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Iliopsoas Bursitis/Tendonitis

Often referred to as hip flexors, the iliacus and psoas muscles are important muscles of the hip. These muscles are key to hip flexion. They are necessary for walking, running, bending, and supporting the body. Iliopsoas bursitis or tendonitis occurs when the bursa or tendons become irritated and inflamed

Iliopsoas Bursitis/Tendonitis Hero Image 2

Often referred to as hip flexors, the iliacus and psoas muscles are important muscles of the hip. These muscles are key to hip flexion. They are necessary for walking, running, bending, and supporting the body.

Bursa are small, fluid-filled sacs located beneath these muscles. They act as cushions, reducing friction between the hip flexor muscles, their tendons (soft tissues that connect muscles to bone), and the hip.

Iliopsoas bursitis or tendonitis occurs when the bursa or tendons become irritated and inflamed. This condition can be painful and make physical activity difficult.

What causes Iliopsoas Bursitis/Tendonitis?

In athletes, iliopsoas bursitis/tendonitis is often caused by overuse of the iliopsoas muscles and surrounding tissues. Sports that involve repetitive motions can cause chronic wear and tear on the bursa and tendons. Athletes with tight flexor muscles are also at greater risk because of increased pressure placed on the tendons and bursa that can cause irritation.

Iliopsoas bursitis/tendonitis is most common in these sports:

• Running
• Swimming
• Ballet Dancing
• Martial Arts
• Soccer

Symptoms

The primary symptom associated with iliopsoas bursitis/tendonitis is pain. A dull, achy pain is usually felt in the front of the thigh or groin. It can sometimes extend down the thigh and to the knee and buttocks. Common symptoms also include:
• Pain associated with activity, such as walking, climbing stairs, exercising, or standing from a seated position
• Tenderness in the front of the thigh or groin
• A snapping sensation in the hip

When to see a doctor

If you experience pain in your hip or groin area for more than a few days , you should see your doctor. At your visit, be sure to describe your symptoms and the types of sports and physical activities you engage in. Your doctor will conduct a thorough physical examination, which will involve checking your hip for range of motion and strength. He/She may perform some physical examination tests to exclude other causes of your pain. X-rays and other imaging tests may be ordered to help rule out other sources of your symptoms.

Non-operative treatment

Treatment of iliopsoas bursitis or tendonitis usually involves rest from sports and other activities that stress the iliopsoas muscles, such as running or swimming. Conservative treatments also include:

• Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen and naproxen, to relieve pain
• Corticosteroid injections guided by x-rays or other imaging tools to relieve pain and speed recovery
• Physical therapy exercises to strengthen muscles and improve flexibility

You can also try these exercises at home:

Iliopsoas Bursitis/Tendonitis

Surgical Treatment

In rare cases, when conservative treatments are not effective, your doctor may recommend surgery to release the iliopsoas tendon.

Recovery

Your doctor may advise limited activity during your recovery period, which can range from six to eight weeks to give your iliopsoas muscles and the bursae time to fully heal. Your doctor and physical therapist will work with you to develop an exercise and stretching program to get you ready for a full return to play.

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