Iliopsoas bursitis can cause pain and limited range of motion in the hip joint.

The condition often develops from overuse in athletes or other people who exercise regularly.


When a person develops iliopsoas bursitis, they may experience painful inflammation.

Iliopsoas bursitis is often referred to as a repetitive use syndrome.

As might be expected with swelling around the hip joint, pain is the primary symptom.

What is iliopsoas bursitis?

  • Iliopsoas bursitis is an inflammatory response in the bursa located under the iliopsoas muscle.
  • The iliopsoas muscle is a group of two muscles located toward the front of the inner hip.
  • A bursa is a liquid filled sack that sits between muscles, ligaments, and joints.
  • When functioning normally, a bursa provides cushioning and reduces irritation from rubbing and friction.
  • A damaged bursa causes inflammation that may reduce a persons range of motion, making it difficult for them to move.
  • Athletes and people who exercise regularly tend to develop this condition. It can also develop in people with chronic conditions, such as arthritis, or in people with tight hips.


Depending on the severity of the swelling, the pain may start in the front of the hip and radiate down the leg. The pain may also radiate towards the buttocks.

In addition, people with iliopsoas bursitis are likely to experience stiffness in the morning. Often, the stiffness will subside throughout the day. However, a person might also experience pain when:

  • exercising
  • walking up and down stairs
  • standing up from a sitting position
  • extending or lifting one or both legs


Several potential causes can lead to iliopsoas bursitis. One of the most likely causes is from repetitive use. Athletes and physically active people are more at risk than people who are sedentary. Runners, skiers, and swimmers are all at risk of developing the condition.

Also, a person who has tight hips may develop iliopsoas bursitis. Tight hips put additional pressure on the ligaments, joints, and muscles. The pressure causes friction, which can lead to the condition.

Some chronic conditions can also cause iliopsoas bursitis. In particular, people with arthritis, both rheumatoid and osteoarthritis, are at an increased risk. Both of these conditions can cause excess friction in the hips that then leads to iliopsoas bursitis.


Treatment for iliopsoas bursitis depends on the cause and the severity of the condition. When diagnosed early, at-home remedies are often enough. In more severe cases, a person may need to seek medical advice to treat the pain.

Mild cases often require little more than rest and icing to the stop the inflammation. Some people might also benefit from over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications. People experiencing mild episodes of iliopsoas bursitis should consider stopping or reducing the activity that causes the bursitis.

In more severe cases, a person may seek additional therapies. Some therapies include:

  • physical therapy that focuses on hip strength and flexibility
  • corticosteroid injection directly into the bursa
  • anti-inflammatory medications
  • antibiotics when infection is present
  • walking aids, such as canes, to relieve pressure

If a person has arthritis, the doctor will treat the underlying condition. Medications designed to target the arthritis symptoms will likely help relieve the bursitis. A person should talk to his or her doctor if experiencing hip pain associated with arthritis.

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