Iliac crest form the margin of ileum and is a broad curved structure that helps protect the pelvic region. The curved part of ileum forming the iliac crest offers strength to pelvis structure. The iliac crest is that one on top of pelvic bone forming a curved ridge. Most back, hip, and abdominal muscles are seen to originate from iliac crest. It is an important bone structure that contains significant amount of bone marrow.
Iliac crest may suffer pain due to trauma, or other conditions like inflammation that create pressure on muscles and nerves. The iliac crest may develop fracture due to hip trauma or complications in bone marrow donors. Although the factures may be painful, they are considered mechanically stable since the pelvic ring is intact.
Causes of ilac crest pain
Pain in iliac crest may be experienced in older people, those who have lower back pain, and in athletes. The pain may also signify inflammation occurring in iliolumbar ligament. The pain may be felt in the lower back, core, and hip. Adequate recovery may be achieved if the pain is addressed as soon as it develops.
Many people who experience pain within the iliac crest describe it as a sensation of aching and bruising feeling, which occurs along the hips. Many muscles attach themselves above and below the iliac crest, and they are important for movement of body. The core muscles, hip flexors, abdominal and back muscles are found to be active around this area.
When such muscles are weak, repetitive motions and running could cause irritation and pain in the point where muscles attach to iliac crest. Pain may also occur if the iliotibial band, located on the outer thigh through to the outer side of knee is affected by imbalance between legs.
Runner and athletes may often have pain and discomfort around this area. This is the iliotibial band syndrome. When too much pressure is put on one side of body, it could cause the pain. Iliotibial band helps in stabilizing pelvis. Inflammation of iliolumbar ligaments may cause pain in iliac crest. The inflammation puts pressure on muscles found in pelvis and lower back resulting to more pain.
A condition known as piriformis syndrome may be caused if the luteal muscles are too tight and have put pressure on sciatic nerve. The pain can radiate through the hip and buttocks. People who work out using worn out shoes can experience this condition. Inflexibility, and length discrepancy of legs as well as muscle imbalances may also lead to piriformis syndrome.
Aggravation in gluteus medium may cause pain in iliac crest especially the area below. Such pain may result to reduced flexibility, elasticity, range of motion, and increased pressure or reduced muscle and nerve function. Iliac crest contusion may occur when hard hit is forced against iliac crest. This may result to hematoma of periosteum of the bone. The area will develop swelling and ecchymosis.
The muscles that are attached to iliac crest may also have spasms thus causing pain and immobility over hips and trunk. The pain seems to be less when a person walks backwards. Iliac facture is a fracture that occurs on the pelvic bone. Iliac fracture could occur when there is hip trauma or from complication in donor of bone marrow taken from the iliac crest. Such fractures are also a cause of pain in iliac crest.
Treatment of iliac crest pain
If you are experiencing pain in the pelvis area, you may want to get examination to determine the nature and cause or rule out the possibility of having a fracture. A physical examination can reveal tenderness of iliac crest. The intensity of pain may increase as a doctor assists a patient to stretch affected muscles.
Iliac crest pain may diminish and go away with time if there is no additional repeated trauma subjected to the area. Patients who have pain are advised to have a lot of rest to help in recovery of the muscles or affected. One may apply ice compressions to help relieve swelling and alleviate the inflammation.
Range of motion exercises can be introduced to help in toning and relaxing the muscles. Stretching consoles spasms can also help alleviate pain. Use of crutches can limit trauma and mobility in affected area thus preventing further pain from occurring. Where the pain seems unbearable, anti inflammatory drugs could be administered.
People experiencing iliotibial band syndrome or pain can see success through physical therapy. The doctor may need to evaluate your running style if you are an athlete to determine whether it could be contributing to inflammation. Muscle strength, flexibility, and gait analysis may be examined to help determine how best one can avoid causing damage in iliotibial band in future.
To prevent pain in iliac crest, people may want to avoid running on uneven roads or downhill and uphill areas as they put more pressure on legs, which could increase pain. They may also want to replace any shoes that are worn out and they may not provide sufficient support to the feet.