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Osteitis Pubis: Care Instructions

Your Care Instructions

The pubis is the area where the two pubic bones meet in the front of the pelvis. They are joined by cartilage. Osteitis pubis is a condition caused by stress on this joint. It can cause pain, swelling, and tenderness right over the pubis. The pain may go into the groin area.

Osteitis pubis often happens when you overdo an activity or repeat the same activity day after day. It is most common in distance runners and soccer players.

Many things can cause groin pain. The doctor may use X-rays or other imaging tests to diagnose this condition.

Osteitis pubis will get better in time with home care. But it may take a few months. The doctor may recommend physiotherapy and exercises to stretch and strengthen your hip muscles. Sometimes a steroid shot can help reduce pain and swelling.

It is important to avoid the activity that caused this condition until the pain is gone. If you don't, you may have ongoing pain.

Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse advice line (811 in most provinces and territories) if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.

How can you care for yourself at home?

  • Ask your doctor if you can take an over-the-counter pain medicine, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), or naproxen (Aleve). Be safe with medicines. Read and follow all instructions on the label.
  • Put ice or a cold pack on the painful area for 10 to 20 minutes at a time. Try to do this every 1 to 2 hours for the next 3 days (when you are awake) or until the swelling goes down. Put a thin cloth between the ice and your skin.
  • After 2 or 3 days, if your swelling is gone, apply heat. Put a warm water bottle, a heating pad set on low, or a warm cloth over the painful area. Do not go to sleep with a heating pad on your skin.
  • Do exercises and stretching as directed by your therapist or doctor.
  • Return to your usual level of activity slowly. Don't do anything that makes your pain worse.

When should you call for help?

Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse advice line if:

  • You have new or worse pain.
  • You have new symptoms.
  • You do not get better as expected.

Where can you learn more?

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Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.