Pubalgia is a general term for disorders which result in pain of structures within the pubic region. Pubalgia typically occurs as a result of a sports injury involving sprinting, kicking or pivoting. During these activities, small shearing movements may occur in the pubic symphysis while the weight-bearing leg rotates and the opposite leg performs a movement such as kicking. Possible signs and symptoms include:
- Lower abdominal pain and/or groin pain with increased exertion. Minimal to no pain at rest. The pain may resolve once the person is warmed up, but the pain may return more intensely after the activity
- Increased pain during resisted hip adduction (squeezing a ball between thighs), sit-ups and/or groin/adductor passive stretch
- Tenderness of the groin or lower abdominal region (where the muscles attach to the pubic region)
What treatment options are available to address this condition?
If you are experiencing groin pain, it is recommended to follow up with a physician to have the region examined and diagnosed. The physician can rule out other potential pathology (hernia, fracture, etc.) and present the appropriate treatment options. Potential treatment options which may be suggested if indicated include:
- A period of rest, ice, and anti-inflammatory medications may be prescribed by the physician
- Physical therapy – a program may include manual therapy (soft tissue massage techniques), core stability and proprioception exercises, stretching as tolerated to the surrounding musculature, and appropriate progression of strengthening and muscle activation of the surrounding lumbopelvic region
*Developing a good warm-up routine and preparing effectively for the sporting activity can be extremely important in terms of injury prevention.
The author of this article is Matt Hosokawa, PT, DPT from Athletico – West Loop.