Do you know what pubalgia is? These are its symptoms, causes and treatment

If we exercise excessively, sudden movements or do not warm up well before training, we run the risk of suffering this injury.

Known as sportsman’s pubalgia or pubic osteopathy, this condition is the generic name for a series of injuries that affect different muscle groups in the inguinal area, and that manifests itself with pain in the pubis. Its symptoms are located at the level of the pubis, with radiation to the adductors, abdominals and areas closest to the groin. These pains are not constant, but rather go according to the severity of the injury suffered by the athlete, and can be classified as follows:

  • High: if it affects the anterior rectus (abdominal)
  • Low: tendinitis occurs in the adductors 
  • Mixed: when it affects both muscles 

Why does pubalgia occur?

Although the causes of this pathology can be several, pubalgia is usually caused by muscle overload caused by continuous movements typical of daily physical exercise that is performed at maximum performance. In the case of footballers, hitting the ball, changes in direction or rhythm, jumps with unbalanced falls or an excess of games played can trigger this injury. Not forgetting that poor physical preparation or previous warm-up are factors that can influence the appearance of this ailment. 

However, other factors can lead to this injury, related to the physical characteristics of each person present in their anatomy:

  • Shortening of the lower limbs
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Weakness in the abdominal wall
  • Lumbar hyperlordosis (hollow back or C-shaped spine)
  • Repeated microtrauma


Pubalgia manifests itself with pain that occurs in the groin area or lower abdomen that worsens over the days and moves towards the thigh. Initially, the pain appears after exercise or during the course of it so intense that it can prevent continuing. In its most acute phase, the intensity of pain increases even while at rest, preventing the performance of movements as simple as crossing the legs, which negatively affects the quality of life of the patient. 

How do I know if I have pubalgia?

Although the symptoms of pubalgia can vary and tend to increase with the passing of days, it is necessary to see a doctor to get an accurate diagnosis and thus be able to treat the condition correctly. There are muscle tests that can make us suspect the appearance of this injury. However, an inguinal ultrasound or MRI of the pubic area will objectively confirm if it is a pubalgia and which is the most affected area to be able to treat it. 


Timely consultation and a good diagnosis will be the basis for a speedy recovery if you suffer from pubalgia. However, poorly treated pubalgia can lead to an even greater condition that will even require surgery or sequelae when performing certain movements in the future. 

By the time a definitive diagnosis is made, the injury could last up to 8 weeks depending on the patient, so during this time rest will be the key to treating this condition and returning as soon as possible to perform without any risk in the sport. It is also common to resort to the use of anti-inflammatories to reduce pain and inflammation in the affected area. 

Once an improvement is achieved, a rehabilitation with methods of physiotherapy, osteopathy and even electrostimulation will be necessary. 

For the injury not to become chronic, it is important to perform specific warm-ups and exercises when returning to the routine. 

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