The iliacus muscle has a triangular form, is flat, and perfectly fits the curving surface of the biggest pelvic bone, the iliac fossa. It is also known as the iliopsoas muscle, together with the psoas major muscle. 

What clinical relevance do these muscles have? 

When a muscle is overused, especially if a person works a desk job every day, it might get shorter. In addition, frequent exercise without stretching might cause this muscle to become shorter. Injuries and dysfunction in the hip and pelvic parts of the body, such as the following, may start to occur as this muscle shortens: 

  • Iliacus trigger points are painful, sensitive, and stiff spots or lumps in the muscle. 
  • Ischemia of the iliacus is a condition in which the muscle receives less blood. 
  • Symptoms include lower back, knee, and hip pain resulting in a person walking with unbalanced hips. 

Pain is the primary sign of iliacus dysfunction. This discomfort may be felt in the lower back, upper thighs, hips, or groin area of the body. Additional signs include: 

  • Tenderness 
  • Stiffness 
  • Reduction in range of motion 

The QL muscle frequently becomes tight and hyperactive because it is trying to make up for other nearby weak muscles. It can also tighten up as a result of repeated motion, such as bending, twisting, or inappropriate lifting, all of which impose additional strain on the muscle. 

Strengthening exercises 

  • Tightness 

Ask the customer to stand with their heels (or feet) apart, heads and shoulders against the wall. The capacity to feel the small part of your back against the wall with a posterior tilt is regarded as normal. The limitation may be shortened iliacus if the client is unable to posterior tilt by pressing their back into the wall with both feet spread and their knees and hips straight but can do this with their knees bent and hips flexed. 

  • Stretching 

Sitting might shorten the iliacus by causing the hips to flex. Tight hip flexion muscles are well known for making lower back pain worse since they raise the curve of the lower back. 

Start by lying on your back with your legs dangling off the edge of a sturdy table. Use both hands to hold your left knee and gently bring it towards your chest. 

Stretch by letting your right leg dangle for 10 seconds, you may stretch your hip flexors on this side of the body. 

Contract for six seconds, resist by raising your right leg towards the ceiling. 

Take five seconds to unwind. 

Stretch again by lifting your right leg back up off the table. Maintain for ten to twenty seconds. Consider suspending a large bag over your right foot for a more strenuous stretch. Change sides.