3 Strategies For Alleviating The Pain Of Iliopsoas Bursitis

Iliopsoas bursitis is inflammation of the bursa located in front of the hip. This type of bursitis can be caused by several underlying reasons, such as repetitive stress during running or inflammatory arthritis. Most instances of iliopsoas bursitis will resolve with conservative treatment.

Reduce Inflammation

Pain management strategies that are aimed at reducing inflammation may be useful for acute cases of iliopsoas bursitis. Rest can be important in the acute phase of bursitis, and some people find that simply avoiding aggravating activities, such as running or climbing stairs, may be enough to alleviate the problem. Short-term use of NSAIDs is another option to reduce pain and inflammation. Some people may find ice applied to the affected area also helps reduce inflammation. Depending on how long the bursa has been inflamed and how much the problem limits activities, a steroid injection may be necessary for quick relief.

Engage In Physical Therapy

Physical therapy (PT) may be necessary for several months to work on the root cause of iliopsoas bursitis. There are several factors that may contribute to the problem, especially when it is recurrent or chronic. The therapist will likely recommend a stretching program that includes stretches for the hip flexors. Gently stretching the hip flexors can prevent the iliopsoas muscle, which passes over the bursa, from becoming tight and causing friction to the bursa. Over time, the PT program will likely include strengthening exercises in addition to stretching. Strengthening will target the hip rotators, which includes the buttocks and thigh muscles. The strengthening program will include working on both internal and external rotation of the hip. Adding resistance bands to the exercises are helpful for improving strength, if they are well tolerated.

Consider Surgery

In rare cases, surgery may be necessary to alleviate iliopsoas bursitis that is severe and not alleviated by other treatments or bursitis that keeps recurring. The type of surgery done may depend on the underlying cause. A bursectomy may work well for athletes and other people who are frequently active since this would eliminate the future possibility of developing bursitis. This procedure simply removes the bursa so it cannot be irritated by the surrounding muscle and soft tissue. If the underlying cause involves inflammatory arthritis, removal of the synovial membrane may be enough to ease symptoms and prevent the immune system from attacking the bursa.

Fortunately, most instances of iliopsoas bursitis are temporary and resolve with rest and conservative treatments. When the problem is severe and interferes with activity, surgical intervention can provide long-lasting relief.

Contact a sports medicine service for more information.