How Do I Get Rid of Iliopsoas Pain? 7 Effective Strategies

Are you someone who suffers from chronic iliopsoas pain? If so, you understand the constant discomfort and frustration this can bring to your everyday life. You may have tried countless methods of alleviating the pain, from stretching to medications, yet nothing seems to work. Well, don’t give up hope just yet – there may be a solution to your problem.

Here’s the thing, the iliopsoas muscle, which runs from your hip to your lower back, is crucial for everyday movements such as walking, running, and even sitting. Therefore, when it’s in pain, it can be debilitating. However, there are a few simple steps you can take to help alleviate the pain and improve your quality of life.

In this article, we’ll discuss proven methods for getting rid of iliopsoas pain. We’ll explore various stretches and exercises that can help alleviate discomfort, as well as tactics for strengthening the muscle to prevent future pain. So, let’s dive in and start feeling better!

Causes of iliopsoas pain

Iliopsoas pain refers to discomfort and inflammation in the iliopsoas muscle, which is located in the front of the hip joint. There are several reasons why this muscle can become painful, including:

  • Overuse: One of the most common causes of iliopsoas pain is overuse. This can be due to engaging in too much physical activity, such as running or cycling, without proper rest and recovery time.
  • Injury: Another cause of iliopsoas pain is injury to the muscle. This can occur from a fall or impact to the hip area, as well as from repetitive activities that put strain on the muscle.
  • Weakness: Weakness in the iliopsoas muscle can also lead to pain and discomfort. This can occur from a lack of exercise or from a sedentary lifestyle.
  • Anatomical issues: In some cases, iliopsoas pain can be caused by anatomical issues such as a hip labral tear or hip impingement.
  • Medical conditions: Certain medical conditions can also cause iliopsoas pain, including arthritis, bursitis, and tendinitis.

Symptoms of iliopsoas pain

Iliopsoas pain can be a debilitating condition that affects a large number of people. The pain is usually felt in the groin area and can be caused by a variety of factors, including muscle strain, injury, and inflammation. Below are some of the common symptoms of iliopsoas pain:

  • Pain in the groin area: This is the most common symptom of iliopsoas pain. The pain can be mild or severe and can be felt on the right or left side of the body.
  • Difficulty walking: Patients with iliopsoas pain may experience difficulty walking or running due to the pain in the groin area and stiffness in the hip and thigh muscles.
  • Stiffness: Patients may experience stiffness in the hip, thigh, and lower back muscles, making it difficult to move freely.

In some cases, the pain may radiate down the leg, making it difficult to stand or sit for long periods. If the pain is severe, it may be accompanied by swelling, tenderness, or bruising in the groin area.

It is important to seek medical attention if you experience any of the symptoms above, as they may be indicative of a more serious condition.

Diagnosis of iliopsoas pain

Diagnosing iliopsoas pain can be difficult, as the iliopsoas muscle is deeply located and often overlapped by other muscles. However, there are several methods of diagnosing iliopsoas pain that your healthcare provider may utilize, including:

  • Physical examination: Your healthcare provider will likely begin with a physical examination, where they will assess your pain level, range of motion, and any other symptoms you may be experiencing. They may also palpate or press on the iliopsoas muscle to assess for tenderness or tightness.
  • Imaging tests: Imaging tests, such as X-rays, MRI scans, or ultrasound, can be used to visualize the iliopsoas muscle and surrounding structures to identify any abnormalities or injuries.
  • Diagnostic injections: If your healthcare provider suspects that your pain is originating from the iliopsoas muscle, they may perform a diagnostic injection. This involves injecting a local anesthetic directly into the iliopsoas muscle to temporarily relieve pain. If the pain is relieved after the injection, it confirms that the iliopsoas muscle is the source of the pain.

If you are experiencing pain in your hip or groin area, it is important to seek medical attention to determine the cause of your discomfort. A proper diagnosis can help guide treatment and prevent further injury.

Non-surgical treatment options for iliopsoas pain

Iliopsoas pain can be notoriously difficult to treat, but there are a number of non-surgical options you can try before resorting to more invasive measures. Here are some of the most effective non-surgical treatments for iliopsoas pain:

  • Physical therapy: A trained physical therapist can help you learn specific exercises that can help stretch and strengthen your iliopsoas muscle, as well as other muscles that may be contributing to your pain. They can also teach you proper form for everyday activities that may be causing strain, such as sitting or standing for long periods of time.
  • Massage therapy: Massage can help release tension and tightness in the iliopsoas muscle, reducing pain and promoting better alignment and range of motion. A skilled massage therapist can use a variety of techniques, such as deep tissue massage or trigger point therapy, to target specific areas of tension.
  • Joint mobilization: If your pain is related to joint stiffness in the hip or pelvis, joint mobilization techniques can help improve joint mobility and reduce pain. This may involve gentle movements that your physical therapist or chiropractor can perform with their hands, or using props such as foam rollers or medicine balls to stretch and mobilize the joint.

In addition to these non-surgical treatments, there are other lifestyle changes you can make to help reduce iliopsoas pain. Some of these include:

  • Improving your posture: Poor posture can put extra strain on the iliopsoas muscle and other parts of the body, leading to pain and discomfort. Work on sitting and standing up straight, with your shoulders back and your core engaged.
  • Avoiding prolonged sitting: If you have a desk job or spend a lot of time sitting, make sure to take regular breaks to stretch and move around. You can also try using a standing desk or ergonomic chair to help reduce strain on your hips and back.
  • Wearing supportive shoes: Shoes with good arch support and cushioning can help reduce impact on the joints and muscles in your legs and hips, which can in turn reduce pain in the iliopsoas muscle.

Prevention is key

While there are a number of non-surgical treatments available for iliopsoas pain, the best course of action is often prevention. By identifying and addressing any underlying factors that may be contributing to your pain, such as poor posture or overuse, you may be able to avoid developing iliopsoas pain altogether. If you are experiencing any pain or discomfort in your hips or back, it’s always a good idea to consult with a healthcare professional to get a proper diagnosis and find the most effective treatment plan for your needs.

Treatment optionDescriptionPotential benefits
Physical therapyA trained physical therapist can help you learn specific exercises that can help stretch and strengthen your iliopsoas muscle, as well as other muscles that may be contributing to your pain.Reduced pain, improved mobility and range of motion.
Massage therapyMassage can help release tension and tightness in the iliopsoas muscle, reducing pain and promoting better alignment and range of motion.Reduced pain, increased relaxation.
Joint mobilizationIf your pain is related to joint stiffness in the hip or pelvis, joint mobilization techniques can help improve joint mobility and reduce pain.Reduced pain, improved joint mobility.

No one treatment is right for everyone, so it’s important to work with your healthcare provider to create a personalized treatment plan that addresses your specific needs and goals.

Surgical treatment options for iliopsoas pain

For individuals who have exhausted all conservative treatment options and still experience troubling iliopsoas pain, surgery may be necessary. Below are some of the surgical treatment options for iliopsoas pain:

  • Open Release Surgery: This surgical approach involves cutting the iliopsoas tendon to alleviate tension and reduce inflammation causing the pain. The surgeon makes a large incision in the hip and thigh area to access the tendon and perform the procedure. While effective, open release surgery involves significant downtime and a longer recovery period.
  • Arthroscopic Release Surgery: This minimally invasive surgical procedure involves making a few small incisions and inserting a tiny camera and surgical tools to cut or release the tight iliopsoas tendon. This approach is usually less painful and requires a shorter recovery period than open release surgery.
  • Endoscopic Release Surgery: This is the least invasive surgical treatment option for iliopsoas pain. It involves using a small camera and thin surgical tools to release the tension and reduce inflammation in the iliopsoas tendon. Generally, this approach has the fastest recovery period and the lowest risk of complications.

While each surgical option has its advantages and disadvantages, your surgeon will weigh the benefits and risks of each to determine the best approach for you.

It’s essential to have a thorough understanding of all treatment options before deciding on surgical intervention, as surgery carries inherent risks and should be considered a last resort for treating iliopsoas pain.

Surgical OptionAdvantagesDisadvantages
Open Release SurgeryEffective in reducing tension and inflammationLonger recovery time and more painful
Arthroscopic Release SurgeryMinimally invasive with a shorter recovery timeRisk of complications and not suitable for severe cases
Endoscopic Release SurgeryLeast invasive with the fastest recovery timeMay not be suitable for all cases

If you’re considering surgery, it’s crucial to choose an experienced surgeon that specializes in treating hip conditions such as iliopsoas pain. They will be able to determine which surgical approach is best for you and provide a detailed explanation of the procedure to ensure you’re well-informed before making a decision.

Exercises to Prevent and Alleviate Iliopsoas Pain

If you’re suffering from iliopsoas pain, you know how debilitating it can be. The good news is that there are certain exercises you can do to both prevent and alleviate this pain.

Preventative Exercises

  • Stretching: Regular stretching can help keep your iliopsoas muscles supple and prevent them from becoming tight and painful. Try doing a lunge stretch, with your front knee bent and your back leg straight. Keep your core engaged and hold the stretch for 30 seconds on each side.
  • Strength training: Building strength in your core and hip muscles can help support your iliopsoas and prevent pain. Try doing bridges, planks, and side-lying leg lifts to strengthen these muscle groups.
  • Mobility exercises: Keeping your hip joints mobile can also help prevent iliopsoas pain. Try hip circles, leg swings, and fire hydrant exercises to keep your hips flexible.

Alleviating Exercises

If you’re already experiencing iliopsoas pain, there are specific exercises you can do to help alleviate your symptoms.

  • Stretches: Stretching can also help when you’re experiencing pain. Try doing a kneeling hip flexor stretch, with one foot in front of the other and the back knee resting on the floor. Lean forward until you feel a stretch in your hip flexors, hold for 30 seconds, and switch sides.
  • Foam rolling: Using a foam roller on your hip flexors can help release tension and alleviate pain. Lie on your stomach with the foam roller under your hip flexors, and slowly roll up and down over the area for 30-60 seconds.
  • Massage: If you have access to a massage therapist, they can work on releasing tension in your iliopsoas muscles. This can be a more intensive way to alleviate pain, but it can be extremely effective.

Iliopsoas Pain Relief Exercises Table

Lunge Stretch Bent front knee, straight back leg Keep hip flexors supple and prevent tightness
Bridges Lie on back, lift hips off ground Strengthen core and hip muscles for added support
Side-lying Leg Lifts Lie on side, lift top leg up and down Strengthen hip abductors to support iliopsoas
Kneeling Hip Flexor Stretch Kneel with one foot in front, lean forward Stretch iliopsoas muscles to alleviate pain
Foam Rolling Lie on stomach, roll foam roller under hip flexors Release tension and reduce pain
Massage Work with a massage therapist Intensive way to alleviate pain and tension

Remember to consult a qualified healthcare professional before starting any exercise routine, especially if you’re experiencing pain or discomfort.

Lifestyle Changes to Manage Iliopsoas Pain

If you’re suffering from iliopsoas pain, making lifestyle changes can help ease your symptoms. Here are some strategies that may be helpful:

  • Stretching: Incorporating stretching into your daily routine can help improve the flexibility of your muscles and reduce tension in the iliopsoas. Focus on stretching your hip flexors, lower back, and hamstrings.
  • Low-impact exercise: High-impact activities, such as running and jumping, can exacerbate iliopsoas pain. Instead, try low-impact activities, such as swimming or cycling, which can help strengthen the muscles without putting excessive strain on them.
  • Posture: Slouching or sitting for long periods can cause tension in the iliopsoas muscle. Maintain good posture throughout the day, and take frequent breaks to stretch and move around.

Additionally, consulting with a physical therapist or a healthcare professional can help craft a comprehensive treatment plan tailored to your specific needs. This may include exercises, massage therapy, or other modalities, depending on the severity of your condition.

Diet Changes to Manage Iliopsoas Pain

Your diet can also play a part in managing the symptoms of iliopsoas pain. Here are some tips to consider:

  • Anti-inflammatory Foods: Incorporating anti-inflammatory foods, such as omega-3 rich fish, leafy greens, and berries, can help reduce inflammation in the body and alleviate pain.
  • Hydration: Drinking plenty of water can help keep muscles hydrated and reduce tension in the iliopsoas. Aim for at least eight glasses of water a day.

Supplements and Medications

In some cases, supplements or medications may be recommended to help alleviate iliopsoas pain. Always consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new supplement or medication regimen. Here are some options that may be recommended:

  • Omega-3 Supplements: Omega-3 supplements have been shown to have anti-inflammatory benefits, which can help reduce pain and inflammation associated with iliopsoas pain.
  • Topical Pain Relievers: Topical pain relievers, such as lidocaine patches or creams, can help alleviate local pain and muscle tension.

Your healthcare provider may also recommend non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or muscle relaxants, depending on the severity of your symptoms.

Additional Lifestyle Tips

Here are some other lifestyle tips that may be helpful in managing iliopsoas pain:

AcupunctureAcupuncture may help reduce tension in the iliopsoas muscle and improve circulation.
Stress ManagementStress can exacerbate muscle tension and pain. Practices such as mindfulness meditation or yoga can help promote relaxation and reduce stress levels.
Heat or Cold TherapyApplying heat or cold to the affected area can help alleviate pain and reduce inflammation. Experiment to see which method works best for you.

Remember that everyone’s body is unique, and what works for one person may not work for another. It’s important to work with a healthcare professional to develop a comprehensive treatment plan tailored to your specific needs.

FAQs: How do I get rid of iliopsoas pain?

Dealing with iliopsoas pain can be tough, especially when it affects your ability to move and perform daily activities. Here are the answers to some common questions about how to get rid of iliopsoas pain:

1. What causes iliopsoas pain?

Iliopsoas pain can be caused by a variety of factors, including overuse, strain, injury, or poor posture. It can also be a result of tight hip flexor muscles, which can cause the iliopsoas muscle to work too hard and become strained.

2. What are some effective stretches for iliopsoas pain?

Some effective stretches for iliopsoas pain include lunges, pigeon pose, and butterfly pose. Make sure to warm up properly before stretching and hold each position for about 30 seconds.

3. Can massage or physiotherapy help with iliopsoas pain?

Yes, massage or physiotherapy can be effective in treating iliopsoas pain. A trained therapist can use techniques such as myofascial release or deep tissue massage to relieve tension and promote healing in the affected area.

4. Should I avoid exercise if I have iliopsoas pain?

This depends on the severity of the pain. It may be necessary to avoid intense workouts or movements that exacerbate the pain, but light exercise such as swimming or gentle yoga can help with mobility and flexibility.

5. How can I prevent iliopsoas pain from recurring?

Some ways to prevent iliopsoas pain from recurring include maintaining good posture, stretching regularly, strengthening the core and hip muscles, and avoiding prolonged sitting or standing.

6. Are there any home remedies for iliopsoas pain?

Heat therapy, such as a warm bath or heating pad, can help to relax the muscles and relieve pain. Over-the-counter pain medications may also be helpful in managing symptoms.

7. When should I see a doctor?

If your iliopsoas pain is severe, lasting for more than a few days, or accompanied by other symptoms such as fever or difficulty breathing, it’s important to see a doctor. They can provide a proper diagnosis and develop a treatment plan specific to your needs.


Thanks for taking the time to read about how to get rid of iliopsoas pain. Remember to listen to your body and seek medical advice if the pain persists or worsens. Consistent stretching and strengthening exercises, along with proper posture and self-care, can go a long way in maintaining a healthy hip flexor and minimizing the risk of future injuries.

Be sure to visit again later for more helpful tips and information on maintaining your physical health and wellness!