Iliopsoas bursitis is a condition in which a fluid filled sac found on the front of your hip, called the iliopsoas bursa, becomes inflamed. Bursae function to cushion and reduce the amount of friction between your bones, muscles and tendons. Specifically, the iliopsoas bursa decreases friction between your thigh bone and iliopsoas muscle. Irritation of the bursa may occur from trauma or repetitive activities involving flexion of the hip including running, soccer, weight lifting and squatting. Often, this leads to tightness and reduced strength of the iliopsoas muscle, which can be corrected through stretching and strengthening exercises targeting the iliopsoas.
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Hip Flexor Stretch
This exercise stretches the iliopsoas muscle and improves stiffness of the hip joint. To do this exercise, place the knee on your injured leg on the ground. Your entire lower leg should lie directly on the ground. Bend your other knee and lean forward slightly. You should feel a stretch in the front of your thigh. Hold this position for 30 seconds and repeat three times.
Straight Leg Raises
Straight leg raises focus on strengthening the iliopsoas and quadriceps muscle in your thigh. To perform this exercise, lie down on your back and straighten your injured leg. Bend your opposite leg and place your foot flat on the ground. Contract the muscles in your thigh and slowly raise your leg up until it is level with your opposite thigh. Pause for a second and then lower it back down to the ground. Do 10 repetitions and then do the same on your opposite leg. To increase the difficulty of this exercise, try wrapping an ankle weight around your lower leg.
Sitting Hip Flexion
This exercise is also beneficial for strengthening the iliopsoas. Sit down on a table or chair. Bend your knee and slowly raise your right knee up as high as possible. Hold for a second and then lower your leg back down to the starting position. Do 10 repetitions. An ankle weight may be placed around your lower leg to make this exercise harder.
Standing Resisted Hip Flexion
Similar to the sitting hip flexion, this exercise also improves the strength of your iliopsoas. For this exercise you will need a rubber resistance band, which can be purchased from a sporting goods store or your physical therapist. Tie the ends of the band together to create a loop. Place the band in a door jam or around the leg of a table. Put your foot into the loop and stand with your body facing away from the band. The band should be looped around the front of your ankle. Contract your hip muscles and slowly pull your foot forward. Do three sets of 10 repetitions.