The Cause of Eden Hazard's Right Psoas Injury

Eden Hazard, a soccer player, has a new right psoas injury. In today's article, we'll analyze how it happened.
The Cause of Eden Hazard's Right Psoas Injury

Last update: 13 May, 2021

Eden Hazard, a well-known soccer player, is in the news again due to a right psoas injury. This powerful large muscle has taken him out of the game, again. He was recently in the news due to his repetitive problems associated with training and match play.

The new injury doesn’t seem to be connected to the previous ones; however, the athlete’s medical history tells a different story. He’s accumulated nine injuries that haven’t allowed him to play much since he’s been part of the Spanish team, so this one is the 10th.

Let’s take a look at the last previous muscular and joint disorders. What do they mean now that Hazard has injured his right psoas? What are the anatomical repercussions of this muscle?

Hazard’s right psoas injury happened as a result of other problems

Eden Hazard’s latest injury was a muscle tear of the left anterior rectus. This is one of the parts that make up the quadriceps, at the front of the thigh. There are powerful and organized fibers in the space between the hip and the knees that allow a person to do sports.

The tear of the left anterior rectus isn’t the same in all people. There’s a greater risk for athletes due to the overexertion involved in training and strenuous seasons of matches and competition. There are four degrees of severity of muscle tears in clinical terms:

  • First degree. No more than 5% of the muscle in question is affected here and sometimes it’s even impossible to locate the damaged area with an ultrasound scan.
  • Second degree. The fibers separate by up to 1 1/2 inch.
  • Third-degree. The rupture is greater than an inch and a half and there’s damage in the aponeurosis, the fibrous layer that surrounds the muscle tissue. There’s usually hematoma, a collection of blood that occupies space and generates pressure and pain.
  • Fourth degree. This is the most serious form of all. This is because the rupture is complete over the entire width of the affected muscle and the hematoma tends to be of considerable size. It’s disabling and requires surgery.

We don’t know the extent of Eden Hazard’s quadriceps muscle tear. However, he’s re-injured it despite complying with the indicated rest and rehabilitation techniques. This time is the psoas muscle, which we’re about to describe.

A right psoas injury.
The thigh has several muscles, including the quadriceps, which Hazard injured before.

What’s the psoas muscle? Where is it?

The psoas is actually a part of a larger compound muscle we refer to as the psoas-iliac. This mass of fibers extends between the diaphragm and the spine above to the pelvis and the femur below and is responsible for flexing the hip.

We can say, then, that it’s best to describe each section on its own, always remembering that Hazard injured the psoas:

  • The iliac portion attaches to the iliac crest of the hip, touches the sacrum, fills part of the internal iliac fossa, and forms the iliolumbar ligament. It then exits the pelvis through the crural arch, below the inguinal ligament, and reaches the femur.
  • In addition, the psoas portion originates in the last thoracic vertebra and the lumbar vertebrae, attached to the vertebral column, and then descends to the iliac fossa, where it’ll join with the portion we described above.

It’s logical to consider the interactions that the psoas-iliac has with various other structures of the organism when analyzing the size. It has a connection with the abdominal organs and with a series of nerves and plexuses that transmit sensory information.

This link with the central nervous system led to techniques of approach and meditation in traditional medicine. These aim to stimulate a supposed channeling of energy between the abdominal organs, the renal system, and the vital balance. Of course, these are anecdotal functions based on the pre-eminence of the muscle for posture.

Strictly speaking, the psoas function is to:

  • Activate when we walk, it helps us walk on two legs, unlike other animals
  • Support the normal curvatures of the spine, especially the one that goes forward in the lumbar area
  • Stabilize the sacrum so it doesn’t lose its central axis

We could attribute Hazard’s psoas injury to overuse, as well. The possibility of muscle fatigue or repetitive micro-injuries was considered in his last tear so it wouldn’t be surprising for this new injury to have the same causes.

In any case, the injuries occurred on the contralateral sides. The quadriceps tear happened on the left and the psoas injury on the right. Thus, it doesn’t take away a possible link. This is because the body tends to compensate with greater effort on the healthy side when there’s a problem on the other side of it.

One hypothesis is that having injured the left lower limb the right side could’ve been overloaded to compensate during training and physical rehabilitation. The extra contractions and excessive efforts would definitely cause increased sensitivity.

Of course, we’re in the realm of assumptions here. The only clear thing is Eden Hazard’s right psoas injury means he won’t be able to play. Once again, rest is the usual treatment along with anti-inflammatory drugs and a rehabilitation process with kinesiology and physiotherapy.

A physiotherapist at work.
Rest and professional rehabilitation are the cornerstones of recovery in patients with injuries like Eden’s.

Is a right psoas injury preventable?

One can prevent an overload of the psoas, such as the one possibly experienced by the soccer player, by proper training and correct execution of movements. Also by regulating the number of exercises and giving the muscle fibers a break.

Sometimes, there are incipient signs that warn of what’s to come. There may be a vague pain in the thigh or the lumbar region, as well as extreme fatigue in the lower limbs in athletes who don’t tire easily regularly.

In those cases, professionals recommend the following when there’s a specific warning:

  • Reduce the intensity of the exercises.
  • Do specific stretches for this muscle, more frequently than usual.
  • Massage the lumbar and abdominal region, from top to bottom, towards the groin.

There are times when prevention is almost impossible and there’s nothing left to do but to rest and put yourself in the hands of specialized professionals who can help you recover. It’s possible, but requires patience.

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