Osteitis pubis happens when the joint between the two pubic bones is stressed, causing pain, swelling, and tenderness over the pubis, which can also travel into the groin area. It is usually the result of overdoing an activity regularly over time. Incidences of osteitis pubis among athletes have been reported to be as high as 8 per cent, with long-distance runners and athletes participating in kicking sports, particularly male soccer players, being among the most susceptible.

Osteitis Pubis Treatment for Athletes

Doctors may use x-ray or other imaging tests to diagnose osteitis pubis. Conservative treatments like rest, anti-inflammatories, and ice or cold packs for the swelling followed by heat if the swelling has gone down. Physiotherapy with exercises and stretching to strengthen the hip and groin can also help.

If conservative treatment doesn’t help, then more invasive methods like steroid shots and surgery may be used. However, while surgery may be necessary in approximately 5 to 10 per cent of cases of osteitis pubis, outcomes are mixed. In one study examining ten patients who’d undergone surgery for osteitis pubis, only six were satisfied with the outcome.

Experts in sports medicine have noted a steady increase in groin pain and osteitis pubis. From an athlete’s perspective, it’s easy to understand their frustration with conservative treatments like rest since it can take months to be sufficiently recovered to get back to regular activities. Furthermore, the surgical option is also unappealing given that the results are so mixed.

A study published in Knee Surgery, Sports Traumatology, Arthroscopy investigated the use of shockwave therapy as a potential standardized non-surgical treatment for a swift return to activity for athletes. Shockwave therapy delivers acoustic pressure waves to an injured area to boost the body’s natural healing processes by boosting metabolism and circulation.

In a prospective, double-blind controlled study, researchers analyzed 143 amateur soccer players with groin pain and osteitis pubis over a year. Two randomized study groups participated in a physical therapy program either with or without shockwave therapy, while a control group of ninety-nine didn’t participate in any therapy program and simply ceased activity. In the experimental groups, twenty-six participants received shockwave therapy while eighteen didn’t.

While forty-two of the forty-four players in the experimental group returned to activity after four months and experienced no recurrent groin pain, researchers noted that players who’d received shockwave therapy showed earlier pain relief judged by a visual analogue scale and were able to return to activity “significantly earlier” than players who hadn’t received shockwave. Meanwhile, fifty-one players of the control group returned to activity after 240 days, but over 50 per cent experienced recurrent groin pain.

Follow-up MRI scans showed no side effects of shockwave. Researchers concluded that shockwave therapy significantly reduced pain and enable a return to activity within just three months following trauma.

Upgrade Your Practice

In addition to osteitis pubis and groin pain, shockwave therapy can treat many sports-related injuries, such as hamstring injuries, Achilles tendinopathy, patellar tendonitis, and more. All healthcare professionals can use shockwave technology, and our experienced practitioners will back you up with 24/7 support.

To learn more about integrating shockwave into your practice, call 1 (888) 741-SHOC(7462) or visit our website.