What is Iliopsoas Muscle and What is its Function?
The Iliopsoas Muscle is a part of the inner hip muscles. It is a mix of two muscles that arise from two totally different origins. The Iliopsoas Muscle is a part of the striated musculature and it gets its blood supply from the femoral nerve along with direct branches of the lumbar plexus. There are two parts of the Iliopsoas Muscle. They are the psoas major muscle which stems from the 1st to 4th lumbar vertebrae and the 12th thoracic vertebrae and goes into the lesser trochanter of the femur and the iliacus muscle which runs from the iliac fossa to the lesser trochanter. These two muscles then get together at the lateral pelvis to form the Iliopsoas Muscle. Coming to the function of the Iliopsoas Muscle, it is one of the strongest muscle of the hip joint. Iliopsoas muscle is extremely important for ambulation normally. When a person is in a supine position, then Iliopsoas Muscle supports the upper body in straightening it up. It also facilitates lateral movement of the thigh. The major function of the Iliopsoas Muscle is to facilitate movement and stabilize the pelvis. Since Iliopsoas Muscle is quite an important muscle of the lower body hence it is prone to strains/sprains and injuries. In case of an Iliopsoas Muscle sprain, the patient will experience severe pain in the low back, pelvic region, and abdominal area. Iliopsoas Muscle strain can be treated conservatively with rest, back supports, and warm and cold therapy.
Signs and Symptoms of Iliopsoas Muscle Strain
Some of the signs and symptoms of Iliopsoas Muscle Strain or Injury are:
- Severe low back pain
- Pain in the abdominal area
- Groin pain
- Pain in the legs
- Pain in the pelvic area
- Problems going from sitting to standing
- Problems exercising, especially doing sit-ups
- Walking with the feet turned outwards.
What Can Cause Iliopsoas Muscle Strain?
Some of the activities that may result in strained iliopsoas muscle are:
- Prolonged sitting
- Sleeping in a fetal position
- Participating in cross country running or marathons frequently
- Frequently climbing stairs
- Doing sit-ups and crunches more than what is required
- Having a slumped posture.
Risk Factors of Iliopsoas Muscle Strain
Some of the medical conditions that may result in Iliopsoas Muscle Strain are:
- Quadratus Lumborum Syndrome
- Degenerative Disc Disease
- Trochanteric bursitis
- Back Strain
- Crohn's Disease
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome
- Kidney Stones
- Ovarian Cysts
- Prolapsed Uterus
- Inguinal Hernia.
What is the Treatment for Iliopsoas Muscle Strain?
Some of the treatments for Iliopsoas Muscle Strain are:
Cold Therapy Treatment for Iliopsoas Muscle Strain: There are many forms of gels and cold packs available in the market and over the counter which can go a long way in helping with treatment of an Iliopsoas Muscle Strain. The gels that are available can be used immediately when you start experiencing pain due to strained iliopsoas muscle. These gels immediately cool the inflamed area and prevent swelling from developing in the area. It has been proved such gels or coolants have healed injuries to the Iliopsoas Muscle twice quickly than normal application of ice and the pain relief is more longer lasting. The gel is used by rubbing it in the area of pain and tenderness.
Warm Therapy Treatment for Iliopsoas Muscle Strain: This is also an effective mode of treating Iliopsoas Muscle Strain. The gel provides adequate warmth to the injured area without actually burning the area. It works magnificently in relieving pain caused due to Iliopsoas Muscle Strain or Injury. This gel needs to be put at the injured area at least two to three times a day for optimum results. It should be noted here that warm therapy should never be used when using ice packs or heat packs as this may result in blistering of the skin.
NSAIDs: Nonsteroidal Antiinflammatories in the form of ibuprofen and Tylenol can be used for controlling pain and inflammation caused due to iliopsoas muscle strain.
Compression Shorts: These shorts can be worn in cases of Iliopsoas Muscle Strain as these shorts can provide warmth and support to the Iliopsoas Muscle. They also help with pain in the hip, groin, and upper thigh as a result of Iliopsoas Muscle Strain or Injury. These are nowadays highly recommended by therapists and physicians for Iliopsoas Muscle Strain.