iliac crest pain

Iliac crest pain: What to do? (natural treatment)

Article reviewed and approved by Dr. Ibtissama Boukas, physician specializing in family medicine 

You suffer from pain in the iliac crest, and want to know the cause. And above all, you want to benefit from advice to relieve your symptoms. This popularized article explains everything you need to know to get better.

Definition and anatomy of the iliac crest 

Place your hands on your hips. You will feel an arched bone on top. This is the iliac crest.

More specifically, the iliac crest is the most prominent part of the iliac bone, the largest of the three bones that make up the pelvis. As a reminder, the 3 bones that make up the pelvis (pelvic girdle) are the iliac, the ischium and the pubis.

iliac crest

In addition to dividing the pelvis and abdomen, the iliac crest is the point of attachment for several important muscles. These muscles include:

  • the gluteus maximus
  • abdominals and obliques (internal and external)
  • the transverse muscle of the abdomen
  • the latissimus dorsi
  • the square of the loins

It is possible to feel pain in the iliac crest. This can radiate to the back, hip, The belly, oldest boy, sacroiliac or even the thigh. It is the muscles that attach in the region, as well as the passage of nerves, which explains the radiating pain.

lady who complains of radiating pain in the leg, and who would be responsible for her back pain

This pain can occur during certain activities (walking, bending over, running, rotating the trunk, etc.), and limit movement of the lumbar region and the hip.

If caused by trauma (such as a fracture), iliac crest pain may be accompanied by redness or swelling.

Causes of pain

Obviously, traumatic damage to the iliac crest will cause pain. But what about the discomfort that gradually (and perniciously) sets in? Other causes of iliac crest pain include:

iliac crest pain


In order to clarify the diagnosis related to pain in the iliac crest, the healthcare professional will first perform a clinical examination aimed at identifying the causes of the symptoms.

Young woman medical visit to her doctor

The range of motion at the lumbar, hip and pelvis level will be performed to assess lumbopelvic mobility. If there is presence of irradiation or numbness, the doctor may do a neurological examination aimed at assessing the integrity of nerve structures (nerves, nerve roots, etc.).

Depending on the suspected pathology, examinations ofmedical imaging complementary to better understand the affected structures. This may be an X-ray, an ultrasound, an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging), or a bone densitometry if there is suspicion ofosteoporosis.

machine mri iliac crest pain

Finally, blood tests could be considered if it is estimated that the pain comes from an autoimmune pathology, or related to some imbalance.


If the pain is of traumatic origin, the main objective initially will be to calm the inflammation. Although pharmaceuticals anti-inflammatories, muscle relaxants or painkillers are relevant, many people prefer to try natural methods beforehand.

La ice helps calm inflammation, combined with topical creams (especially if the lesion is superficial). Of the natural products based on turmeric or arnica are also used regularly.


In addition to applying the methods mentioned above, a balance must be found between resting the region to allow tissue healing, and mobilizing the pelvis to activate blood circulation, tone the muscles and mobilize the joints.

Exercise supervised for the back by a physiotherapist

Indeed, note that physical activity (tolerable, safe and gradual) helps speed up the healing process, while excessive rest will cause muscle stiffness and weakness. A healthcare professional (such as a physiotherapist or a physiotherapist) can help you stay active in an optimal environment.

If the cause of iliac crest pain comes from a muscle imbalance or some syndrome, the treatment will be more complex, and will have to be adapted according to the individual.

evaluation of hip pain by a physiotherapist

Indeed, an individualized assessment will determine where these imbalances come from, and how to treat them (with exercises or manipulations by a health professional). Preventive advice will also be offered depending on your sporting or professional activity (adjustment of shoes, soles, surfaces for running, etc.)

Among the passive treatments offered, an osteopath, physiotherapist or chiropractor can relax spasmed muscles, mobilize hypomobile joints (such as the hip or pelvis), and thus improve fluidity of movement. This will notably reduce pain.

sacroiliac compression test to determine the suitability of an infiltration

Apart from physical therapies, there are several products and accessories available in the market that can relieve iliac crest pain. It should be remembered that these tools generally provide temporary relief, and should be used sparingly. Among the products recommended by our professionals, we have:

If the pain does not subside despite the realization of a well-conducted conservative treatment, we will then think of more "drastic" strategies.

For example, cortisone injections at the level of the affected structure can relieve the symptoms. Surgery is almost never indicated for iliac crest pain.


What about natural remedies?

Although they are not supported by solid scientific evidence, several natural products and home remedies are used to treat iliac crest pain, especially for their anti-inflammatory power.

Here is a non-exhaustive list of plants and essential oils that are effective in controlling pain and inflammation. The products are available on the site Country. Use promo code LOMBAFIT15 if you wish to obtain one of the following products, or any remedy aimed at relieving your symptoms and improving your quality of life:

  • Turmeric. Thanks to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory powers very powerful, turmeric is one of the most used plants in a culinary and therapeutic context. The composition of turmeric is essentially made of essential oils, vitamins (B1, B2, B6, C, E, K) and trace elements. But it is to its composition rich in curcumin and curcuminoids that we owe them and calm skin of this spice.
  • Ginger. In addition to the special flavor it brings to the kitchen and its aphrodisiac properties, ginger is a root well known for its anti-inflammatory powers. the gingerol gives it its anti-inflammatory action. It is an active component acting on the inflammatory pain related to chronic joint inflammatory diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, rheumatic diseases, etc. It has been proven that this active element is also effective in acting on the inflammation linked to arthritis and sciatica. Ginger also has other benefits thanks to its high potassium content and its richness in trace elements (calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, sodium) and vitamins (provitamin and vitamin B9).
  • Omega-3s. Omega-3s are polyunsaturated fatty acids that play a very important role in the functioning of our body. They are provided by food in three natural forms: docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), alpha linolenic acid (ALA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). Beyond their action on the brain and the cardiovascular system, omega-3s prove very effective against inflammation. Indeed, they have the ability to act on the inflammatory mechanisms in osteoarthritis by slowing down cartilage destruction, thus they reduce the intensity of osteoarthritis pain. Sciatica, being most often linked to an inflammation secondary to a herniated disc, it can also respond to omega-3 provided it is consumed regularly. 
  • Lemon eucalyptusEucalyptus is a plant most often used in the form of herbal tea or essential oil. She would have anti-inflammatory effects which give it the ability to act on the bone and joint pain in general and the pain of sciatica in particular.
  • wintergreen. Wintergreen is a shrub from which a very interesting essential oil is extracted. It is one of the most used essential oils in aromatherapy. This oil extracted from the shrub bearing the same name, is used in massage to relieve sciatica and act like a analgesic. Indeed, it provides a heating effect thanks to its ability toactivate blood circulation locally.

Are you looking for solutions to relieve your pain?

Discover the opinion of our team of health professionals on various products available on the market (posture, sleep, physical pain), as well as our recommendations.

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