Hip Flexor: Iliopsoas

Hip Flexor Injuries


Article by Matthew Batch


Hip Flexor Injuries

What Is Iliopsoas-Related Groin Pain?

Groin pain can be separated into different categories based on its signs and symptoms. One of these categories is iliopsoas-related groin pain (IRGP).

The iliopsoas is a muscular structure with two components; iliacus and psoas major. They begin at the top of your pelvis and lower back and attach to the top of your thigh. Due to its location, its main function is to flex the hip (think lifting your knee towards your chest). This makes it particularly relevant for activities that involve kicking and running.

There are numerous possible causes of IRGP, some of which can develop acutely or suddenly, and others that progress more gradually over time. It is possible to have changes in the muscle, tendons, bursa and bony structures that contribute to the symptoms of IRGP.


IRGP is often described as a deep discomfort at the front of the hip and top of the thigh, though may also be experienced closer to the abdomen. This may also be accompanied by a snapping sensation at the front of the hip, particularly during movements that involve lowering the leg with the hip turned outwards.


There are many possible causes of groin pain, some of which do not stem from the groin at all, which is why your physiotherapist or doctor must assess your condition. The key clinical signs and symptoms of IRGP that distinguish it from other causes of groin pain are tenderness when the iliopsoas muscle is touched (palpated). The muscle produces pain by using (contracting) and/or stretching. Depending on the structure/s your health professional suspects is responsible for your symptoms, and if they suspect that imaging results may change your treatment, you may be referred for an x-ray, ultrasound or MRI.

How Do You Relieve Hip Flexor Pain?

The appropriate treatment for IRGP varies from one person to the next and remains guided by the assessment outcomes of your doctor/physiotherapist. A thorough assessment will not only provide an accurate diagnosis but will also identify risk factors that may have led to the development of the condition. This is imperative as it ensures that you regain at least your pre-injury function, and the likelihood of suffering the same injury again is reduced as much as possible.

For a comprehensive assessment of your groin pain and to ensure your recovery is targeted toward your specific needs, do not hesitate to contact your physiotherapist.

Please contact your physiotherapist for a thorough assessment and the quickest relief from your groin pain.

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