Inguinal ligament pain can occur due to numerous factors. The list is fairly extensive—hernia, nerve entrapment, prostatitis, urinary tract infection, issues with the lumbar spine as well as with the femur bone where it connects with the pelvis. Muscularly inguinal ligament pain can be attributed to issues with the iliopsoas (psoas major and iliacus) as well as the adductors, sartorius, rectus femoris, and tensor fascia latae, due to their corresponding attachments.
The inguinal ligament is connected at the ASIS (anterior superior iliac spine) at the top of the ilium of the hip, and the pubic tubercle a slip of bone coming off of the pubic bone. Ligaments are made up of connective tissue that connects bones or cartilage often holding together a joint. Ligaments can also help to support and maintain the position of organs.
The inguinal ligament is formed at the base of the aponeuroses of the external oblique muscle. An aponeuroses is a flat sheet of tendon that helps to bind muscles and connect the muscles to our bones.
One function of the inguinal ligament is to sort of strap down the psoas major and iliacus. The pectineus, the shortest of five adductor, or inner thigh muscles, is a third muscle that lies below the inguinal ligament and I have written before how inguinal ligament pain can be the result of a tight iliopsoas pushing forward against it.
Today’s post is picture heavy and the images should help illustrate a number of the issues I reference above (hernia, nerve impingement) as well as the basic anatomy of the inguinal ligament.