Osteitis pubis (groin injury)

Athletes frequently suffer from groin pain or “osteitis pubis”. This can have a profoundly negative effect on physical performance, mental attitude and the will to win – but it can be cured.

Usually labelled osteitis pubis or “OP”, the pain most often originates from inflammation of the insertion of the large adductor muscles into the pubic bone deep in the groin – so-called adductor tendonitis. These muscles are located on the inside of the thigh and are responsible for pulling the leg in towards the midline. (See figure) Sometimes X-ray examination can show changes to this attachment area, but there is no consensus regarding their significance. Pain can occur while exercising or even at rest and the affected area may be very tender when pressed.

One of the least understood injuries in sports medicine, OP often creates heartsink for doctors, physiotherapists, trainers and other sports-related health professionals alike. Why? Because they know there is little can be done about it other than surgery, which doesn’t always work, and that the athlete could be out of action for some time.

All manner of treatments are used – ice, heat, rest, exercise, massage, anti-inflammatory medication – oral and topical etc. Results are often disappointing and in many cases, OP becomes chronic.

The following is one of my case histories which prompted me to write this article:

A 40 year old jockey who had suffered groin pain since age 10 came in to see if I could help him!  The pain was so bad his quality of life was virtually ruined. Surgeons had even explored inside his scrotum as they thought the pain may be coming from his testicle, but everything there was normal.

My examination revealed painful and marked limitation of leg movement and exquisite tenderness over the insertion of his adductor muscles. A classic case of OP!

I massaged in a little wheatgrass extract over the tender area. About ten minutes later he had full movement of his leg and walked without pain for the first time in 30 years! At follow up a month later, he remained pain-free.

Hard to believe, I know, but this patient was only one of many I have treated successfully over the years with wheatgrass.

How Does It Work?

Wheatgrass extract has been shown by laboratory testing that it is capable of inhibiting the most important and widespread pain transmission molecule in the body –  Substance P.  For instance, when you burn yourself on a hotplate, Substance P is produced at the site resulting in rapid transmission of a pain signal to the brain. Which is when it starts to hurt.

However, wheatgrass has been shown to be a powerful inhibitor of Substance P. In other words, it helps prevent pain reaching the brain in the first place, hence its ability to kill pain when applied over the groin region. In fact, often the pain disappears after just one application of wheatgrass – for good.

Considering how rapidly wheatgrass worked in this and many other cases, the “disordered musculo-skeletal mechanics” (a non-specific term) theory that is usually cited as the cause of OP, needs to be reviewed.

Wheatgrass has worked very well for many of my patients suffering from this condition. Often within a few minutes of application, even though it had been present for a long period of time as in this case.

Dr. Chris Reynolds.