Iliopsoas Bursitis is a condition characterized by pain and tenderness in the hip and problems while lifting the leg. Get complete information about this disease, including its causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment options.
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It is the inflammation of the Iliopsoas bursa which lies between the front of the hip joint and the Iliopsoas muscle. Iliopsoas bursa happens to be the largest bursa in the body. It assists in reducing the rubbing and friction between the bones and soft tissues which meet at your hip joint capsule. This condition is often mistaken for Iliopsoas tendinitis or hip joint arthritis. The inflammation is usually caused due to trauma or over-usage, which can lead to tightness or imbalance.
Picture 1 - Iliopsoas Bursitis
The condition is commonly caused due to injury resulting from an overuse of the hip joint. It is found in women and middle-aged people. Any activities that demand prolonged usage of the hip joint might lead to an irritation of the bursa. Activities that put stress on the hip bone are biking, climbing stairs and swimming – when done frequently. Movements like standing; bending of the hips or squatting for long periods exerts excessive pressure on the hip joint.
Medical experts are of the opinion that changes taking place in the hip joint due to Osteoarthritis, Gout and Rheumatoid arthritis can cause inflammation of the bursa and lead to Bursitis.
Diabetes or any kind of infection can also provoke an immune system response in the form of an inflamed bursa.
The bursa gets inflamed if the hip suffers an injury due to a direct blow, fall or bumping into any hard surface. Other injuries such as Tendinitis or problems of the bone can also result in calcium deposits which can rub against and irritate the bursa.
Changes that take place in the spine due to Arthritis, Scoliosis and other conditions can lead to pressure on the hip joint and cause hip bursitis. The shape of the spine gets altered as the muscles, tendons and ligaments exert a pull on the hip joint. In addition, if there is an imperfection in length of the tendons, as one being shorter than the other one, the ability to walk properly will be affected. Over time, one ends up stressing the hip joint – which can lead to Bursitis.
The common symptoms that one might experience due to this disorder include:
You should seek immediate medical help on experiencing any of the following health issues:
A physician will perform a detailed physical examination, with special emphasis on the bursa, to identify the condition. An imaging test may be done to rule out other possible injuries and conditions. This may be any of the following exams:
The most reported imaging appearance is the visual image of a thin-rimmed, homogeneous cystic fluid collection.
The treatment for this type of Bursitis comprises of relieving the symptoms. The goal is to keep the pressure off the bursa. If there is a problem like bone spur, surgery may be required. If the Bursitis is caused by an infection, a physician will drain out the fluid from the sac of the bursa and prescribe antibiotics to cure the infection. If there is no presence of infection, the initial treatment starts with cold therapy. The primary part of the treatment is to make sure that the hip gets enough rest. Some of the treatment options available for this condition include:
Picture 2 - Iliopsoas Bursitis Image
It is the first step to curing the inflammation associated with the condition. Applying cold to the inflamed bursa will reduce the swelling and the redness around it. This cold therapy also helps to numb the pain in your acetabular joint and is quite effective in controlling the inflammation. The deep cooling effect also minimizes the risk of tissue damage. The inflamed bursa should be cooled throughout the day. Ice should be applied over the swollen area for 2 to 4 times a day for a span of about 15-20 minutes. The ice should be wrapped in a towel or cloth or compression wrap before application on the affected region to avoid the risk of frostbite.
Once the inflammation of the bursa has been minimized with cold therapy, it is time to make sure that the blood flow improves. It is also time to improve the elasticity of the surrounding soft tissue. This is because the body needs fresh blood to repair the tissue and bring your Iliopsoas bursa back to normal. It is due to this reason that a patient requires blood flow stimulation therapy which would render the tissue with oxygen, water, antibodies, and nutrients that are necessary to heal the bursitis injury. This speed up the entire repairing process of tissue, removes the toxins and dead cells, and also improves elasticity.
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can be taken to help manage the pain. However, these should not be used for long periods as they can cause gastrointestinal problem and maximize the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Physical therapy is a good way to restore muscles that have been atrophied, and improve the strength and mobility, following the treatment of Bursitis. The extent of tissue damage and the symptoms would determine the type of physical therapy. Once the pain starts to fade away, a physiotherapist would suggest a personalized strengthening and stretching exercise program for the patient to perform at home or in the gym. This will help him/her return to a normal routine. Individuals should learn to strengthen muscles in the right way. Otherwise, it may cause more damage to the joint. Strengthening exercises are important as the muscles turn weak due to non-usage. An expert instructor assists a patient to ensure that the rehabilitation process is appropriate and effective. Maintaining the regularity of exercise programs tends to yield faster results.
If an affected bursa does not heal with conservative treatments, it has to be removed surgically. This is done with the help of a surgical procedure known as Hip arthroscopy. In this technique, tiny incisions are made and a camera (that of the size of a pencil) is inserted into the hip. A small shaver is inserted through another incision to remove the swollen bursa completely. A surgeon will also look for other damages and repair them if necessary. Any bone spurs are also removed by this method. The occurrence, as well as recurrence, of Iliopsoas Bursitis can be prevented by avoiding activities and behaviors that trigger inflammation of the hip. One must also avoid repetitive activities that put stress on the hip. Regular exercise will help maintain the strength and flexibility of the hip muscles.