An Overview of Psoas Impingement
As a ball and socket joint, the hip is formed by the femoral head (ball) and a portion of the pelvis known as the acetabulum (socket). If the ball and socket are not properly shaped, it leads to a hip condition known as femoroacetabular impingement (FAI). Patients in the Santa Barbara, Goleta, Santa Maria and Ventura, California area affected by FAI, or those involved in activities that require repetitive hip flexion, may experience tightening and inflammation of the iliopsoas (hip flexor) tendon. When the tendon becomes tight and inflamed leading to painful symptoms, it is commonly referred to as psoas tendinitis or impingement. Dr. Jervis Yau, orthopedic hip specialist, is highly experienced at treating psoas impingement, as well as an associated condition known as iliopsoas bursitis.
What Causes Psoas or Snapping Hip Syndrome?
Psoas impingement, otherwise known as internal snapping hip syndrome, is caused by the psoas tendon becoming tight and inflamed from repetitive hip flexion movements such as in gymnastics, dance and certain track and field events. The repetitive flexion may cause the psoas tendon to snap across either the femoral head or acetabulum leading to an audible and palpable pop. In certain patients, the tendon may even compress the labrum and cause injury or tear.
An associated hip condition, iliopsoas bursitis causes patients to experience similar symptoms as psoas impingement, and is also caused by repetitive hip flexion during athletic activities. Iliopsoas bursitis is characterized by inflammation of the psoas bursa located between the psoas muscle and the front of the hip joint.
What are Common Psoas Impingement Symptoms?
The most common symptoms of psoas impingement include pain, inflammation and soreness in the front of the hip/groin area. The pain is often intensified during and after activities that require hip flexion. Patients with psoas impingement may also experience a snapping sensation in the front portion of the hip when the hip is gradually extended from a flexed position.