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Sports Injuries

02 September 2004

Osteitis pubis in rugby

Rugby players can suffer this injury from the cumulative effect of the shearing movement involved in kicking the ball.

What is osteitis pubis?
The bones in pelvis are joined by a relatively immobile joint called the symphysis pubis joint. This joint allows the pelvis to absorb a small amount of pressure and movement, but excess stress on the joint as a result of over-training can lead to pain and discomfort.

If a particular movement or activity causes a continual slight separation or shearing in the symphysis, the joint surfaces can be eroded, causing a roughening in the cartilage and bones forming the joint. This condition is called osteitis pubis, meaning inflammation of the pubic bone.

Cause
Rugby players can suffer this injury from the cumulative effect of the shearing movement involved in kicking the ball.

Symptoms
  • Pain and tenderness
  • Mild to moderate spasms of the adductor muscles

What you can do

  • Rest
  • Strengthen lower abdominal muscles; strengthen adductor (groin) muscles; stretch hamstrings, quads and other muscles that attach to the pelvis
  • See a physiotherapist

Other related articles:
Painkillers (Paracetamol)
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
COX-2 specific inhibitors
Different Steroids
Cortisone injections

 

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Ask the Expert

Sports Injuries Expert

Adrian Rotunno is a medical doctor in the Sports & Exercise Medicine fellowship at the Sports Science Institute of South Africa, and qualified physiotherapist. Team physician for Dimension Data pro-cycling, and Boland Rugby. Special interests include endurance sport, in particular cycling, as well as contact sports.

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