Objectives: To examine current practices and develop a set of recommendations for the management of osteitis pubis in the Australian Football League (AFL).
Design: A qualitative study using in-depth interviews to gather data and thematic coding to analyze findings.
Setting: Participants were interviewed in their workplace or at a convenient meeting point.
Participants: Thirty-six medical and fitness staff from the 16 AFL clubs.
Results: Respondents from all clubs viewed osteitis pubis as an overuse injury and recognized that the key to prevention is balancing pelvic integrity and load. Osteitis pubis was described as the end result of a continuum of groin pathology, and recognition of predisposing factors and early detection were identified as the key elements of optimal management. Management strategies included rest, training modification, cross-training, correction of predisposing factors, physical therapy and a progression back to competition. Most clubs also conduct generic prevention and education programs.
Conclusions: Overall, respondents perceived that awareness and management of osteitis pubis is currently at a high level in the AFL. Management of osteitis pubis requires the balancing of pelvic integrity and mechanical load through the pelvis and the early identification of warning signs.