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  • Writer's pictureDr. George Cheriyan, DO

Treating Iliacus Pain with Osteopathic Therapy: A Holistic Approach to Relief

Iliacus pain can be a significant source of discomfort, affecting mobility and quality of life. The iliacus is a key muscle in the hip region, playing a crucial role in hip flexion and stabilizing the pelvis. When this muscle becomes tight, inflamed, or injured, it can lead to a range of symptoms from mild discomfort to severe pain. Osteopathic therapy offers a holistic approach to treating iliacus pain, focusing on the body's natural ability to heal and restoring balance to the musculoskeletal system. In this blog, we'll explore how osteopathic therapy can help alleviate iliacus pain and improve overall well-being.



Understanding Iliacus Pain

The iliacus muscle is part of the iliopsoas group, along with the psoas major and minor muscles. It originates from the iliac fossa (the inner surface of the pelvic bone) and inserts into the lesser trochanter of the femur. The iliacus works in tandem with the psoas muscles to flex the hip, allowing us to lift our legs and bend at the waist.

Iliacus pain can result from various factors, including:


  • Overuse or Strain: Activities that involve repetitive hip flexion, such as running or cycling, can lead to overuse injuries.

  • Poor Posture: Prolonged sitting, especially with poor posture, can cause tightness in the iliacus.

  • Trauma or Injury: Direct impact or sudden twisting movements can injure the iliacus.

  • Underlying Conditions: Conditions like hip bursitis or herniated discs can contribute to iliacus pain.


Symptoms of iliacus pain often include:


  • Pain in the hip or groin area

  • Discomfort when sitting or walking

  • Limited range of motion

  • Pain radiating down the thigh or into the lower back


The Osteopathic Approach to Treating Iliacus Pain

Osteopathic therapy takes a whole-body approach to health and wellness, focusing on the interconnectedness of the body's systems. Osteopathic physicians (DOs) and osteopaths use a combination of hands-on techniques, movement, and lifestyle recommendations to treat iliacus pain.


Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment (OMT)

Osteopathic manipulative treatment (OMT) is a core component of osteopathic therapy. OMT involves hands-on techniques to assess, diagnose, and treat various musculoskeletal issues. For iliacus pain, OMT techniques may include:


  • Soft Tissue Manipulation: Gentle massage and stretching to release tension in the iliacus and surrounding muscles.

  • Myofascial Release: Techniques to reduce restrictions in the fascia (connective tissue) that may be contributing to pain.

  • Muscle Energy Techniques (MET): Active stretching and muscle contractions to improve flexibility and reduce muscle tightness.

  • Joint Mobilization: Techniques to improve joint mobility and reduce stiffness.


Addressing Underlying Causes

In addition to OMT, osteopathic therapy aims to identify and address underlying causes of iliacus pain. This may include:


  • Postural Assessment: Evaluating posture and ergonomics to identify contributing factors.

  • Gait Analysis: Assessing how you walk to identify imbalances or compensations.

  • Exercise Prescription: Recommending specific exercises to strengthen and stretch the iliacus and related muscles.

  • Lifestyle Changes: Suggesting modifications to daily activities, such as sitting habits or exercise routines, to prevent recurrence.


Holistic Health and Wellness

Osteopathic therapy embraces a holistic approach to health, recognizing that physical, mental, and emotional well-being are interconnected. To support healing and prevent future pain, osteopathic physicians may recommend:


  • Stress Reduction: Techniques like meditation or mindfulness to reduce stress and promote relaxation.

  • Nutrition and Hydration: A balanced diet and proper hydration to support muscle health.

  • Sleep Hygiene: Ensuring adequate rest and quality sleep to facilitate recovery.


Osteopathic therapy offers a comprehensive approach to treating iliacus pain, focusing on hands-on techniques, lifestyle changes, and holistic wellness. By addressing both the symptoms and underlying causes of iliacus pain, osteopathic therapy can help you find relief and improve your quality of life. If you're experiencing iliacus pain, consider consulting an osteopathic physician or osteopath to explore treatment options and start your journey toward recovery.

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