direction
  • Clicking or popping sound when changing direction
  • Lower abdominal pain in the center of the pelvis
  • pain when lying on your side
  • pain when sneezing or coughing

Osteitis pubis is often confused with a groin strain (“groin strain”) or other causes of groin pain.it also has similar symptoms osteomyelitisusually by a Staphylococcus aureus.


Osteitis pubis usually occurs when the pubic symphysis joint is exposed to excessive, sustained, directed pressure.

READ ALSO:  septic hip in young children

Causes of osteitis pubis include:

  • Physical activity, especially contact sports
  • pregnancy and childbirth
  • pelvic injury

Osteitis pubis is usually a sports injury caused by overuse of the hip and leg muscles. This is common among athletes who engage in sports that involve kicking, spinning, or changing direction. Hockey, soccer and soccer players are most commonly affected.

Less commonly, pregnancy and childbirth can put pressure on the pubic symphysis, leading to osteitis pubis. Certain injuries, such as a severe fall, can also cause the disease.

Causes of Chronic Pelvic Pain


Osteitis pubis is diagnosed based on physical examination and imaging studies. Additional tests can be done to rule out other possible causes.

The physical examination will involve manipulation of the hip to put tension on rectus abdominis Trunk muscles and thigh abductors. Pain during the procedure is a common sign of osteitis pubis.

You may also be asked to walk to check for abnormalities in your gait, or to check for pain with certain movements.

X-rays often show joint irregularities and hardening (thickening) pubic symphysis. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) — an imaging test that better images soft tissue — may reveal inflammation in joints and surrounding bones. Some cases do not show any signs of injury on X-rays or MRIs.

Laboratory tests for osteitis pubis

There are no laboratory tests that can diagnose osteitis pubis. However, laboratory tests may be required to distinguish it from conditions such as osteomyelitis.

Groin Pain Causes and Treatment


Treatment for osteitis pubis may take several months or longer to be fully effective. Because inflammation is the root cause of your symptoms (rather than breaks or tears), treatment usually includes:

  • Rest: Rest allows acute inflammation to subside. During recovery, sleeping on your back may reduce pain.
  • Ice and heat: Ice packs can help reduce inflammation. After the initial swelling subsides, a warm compress can help relieve the pain.
  • Anti-inflammatory drugs: Over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as Advil (ibuprofen) and Aleve (naproxen) can reduce pain and inflammation.
  • Assisted walking device: If symptoms are severe, crutches or crutches are recommended to reduce pressure on the pelvis.

Does cortisone help?

Injections of cortisone have been tried to treat osteitis pubis, but the evidence to support its use is weak. Surgery is also not the standard treatment, even for people who take a long time to recover.

In contrast, physical therapy is very helpful in treating osteitis pubis. While rest is required for inflammation to subside, physical therapy can help restore strength and flexibility.

What is Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy?


Once diagnosed, the prognosis for a complete recovery from osteitis pubis is very good. Even so, it can take quite a while. Some athletes may take six months or more to return to pre-injury levels, but more commonly, most athletes take around three months to recover.

If conservative treatment fails to relieve symptoms after 6 months, surgery may be considered.


Osteitis pubis is inflammation of the joint that connects the pelvic bones, called the pelvic symphysis. Symptoms include pain in the center of the pelvis. There may also be a limp or popping or clicking sound when exercising. Pelvic pain can occur when you walk, run, climb stairs, lie on your side, change direction, cough or sneeze.

Osteitis pubis is primarily seen in athletes who participate in sports that require kicking, spinning, or changing direction. Hockey, soccer, and soccer players are often affected. Osteitis pubis can also occur as a result of injury, pregnancy, or childbirth.

Osteitis pubis is diagnosed by physical examination and imaging studies. Treatment usually includes rest, heat or ice, and over-the-counter pain relievers. Physical therapy and assistive walking equipment can also help.

Once diagnosed, the prognosis for osteitis pubis is good, but recovery can be lengthy.

VigorTip words

If you’ve been diagnosed with osteitis pubis, you’ll need to be patient.Resume as much activity as possible Nowdoing so prematurely may only result in worsening of your condition and longer recovery time.

By taking time off to rest, you will be able to start physical therapy sooner. This, in turn, ensures that you return to your pre-injury level of activity more quickly.