What is Hip Flexor Tendonitis / Iliopsoas Tendonitis?
You hip is a complicated joint with 5 bones, 17 muscles, numerous tendons, ligaments and bursae connecting your leg bone (femur), pelvis and spine all together. The iliopsoas muscle is actually made up of two separate muscles located in front of the hip. These muscles and tendons connect the pelvis to large leg bone (femur), and are often called the 'hip flexors'. They help with movements of the hip and leg to to pull the knee upward, help us stand, sit and lay down.
The hip is a complicated joint and so if you are suffering from hip flexor tendonitis (Iliopsoas Tendonitis) it might be hard to tell. Pain can easily be transferred to other areas of the hip, thigh, lower back or buttock. Sometimes pain can even shoot down the inside of your thigh or even down the front of your leg to your knee. If left untreated, hip flexor tendonitis can turn into a chronic condition or degeneration of your tendon fibers.
Anyone can suffer from tendinitis, but it's most common in adults due to degeneration of tissue as we age. Over time the tendons in the hip will wear down resulting in something called degeneration. This is where the fibers in your tendons will become more weak - it's just a natural process that happens as we age.
What are the Symptoms of Iliopsoas Tendinitis?
If you have iliopsoas tendinitis you may experience pain and tenderness that slowly increases over time in the front of your hip and groin. Pain may increase after activities like jogging, running or kicking. As the condition progresses you may notice pain when putting on socks and shoes, rising from a seated position, walking upstairs or brisk walking. You may also notice radiating pain from the front of the thigh toward the knee. On occasion you may have lower back pain. Typically, the amount of time between first on-set symptoms and a proper diagnosis of iliopsoas tendonitis is approximately 32 to 41 months.
What causes Iliopsoas Tendinitis?
Hip tendonitis is an overuse / repetitive use injury of the hip area, resulting in damage or micro-tearing to the tendon tissue. The tendon becomes inflammation and swollen. Activities that may causes Hip tendonitis include:
- Participating in sports that require a lot of kicking, jumping or running.
- Strength training and weight lifting exercises that require a lot of bending and squatting.
- Regularly lifting heavy items or practicing improper lifting techniques.
- Repetitive movements like lifting your leg while turning it at the hip. This is common for those practicing ballet or gymnastics.
- Long-distance running and recently increasing your distance or starting to run up hills too quickly.
- Walking with an uneven stride or gait.
- If you have hip tendonitis, you could be suffering from different kinds of tendonitis including iliotibial band (IT band) tendonitis, gluteus medius tendonitis, or iliacus tendonitis.
Hip tendonitis (tendinitis) is a condition where you experience pain, swelling and inflammation from damage or micro-tearing of one or more of the tendons in your hip. The tendons in your hip connect muscle to bone and when these tendons are injured they usually cause pain and tenderness at the front, side and back of your hip, and even into your buttocks as well.
How Do I Diagnose Iliopsoas Tendinitis?
The best way to diagnose this condition is with a quick visit to the your doctor or physical therapist for a physical examination of your hip and groin area. A doctor or physical therapist may perform a Ludloff test, which requires you to sit with your knees extended and elevate your heel on the side you have pain. This movement of the hip and groin will help your doctor to see if you have any weakness around your hip flexor. They may also be able to see if you have any related hip injuries or conditions like snapping hip syndrome. An MRI may be ordered to pin-point the location of your tendonitis allowing you to know where you need to apply treatment for healing.
Do You Really have Hip Tendonitis?
Pain, swelling and inflammation in your hip could mean that you have hip tendonitis. It's also important to consider that there are other conditions that might cause pain in your hip as well. With so many connections of tissue to the bone it's easy to see why any pain in the hip can be tendonitis or some other injury in the same area. You may even have tendonitis AND another hip condition at the same time. The only way you can know for sure whether you have hip tendonitis is if you get a proper diagnosis for the condition by your doctor. Some other hip injuries include: hip tendonitis, snapping hip syndrome, greater trochanteric pain syndrome, hip arthritis, labral tear, osteonecrosis, or a fractured hip.
Hip Bursitis Inflammation and pain of the bursa sac in the hip joint. Pain and tenderness is found deep in your groin and radiates around to the front of your hip or upper thigh area, and can follow the length of the tendon down toward your knee; it will often move into your lower back and buttock area as well. Hip Bursitis common during growth spurts when you are younger because your biomechanics are altered around the hip area. The tendons and muscles area tight, the pelvis begins to tilt, and the rest of the lower body goes out of alignment. This can affect the lower back, hip joints, knees and your gait which can result in lower body joint issues.
Crystal Deposits in the Joint - Rheumatoid arthritis or gout can cause iliopsis bursitis. Some people with diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, gout or scleroderma may contract bursitis from crystalline deposits in the joints. Although not much is known about how this process happens, it is common knowledge that uric acid is a normal byproduct of daily metabolism. If you have gout, you are unable to break down this uric acid properly, leading to crystallization of this excess acid which deposits in joints. This can cause joint pain that can often lead to bursitis.
Excessive Friction - Iliopsoas bursitis and iliopsoas tendonitis are often caused by excessive rubbing against a broad, shallow groove over which your iliacus and psoas major pass (the pubic iliopectineal eminence). The tendon may first become irritated and inflamed, leading to swelling and increase friction on the iliopsoas bursa underneath.
Leg length discrepancies may result in a skewed gait (abnormalities in the way you walk) which can cause more pressure on the iliopsoas bursa than usual. In addition, age and degenerating tissues often causes a decrease in your tendon flexibility can change the movement in your hip joint, leading to excess friction on the tendon and bursa.
Snapping Hip Syndrome - Snapping hip syndrome is when you feel a snapping sensation or hear a popping sound in your hip when you walk, get up from a chair or swing you leg around. This feeling and/or sound is made by a tendon in your hip as it moves over a bony bump. Most of the time this is more annoying than painful. However long-term snapping/popping can lead to hip bursitis, a condition that is very painful.
Greater Trochanteric Pain Syndrome - (GTPS) causes chronic pain on the side of the hip. Symptoms of GTPS include constant pain in the side hip that travels along the whole side of the thigh to the knee and occasionally below the knee and/or buttock. If you have this condition you will probably feel very specific point tenderness on the side of the hip.
Hip Arthritis - Joint pain and can be described as a dull aching pain in the groin, outer thigh, or buttocks. You may feel more pain in the morning that could get worse as the day goes but generally lessens as you get more active. Doing anything vigorous can result in pain, stiffness and may limit your movements or make walking difficult. Arthritis means inflammation of a joint and there are a number of types of arthritis of the hip - including:
- Osteoarthritis - the inflammation happens as the smooth covering (articular cartilage) on the ends of bones wears away.
- Rheumatoid Arthritis - an immune system disease that usually affects multiple joints on both sides of the body at the same time.
- Ankylosing Spondylitis - a chronic inflammation of the spine and the point where the spine meets the pelvic bone (sacroiliac joint) that can also cause inflammation in other joints
- Systemic Lupus Erythematosus - an autoimmune disease in which the body harms its own healthy cells and tissues
Labral Tear - The labrum is the cartilage that surrounds the hip joint. If you have a tear in your labrum you may feel a catching sensation and pain in the hip joint, groin, stiffness and limited range of motion of your hip. Any changes or abnormalities in the physical structure of the hip can lead to a tear in the labrum cartilage.
Osteonecrosis - A disease that affects blood flow to an area of bone. This lack of blood flow to the bone in the hip joint causes the cells to die and the bone may eventually collapse. Osteonecrosis is a condition that develops in stages, general hip pain is usually felt first that may progress to a dull ache or throbbing pain in the groin or buttock area. If you have this condition you may also have more pain and find it difficult to stand and put weight on you hip. Moving your hip joint will also be painful. These stages can last anywhere from several months to over a year. Early diagnosis of this disease provides a much better outcome with consistent, proper treatment.
Fractured Hip - De-generative hip fractures are most common in elderly patients with osteoporosis. Treatment of broken hips requires surgery to either replace the broken portion or repair it with a metal plate and screws. Stress fractures of the hip are most common in athletes who participate in high-impact sports, such as long distance runners. Treatment is usually successful by avoiding the impact activities.
How Do I Cure Iliopsoas Tendinitis -
What You Can Do!
What Should I Do?
If you think that you're suffering from hip flexor / iliopsoas tendonitis and you're having pain in your hip and groin the first thing you need to do is see your doctor. Only your doctor can give you a proper diagnosis and from this, determine a course of proper treatment.
If you suspect you have tendonitis in your hip,
- Usually conservative treatment methods are all that's needed to treat hip tendinitis, surgery is only ever used if long-term conservative treatment methods don't work or if you've suffered from a ruptured tendon in your hip. Conservative treatment options for hip tendinitis typically includes rest, icing of the injury, strengthening exercises, avoiding activities that cause or worsen the pain that you're feeling and anti-inflammatory over-the-counter medication (reference: 1, 2).
- Second, if your doctor has decided that your injury can be treated with conservative treatment options, then you'll find that many of our customers have had great success treating themselves with our powerful conservative treatment products - the Back/Hip Freezie Wrap® and Inferno Wrap®.
- Or, if surgical intervention is required, talk with your doctor about using these same products for post-surgery recovery as you'll find them to be effective for reducing post-surgery inflammation, enhancing range of motion and reducing scar tissue growth.
... and Re-injury of your hip must be avoided at all costs!
Constant re-injury (you know when it's happening, you can feel the pain) needs to be avoided at all costs. Obviously, it delays the healing process, but what's worse is that every re-injury and additional healing cycle increases the amount of scar tissue that builds up around your original tendinitis injury. Over time the small tears and degeneration of the iliopsoas or iliacus tendons can be related to greater trochanteric bursitis. Chronic iliopsoas or iliacus tendinitis can occur as the tissue is damaged and in a weakened state leading to partial or full-thickness tear of the tendon(s).
Scar tissue is hard, inflexible, and tough to get rid of. The more severe your hip tendinitis is, the more likely that this scar tissue will make your tendon much more prone to injury again later on. The more scar tissue that develops, the more you lose the range of motion in your hip and leg.
Continuous re-injury and build-up of scar tissue while staying active means you'll have a greater chance of winding up with on-going pain, more tearing in your tendon or a full rupture.
No one is immune to tendinitis, you can easily reduce your risk of further re-injury with consistent conservative treatments
If you have pain and inflammation in front of your hip and groin, it's very important to heal your injury quickly and completely. You must avoid the build up of scar tissue. If you don't, your iliopsoas tendinitis injury may plague you forever. This is why it's so important to continuously use conservative treatment tools to heal any recurring tendon damage before it can build into something big. For any hip tendinitis sufferer, having the right tools means all the difference.
Mild and moderate cases of tendinitis / strained tendons are best treated with conservative home therapies. Severe injury to the tendon (ruptured tendons) will require surgery to re-attach the tendon to your bone or bring the edges of the tear together. If you suspect that you've ruptured your tendon be sure to speak with your doctor for suggested treatment.
Questions about iliopsoas Tendonitis?
Call one of our AidYourTendon Advisers at no cost or obligation to address any lingering questions you have about your hip tendinitis injury.
We're here 7 days a week to provide the information you need to heal as quickly as possible.
All it takes is 1 call - 1-866-237-9608
Hip Tendinitis Treatment - What You Can Do!
Step 1 - Reduce Pain and Swelling with Cold Compression
The first step for conservative treatment of your hip tendinitis is to reduce the swelling to "open up" the area for more blood flow. Anyone in the health-care business knows that your blood supplies the oxygen and much needed nutrients required to heal hip tendinitis injuries. This is why for years, doctors, trainers, and other medical professionals have recommended RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) to treat the pain and swelling of fresh injuries, chronic pain, and after any re-injury.
Although RICE can help to treat these symptoms, ice and freezer gel packs reach temperatures so low they can cause cryoburn, an ice burn on your skin. The problem is, up until now there hasn't been any other option to treat painful conditions and injuries, so ice and blue gel packs (full of anti-freeze and chemicals) have been the only choice available.
Fortunately you no longer have to settle for these ice cold methods that are uncomfortably cold against your skin, provide short term relief, cause ice burns, numb your skin and underlying tissue beyond feeling so you don't even notice the ice burn until it's too late and pool around your injury putting the cold everywhere except for where you need it most.
A Freezie Wrap® allows you to treat your hip in an effective and convenient way. Our Freezie Wraps® will wrap around your hip keeping the cold right over your hip injury for the entire length of your treatment. Our food-grade, non-toxic gel packs can be chilled in the fridge or freezer to tailor the amount of cold that you need for your injury. It doesn't matter how you cool it down, because our gel packs are chock full of gel that's designed to cool down into millions of tiny snowflakes. This method of cooling means our gel packs aren't icy-cold and stay flexible even right out of the freezer! The cushioned gel will wrap around your hip and it won't budge for the entire treatment period. You'll no longer have to deal with annoying pooling around your hip or have to hold a hard block of ice on your injury!
Cold Compression Therapy slows nerve and cell function - reducing the swelling that blocks blood vessels from doing their job.
This is important because once blood vessels are blocked or damaged, they can no longer carry oxygenated blood through the tissue and tissue cells begin to break-down. Without cold compression therapy cellular break-down and tissue damage continues as the cells don't get the oxygen they need to survive. By limiting the amount of damage done to your tendon, you also limit the amount of healing that needs to occur. This is a very important step to heal tendon injuries faster and with less pain! This is why you need to treat your hip pain right after it's hurt, when you notice pain / swelling / inflammation, or directly after a re-injury. Applying a Freezie Wrap® right away will stop the damage immediately and unblock your blood vessels to let your body's natural blood flow in to start healing the tissue.
Cold Compression Therapy = the Back/Hip Freezie Wrap®
It'll seem weird for you to read this, but there are a LOT of people out there that don't understand how fast cold compression with a Back/Hip Freezie Wrap® can get the swelling / inflammation in your hip under control! After you get rid of the swelling for good you can start dealing with your hip injury and pain head on.
Use a Cold Compression Back/Hip Freezie Wrap®:
- 24 to 72 hours after your initial tendon injury or when you first notice pain and swelling in your hip to stop cellular damage, relieve pain, and decrease swelling.
- After exercise, workouts or activity of any kind to prevent re-injury of your hip tendinitis.
- Before and after surgery during rehabilitation to control pre and post-surgery pain and swelling.
- Anytime you feel your hip has been over-extended, over-worked, twisted, strained or sprained causing pain and swelling.
- Anytime you have swelling, sharp throbbing pain or inflammation in the tendons in your hip.
- Any other situation where you need to draw the pain and inflammation out of your hip.
Step 2 - Improve Circulation, Soften Scar Tissue & Prevent Re-Injury with Blood Flow Stimulation Therapy
After the inflammation around your injured tendon has been reduced, you need to provide extra blood flow to strengthen your tendon tissue.
Promoting blood flow to your hip tendinitis to help your body heal itself is a concept that has been utilized for centuries. Oxygen and nutrients, carried within the blood, are critical for the body to heal itself. Without proper blood flow, your recovery from hip tendinitis will be delayed... sometimes for a very long period of time.
Even though the concept is simple, improving blood flow to your hip while it's injured can be difficult. Traditional methods require your hip to move in order to promote blood flow - but that same motion that promotes blood flow can also make your pain and tendonitis much worse. Relying on movement alone to increase blood flow puts you in danger of re-injuring your hip.
So what do you do when you need to increase blood flow, but you can't move your hip without re-injuring your tendon?
This is where the Back/Hip Inferno Wrap®
and Blood Flow Stimulation Therapy™ come in!
Using Blood Flow Stimulation Therapy™ (BFST®), will help with your recovery and heal your tendon more completely. BFST® increases the amount of blood that flows naturally to your soft tissue to nourish your tendons, improving elasticity and speeding the healing process. This increased Blood Flow Stimulation Therapy to your tendon is greatly needed.
The only way to get BFST® is through use of an Inferno Wrap®. The Inferno Wrap® is the only treatment method that improves blood flow and circulation on a deep tissue level. Other methods of warming / heating tissue (hot water bottles, hot baths, etc) will only ever increase blood flow on a surface / skin level. These methods need a LOT of time to even reach your tendon on a deep tissue level. And even if you were to use them this long your skin would heat up to an uncomfortable level and may even burn you.
The best source of heat treatment is from a product where you don't even feel that much heat. When you don't feel the heat, it means the therapy is working in your deep soft tissue which is really where you need it. It's kind of like how your heart works in your body. You can't "feel" your heart pumping blood all around your body to your arms and legs. You can't even hear your own heartbeat without listening very closely. This is exactly how deep tissue BFST® works too! You're not supposed to "feel" a lot of heat because the heat isn't treating your skin, it's treating your hip increasing the blood flow right in your tendon tissue.
- When treating hip flexor / iliopsoas / iliacus tendonitis (hip tendonitis) or any soft tissue injury, an effective therapy will increase blood flow to the injury while the joint is immobile.
- This increase in blood flow will accelerate the body's own ability to heal itself.
- The Inferno Wrap® is the most highly effective blood flow stimulation device that you will find on the market that is approved by the FDA for use in the home or hospital.
Our Inferno Wrap® is made from medical-grade material - this should be as important to you as it is to us! Other products that are sold in stores are considered "consumer goods" meaning the material only needs to be as good as a sweater that you wear. Clothing articles like this don't need to meet high standards of production or materials and may include materials that irritate your skin.
Since our wraps are medical-grade products registered with the FDA, they are of a higher quality and need to meet way more standards for manufacturing (ISO 10993 - bio-compatibility testing). This makes our wraps the safest product for heating treatment. Our manufacturer has spent years perfecting the wrap design to make sure you get the treatment you deserve!
Use a BFST Back/Hip Inferno Wrap®:
- After swelling and inflammation have been reduced with cold compression.
- Before exercise or workouts to warm up the tendons in your hip to prevent re-injury.
- Before and after surgery during rehabilitation to warm up your tissues before physical therapy exercising or stretching.
- Anytime you feel the tendons in your hip have stiffened up, are tight and your mobility is reduced causing you more pain.
- Anytime you have sore or aching tissue in your hip.
- Any other situation where you need to increase blood flow to your hip tendonitis injury to relax your tendon, relieve pain, prevent re-injury and enhance flexibility of your tissue.
Use These Conservative Treatment Tools
to Deal with Scar Tissue
It's important to rest the torn tendon because our natural healing process takes time to heal completely. If you don't rest your torn tendon, your acute tendinitis can quickly turn into a chronic tendinitis injury. To repair our damaged tendon tissue quickly, our bodies will use scar tissue to fill in the tears in the tendon. If you need to rest for an extended period of time and avoid certain activities that make your pain worse, you'll be more likely to develop massive amounts of this scar tissue as a temporary healing measure.
Scar tissue may plague you for weeks, months and maybe even years, depending on your level of activity and the amount of conservative treatments you have done during your rehabilitation. Scar tissue is a major problem, especially when it comes to re-injury of your tendon. When dealing with scar tissue it's always important to:
- listen well to your physician and if conservative treatments are recommended, remember to stick to your (daily) treatment plan using these therapies.
- frequent use of the Freezie Wrap® will help reduce the swelling very quickly. Much of the pain you feel will be from the swelling, and you'd be surprised how fast the pain drops off once the swelling is down.
- the Inferno Wrap® is a safe, electromagnetic energy device that will help reduce scar tissue and increase blood flow to the area (thereby accelerating the body's own healing process).
- when applied before stretching, the Inferno Wrap® will help flush the area with fresh blood. This will help improve your range of motion and prevent re-injury.
It may seem hard to believe, but our Freezie Wraps® and Inferno Wraps® will assist you in recovering from your injury faster and reduce your chance of suffering from degeneration conditions (like arthritis or tendinosis) by maximizing blood flow where it's needed most and reducing swelling / inflammation induced pain.
Prevention and Promotion of Lifelong Health
If you want to avoid re-injury, or manage pain and increase circulation for lifelong health benefits. A Back/Hip Freezie Wrap® and Inferno Wrap® will provide the results you are looking for.
Why spend time in pain, off from work, and missing out on your active lifestyle when you can be proactive about your injury and the health of your body? Talk to your doctor about incorporating a regular routine of using a Freezie Wrap® and Blood Flow Stimulation Therapy™ into your everyday health regimen.
Learn More About SUPERIOR Hip Tendonitis Treatments
Learn more about how the Freezie Wrap® is designed to be the most effective cold compression wrap on the market today.
Learn more about how the Inferno Wrap® helps with the healing process.