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Osteitis Pubis

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  • Osteitis Pubis

    Hey everyone...i've been battling with this problem for about 2 years and I wanted to see if anyone else has the same condition.

    Last July I was diagnosed with Osteitis Pubis, inflammation of my pelvis. The doctor said it was most likely cause by riding. This inflammation pretty much cripples my life when I feel sick; I can't do anything! I have missed shows due to flair ups, as well as everyday things. I took a course of anti-inflammatories after I was diagnosed and that helped for a while, then it came back.

    I took it easy this winter with limited riding, mostly due to the weather. Yesterday was the first time I had ridden 2 horses in a while, and I didn't do much, just walked and trotted both of them. Needless to say as I'm writing this I'm not feeling great.
    I event and I ride a very energetic horse, so I have to ride 5-6 days a week. Its gotten so bad that i'm about to throw in the towel when it comes to competitive riding.

    Has anybody been diagnosed with this problem? If so any suggestions that work for you? I'm tired of being restricted by it and missing out on life! Feel free to PM me!

  • #2
    No Brightside

    I too have had this crippling condition and after years of no real advise from doctors proceeded to give up riding as I worked it out for myself that that was what was causing the problem. I had hernias diagonosed and operated on only to find no hernia. All this went on for around 5 years to no avail. From the ongoing pain and disablement I went into severe depression and ended up in a Looney Bin a coupleof times for self harm. I finally gradually gave up riding and took up Dog Trialing. I had not ridden except occasionally for around five years (remember 10 yrs since original diagnosis) I have kept my horse though and and now just getting back to riding again and playing Polocrosse because my kids are now invilved with this sport. Now the problem is back. Three days ago I was happily schooling my horse with my daughter, the next day I could not walk. The pain I have from this is like someone stabbing a knife into my groin and ripping it down to my knee. I crawled to get around. The hospital could not or would not help and I felt so bad that if I could have gotten to a razor blade from the floor, who knows! Well this time I am not giving up. Yesterday I sought the help of a good Sports Medicine Physio therapist and I had to crawl into his office. I walked out (albeit tentitively) and am determined to ride again. Normally my pain does'nt affect me while I am actually riding but I pay for it on the ground, although this last bout has been extreme. I will be riding this weekend if I have to velcro myself to the saddle. I have lots of work to do and strengtheneng my core muscles again is just some of it. I believe the problem started not from Riding Horses as I had been doing that all my life, but from riding whilste I was pregnant and then straight after while my muscles and ligaments were still soft. My Physio therapist also believes this could have been what started it off. In short there is no easy cure for this if you don't pursue it to the hilt. Look up info on the net and you will find that through physio form the correct sources they will tell you you should be able to be back competing within 10 weeks or so. Maybe if you go to a good sports therapist that may happen. I only wish I had done that way back then. Keep heart, don't let it beat you, there must be a way and some sites mention surgical intervention so just keep pursuing it. Anti inflamitories sure do help a lot as well. Cheers, and best of luck.


    • Original Poster

      I'm glad to hear someone else has this problem. I'm at my second therapy session right now. After stamping many doctors I've been coming to physical therapy for.ultrasound, stretching, and exercise. As soon as my pain subsides(I'm off heavy duty pain killers and just on nsaids and tylenol, I'm going to start core training. So my prognosis is good. I have ridden this week, but I've done preventative measures, such as stretching before, tylenol before, and ice and stretching after. I'm keeping my rides light, and letting my trainer work with my difficult horse, cause I'm the exact same as you. I can work my horse and not feel anything while I'm on, but as soon as I'm off and done my body goes crazy on me. I'm just gonna have to stay on top of this my whole life I think. I have two horses in for training right now til the end of April. Once they are done I'm gonna focus on just my horse and join a wellness program at a gym that does a lot of core training. I have dreams of a CCI* and I'm gonna achieve them. Thanks for your insight crackle, I hope all works out for you too!


      • #4
        Would either of you mind describing your pain/symptoms in some detail for me? I'm beginning to wonder if I have this condition.

        I was diagnosed with myofascial trigger point syndrome earlier this year, and had a series of shots in my back, and while they did help and provide some immediate relief, I do still have occaisional crippling bouts of groin/thigh/leg pain. (Had one last night, and had to use crutches to get from one room to another).

        After a bit of reading I'm wondering if I could have this in addition to or instead of the myofascial trigger point.

        I had a baby in late 2009, though he was a c-section delivery. I was riding lightly at six weeks post delivery. I've had some periods where I felt good and was riding a normal load, but I've also had periods where I was literally crippled and can't walk or ride at all. I'm not as fit as I should be, because every time I've tried to get back in the swing, I end up crippled again.

        So I'm wondering if I should discuss this with my doctor. I also wonder if things have moved around "down there" because I'v been having bouts of the "Inverness problem" which has never happened to me in 30 plus years of riding.

        Thanks in advance.
        Phoenix Farm ~ Breeding-Training-Sales
        Eventing, Dressage, Young Horses
        Check out my new blog: http://califcountrymom.blogspot.com


        • #5
          Ya I would like a description as well. I had a fall years ago that involved twisting my foot in the stirrup as I came down and doing some damage to the ligaments in the hip/groin area. Afterwards I would randomly get pain in my groin/hip/leg/pelvic area I would cry at the thought of having to take a single step. The doctors never came up with a satifactory answer, they just put me on anti-inflammitory meds (for almost a year) and I stopped doing anything active. Eventually I rode again, but not without a milder version of the same pain.

          I think the doctors thought I was making it up because they never came up with a conclusive diagnosis, but I have never been in pain like that EVER. I've boken vertabrae, collerbone, shattered an arm, torn my entire knee apart several times - nothing held a candle to this. Makes me cringe just thinking about it honestly. I wonder if it this syndrome is related. It sure would be nice to not hobble around after a ride. My friends don't even ask anymore, they just know I have a "funny hip thing"


          • Original Poster

            I'd be more than happy to describe it to ya'll. Just a little background about me...I'm 23 and like I said I've had chronic flair ups for the past 2 years. Previous to that I have had problems since I was 18, but nothing prolonged or severe. I ride "for fun". I own a farm and compete my own horse, but I also ride other people's horses and teach lessons to supplement income on top of a full time job.

            About 2 years ago, when the pain really started, we were convinced that they were bad bladder infections, as I drink a lot of mountain dew (oops). However, once anti-biotics and pyridium didn't work and I was resorting to using prescription pain meds. We thought it was something more. The final straw before going to see a doctor was last June I was at Surefire competing. Stadium was running behind and I got off my horse to use the bathroom. As soon as I used the bathroom I had severe pain. I almost didn't get to finish competing because it was so bad, which would have been terrible, as I drove from KY for the weekend.

            So when I get a flair up its typically after I have ridden my horse, maybe an hour or so after I have ridden. It feels like a terrible bladder infection. Pain in the pelvic/groin area. I have gotten good at telling if its a bladder infection or a flair up. My flair ups feel like the pain isn't even near my bladder but around it.

            My dad described to me what he thinks is happening. When I ride my pelvis is being pushed apart more than normal. Its barely supposed to move. So when I get off it comes back together and as i'm working and riding more horses it rubs against each other, causing the inflammation and pain. This is why strengthening my core will help and the muscles will help keep pelvis in line. Im getting an appointment with a sports medicine doctor, as my pain has been pretty constant for 2 weeks and I woke up in pain the other night not even having done anything.

            Sorry this is kind of long. I hope this helps you all, as I can definitely say I feel your pain!!!


            • #7
              I'm so sorry that you are suffering with pelvic dysfunction. I had my own struggle with this and it is just an awful condition. I was not diagnosed with osteitis pubis but rather with hypermobility at the pubic symphysis ans SI joint, causing my pelvis to twist. This all started after a running injury to my groin/upper thigh muscles. My symptoms were similar to the ones described by other posters; severe unilateral groin/thigh/center of pelvis pain. I was in PT for a couple of years with no change and couldn't run or ride (my two favorite athletic activities) without severe pain that lasted for days. I also tried chiropractic work and anti-inflammatories, but it was no use.

              What finally helped me was prolotherapy, including a series of injections to the pubic symphysis. It all but cured me. I still have mild pain sometimes but nothing like before. I can run and ride for as long as I want without discomfort. I ran 3 half marathons in less than a year after treatment and I ride almost everyday, sometimes multiple horses.

              I encourage you to research prolotherapy. It is the only thing that helped me and the results were astounding. My doctor said that it has a particularly high success rate for treating pelvic dysfunction.

              A blog featuring the musings of a semi-neurotic adult amateur rider on riding, training, showing, life.


              • #8
                Prolo and PRP are awesome!!!

                Waves hand wildly in the air!
                Prolotherapy and PRP (platelet rich plasma) have helped enormously!

                I got hit by a deer 5 years ago, while galloping my big DWB. I hyper-extended all of the pelvic ligaments in trying to stay on, broke a number of vertabrae, re-arranging some in novel positions, and squashed some discs along the way. I got back on and rode home, because that was the only way I was going to get there.

                The local doctors didn't even think I was hurt enough to do xrays. After about 3 months, I found a P.T. in Middleburg, Va with advanced training, who figured out that I was in serious trouble. She suggested a spinal neuro-surgeon who did lots of pro and olympic sports medicine. He sent me back to the P.T.

                After 2 1/2 years of P.T. I was still having major pain and couldn't keep my pelvis in place. At which point I complained that my horses could have stem cell to tighten things up, why couldn't I? To which she said, you probably can.

                She told me to research prolotherapy and PRP and suggested researching Dr. Mayo Friedlis, one of the great gurus in the field. Turns out he has helped a bunch of equestrians, including a number of world class ones that are friends of mine. Turns out there is a reason he is so understanding of our passion. He is an equestrian, too...
                After getting their glowing references, I started the treatments.

                I have gone from not riding and falling while walking short distances on my own 2 feet and hurting enormously most of the time, to being out of pain and riding. I started Foxhunting (hill topping) this Fall on a greenie that I started making after the PRP. Now I'm signed up for a baby novice cross country clinic with Jimmy Wofford. (Another item on my bucket list )

                Check out Dr. Friedlis website:
                and look at regenerative therapies.There is more on him on google, too.
                Phoenix Farm, he knows people in this field all over the world, so I hope he can suggest someone in your part of the world.

                I hope that this helps all of you. P.M. me if you want more info or encouragement. There is hope...
                Intermediate Riding Skills


                • Original Poster

                  Just a quick update....

                  I had an MRI yesterday and got the results back today. The MRI was negative for any inflammation around my pelvis. So we are back to square one....


                  • #10
                    I just found this thread on Google, and i can't believe that others share the same pain I have! It seems liek it's a fairly common thing among athletes and goes hand in hand with SI issues - which I have had even longer.

                    Has anyone had any luck with using a cushy saddle seat cover?

                    As a side note, Brightside - have they ever checked you for Interstitial cystitis?
                    The Equine Wellness and Nutrition FB Group - Come join us!!


                    • #11
                      Nurse chimes in....

                      Osteitis means inflammation of the bone. Pubis means the pubic BONE, os pubis means the front (anterior) bone. Pelvis means the whole area; bone AND soft tissue AND GYN tissues and rectum and bladder.
                      So......osteitis pubis means inflammation of the pubic bone. That is totally different from the soft tissue/ligament/strains/pains etc that ya'll are describing. I think you're confusing diagnoses. Osteitis pubis inflammation has to be caused by something.
                      The pelvic bones are FUSED! Fixed. The pelvic girdle or cradle of bones are carrying weight plus the reproductive organs. They do not move...unless they are fractured. There are cartilages that fix them together which can fracture or tear. The fractures are acute, happen suddenly and heal most of the time. Any fx's or torn areas would show up on xrays or MRI. The most common way a pelvis can even "soften" is osteoporosis and a couple of other diseases. All horsewomen should be religious about our vitamin D + Calcium intake as well as preserving our very stressed spinal column bones.

                      So....yes a pelvis "moves" in that the tissues/muscles attached can pull/push on it and a spring- like shock absorbing motion can occur. Very slight. It would only occur when the pelvic bones are strongly pushed or pounded or like when sitting a trot - become part of the shock absorbing of the concussion of our weight coming down on the pelvic girdle. Repeated pounding can always cause pain & inflammation. Stop the pounding=stop the pain, allow time for inflammation to lessen and healing to begin. And it's re-pounding that can bring it back. Anti-flammatory treatments help a lot to speed healing whether it's pills, injections, whatever.

                      Chronic pain in the pelvic AREA can be caused by dozens of things!
                      Rarely from the pelvic BONES! It can be reproductive pain, urinary, GI tract, abdominal, muscular, spinal. And caused by strains of things attached to the pelvic bones. Pain in that area can be what is called "referred pain" ie: pain in that area caused by damage to another area/organ/problem.

                      We horsefolks are doomed to having back & spinal problems. We are brutal to our backs and all are stricken at some point with issues. So ALWAYS go there first when wondering about diagnoses. Anything you can do to lessen back concussion will help with your pelvic area pain. Unless it's caused by something else!

                      Keep pursuing your cures but know that someday we may have to accept that riding=pounding=pain is in our particular futures. We horsefolks are not good at accepting our decrepitudes!! And I think that's a good thing. Fight on my seestas!!


                      • #12
                        I dug up this old thread because I have recently had this condition. The best article that I have found on it is--


                        It has a number of causes, including pregnancy as well as imbalances in the musculature and range of motion caused by arthritis or adductor muscle injuries.
                        "Against stupidity the gods themselves contend in vain" ~Friedrich Schiller


                        • #13
                          Pregnancy is when mine started. That, and riding a horse who had a huge buck, a few years ago. I landed wrong in the saddle, and immediately felt a sharp pain right in that area. Now, if I step wrong, or ride a wide horse, etc, I feel the pain again.
                          The Equine Wellness and Nutrition FB Group - Come join us!!


                          • #14
                            I am glad that I found this posting. I have been recently diagnosed with Pubic Symphysis Dysfunction exacerbated by chronic pelvic floor issues. I injured myself riding a large heavy horse with a new saddle with a very wide twist. Over a period of 2 months, asking the horse to carry himself with my seat (and ignoring the pain) I basically sprained my pubic symphysis by over-stretching that joint.

                            I have not been able to ride since August. The severe pain has decreased but I still have trouble with pain, difficulty walking and I cannot do any type of exercise.

                            I have started Physical Therapy with a therapist that specializes in pelvic floor problems. This type of therapy is very detailed and may take months. We are hoping to stabilize my pelvis so that I can function normally without pain. The therapist is not sure whether I will ever be able to tolerate riding again.

                            I am struggling emotionally with the possibility of not riding. It makes me very sad. Fortunately, at this moment, I do not own a horse.

                            Everyones "story" is so similar with the ups and downs. I found it very interesting that someone has had Prolotherapy. I am certainly adding it to my list if the Physical Therapy is not as affective as I hope.

                            Thank you to all that have posted here, it helps to not feel so alone. No one understands what I am going through and it can be frustrating when your friends treat you like you are making things up or over-reacting.


                            • #15
                              Just chiming in here WRT Prolo--and PRP--since I have been treated (extensively) by National Spine and Pain (Dr. Friedlis works through them), among many others, and have had a multitude of therapies for my lower lumbar issues (degenerative arthritis, stenosis, and a bulging disc, worst at L5/S1.)

                              The regenerative therapies are *not* covered by insurance, and will run you about $3,300 for 3 treatments (3 is the treatment protocol), since they are considered "experimental." And this is why I can't afford them, and must settle for what insurance DOES cover. Many NFL and NBA players have had these treatments (with good results), but those of us without deep pockets are SOL.

                              Do NOT get me started

                              Anyway, best of luck to you, OP! We are all in this struggle together, and hugs to you for what you're going through...
                              "Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies."

                              "It's supposed to be hard...the hard is what makes it great!" (Jimmy Dugan, "A League of Their Own")


                              • #16
                                I know this is an old thread but I read it last night for the first time. I have been thinking about the fact that some of you have had to cut back or eliminate your riding and was wondering if riding side saddle might be an alternative for you.


                                • Original Poster

                                  For some reason I was looking back at this post and saw where people had been commenting on it again!

                                  I'm happy to say that with therapy and medicine regimen and a strict diet my pain is been almost entirely gone. I still have occasional flare ups, but they are few and far between. I was able to go back to riding and competing, and successfully spent the year eventing at Training Level, and I am looking forward to a move up to Prelim in the spring. If I can be of any help to anyone with similar problems, please message me!