Iliac Crest Pain Syndrome – Causes and Treatment

The iliac crest is the most significant part of three bones that make up our hip bone, also called the bony pelvis. This part is located on the top of the hip bone that makes a wing-like shape. Pain in the iliac crest can go up to the back, abdomen, or groin as many nerves and muscles are connected to the pelvis. The most common symptom to detect the iliac crest is a pain in the lower back. The pain can spread lower down the body into the legs, buttocks, and groin. The pain can be felt in body movements like walking.


The iliac crest pain syndrome occurs from a tear in the iliolumbar ligament. Many possible and unexpected reasons can cause it. The tear can happen from a trauma like a hard fall or car accident or twists on uncomfortable angles. The pain is worse when the person bends or moves. It can happen due to pregnancy or childbirth and even sexual activities. If your muscles, including the hip flexors, abdominal muscles, lower back muscles, or other core muscles, are weak. Any activity that includes the use of the pelvic area can cause iliac crest pain.


Treatment for iliac crest pain syndrome depends on the cause and severity of the pain. The first step how you could treat the pain is through spinal decompression therapy. Almost all types of back pain are caused by spinal compression so decompressing the spine helps you get permanent pain relief.

Another way to treat iliac crest pain is RICE (rest, ice, compression, elevation). You must cut out all unnecessary movements and rest completely to heal quicker. Most importantly, refrain from activities that build up the strain on your lower back. Wrap ice in a towel and ice the area after rest. Compress as well to relieve the pain and reduce inflammation in the area. Ice the region for 15 minutes, three times a day. You can use a cold pack instead of ice.

For some people, physical therapy and exercises prove to be more effective for iliac crest pain syndrome.


Several exercises could help you treat iliac crest pain syndrome and relieve you of the immense pain you are going through.


The way to do this exercise is by keeping the back heel of both feet off the floor. Lower yourself and put one leg forward with its knee bent, while the other is positioned behind. Lower your hips so that the leg is bent at a 90 degrees angle. Keep your hands on your waist and your torso upright.

Hip flexor stretch

Keep one leg at the back by placing the knee on the floor and the other leg on the front with your knee bent and foot flat against the floor. Lean forward as your hip moves forward towards the floor. If you squeeze your hip tight, this will allow you to stretch your lower portion even more.

Standing Hip extensions

This exercise will especially help you to stretch and move your body easily while walking, running, or getting up from the seated position. Hold onto support when doing this exercise and make sure your upper body is engaged while you move only the legs. Extend your legs backward and repeat the movement.

Author: Spinal Backrack