Today I got diagnosed with osteitis pubis, described by Wikipedia as being: “characterised by inflammation of the pubic symphysis, which is the joint at the front of the pelvis between the two ends of the pubic bone. This inflammation leads to sclerosis and bony changes of the pubis symphysis, causing both acute and chronic groin pain. The condition can render sufferers incapable of sustained physical activity. There is no specific treatment for the condition and it can seriously affect the careers of footballers affected by it.”
Luckily, despite the condition having started in July, I’m still in the mild phase where 3-4 weeks of anti-inflammatories and rehabilitation work as set out by my physiotherapist (John Murphy) should put the problem back in the closet but 8 weeks is not unusual. It does mean, in any case, that the first part of the cross-country season is once again over for me and we’ll have to look at my fitness when I return to see if competing in the second part is feasible.
Paul O’Connell, the rugby player, apparently suffered from this issue (and other related problems), whereas it’s most common among Australian Football players. In my case, it’s most likely caused by an overloading of the abdominal area while running uphill because of the specific volume and biomechanics that I drive into my high knee lift.
John believes this can be fixed long-term by putting my mental focus on the push-back phase of the running cycle (incidentally, the part we are working on in the Thursday sessions I am doing at the moment). The problem has then been aggravated by fast downhill running now that the area where the stabilisers sit is already inflamed and irritable.
What part is has had in my issues over summer is hard to say and doesn't really matter at this stage, only that I need to refine my approach to uphill running in the future and follow the rehab program John has laid out for me.