What is the Iliopsoas ?

The iliopsoas is comprised of several muscles that function synergistically in the hip joint. The uppermost muscles being the psoas major/minor muscles arises from the sides of the lumbar vertebrae and intervertebral discs and the iliacus lies flat on the inner surface of the iliac bone or the winged shaped portion of your pelvis. While these muscles have two different origins they unite around the area of the groin and attach to a small bony prominence on the top of the femur called the lesser trochanter. This muscle group is the strongest of the hip flexors and also provides a bit of hip external rotation and helps to stabilize the lower spine. Hip flexion is an extremely important function and is necessary for such activities as walking, marching, climbing stairs, kicking, and bending forward. 

This muscle group plays a very important role in the gait cycle and allows you to kick the leg forward when walking. Weakness or dysfunction in this muscle group can lead to safety issues when walking and one may compensate by acquiring an unnatural gait pattern.  If these muscle becomes weak one may have difficulty swinging the leg forward and may have difficulty clearing the foot from the floor. To overcome this the individual may begin to employ other muscle groups to compensate and may possibly lead to a circumduction type of gait pattern.

Tightness in the iliopsoas group can cause pain and dysfunction in the lower back and also lead to restrictions in the hip joint. If the muscles are overly tight they can pull on the lumbar vertebrae and may lead to increase in the concave curvature of the lumbar spine. Also, tight iliopsoas muscles may lead to difficulty maintaining proper lower back posture with standing and walking. Overuse of these muscles may also lead to iliopsoas bursitis which is a painful condition deep in the hip commonly seen in athletes. 

If you are experiencing any kind of hip pain or back pain, contact us for a free consultation.  To request an appointment, click here, or call directly to one of our three locations during regular business hours:

Cool Springs: 615-224-9810
Shelbyville: 931-684-0027
Spring Hill: 931-489-2022

Disclaimer:  The information in this blog is intended to be informational only, and is not intended to be used in lieu of medical care.  Consult a doctor or a physical therapist before attempting treatment on your own.

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