How to Care for Your Psoas Muscle

pelvisLow back pain is one of the most common complaints from people of all ages and occupations. If you are having low back pain, the culprit could be your Psoas muscle. If it is tight, shortened or unbalanced then it could be contributing to pain you are having in your lower back.

Where and What is a Psoas?

One of the largest and thickest muscles in the body, the Psoas attaches to the vertebrae of your lower back and the head of your thigh bone. There is a Psoas Major and a Psoas Minor and they blend into the Iliacus muscle – which collectively is known as the Psoas.

It is responsible for hip and thigh flexion and has a lot of influence over the posture in your lumbar spine, as well as the way your pelvis is positioned.

When you are seated, your Psoas is shortened and will become tight and contracted, especially if seated for a long time. So, if you have a desk job or are a student and spend a lot of your day seated, this could lead your Psoas to thinking that sitting down is the normal position which will then lead to it becoming tightened and short.

If your posture is incorrect while sitting, standing and walking, the Psoas will become imbalanced and make it harder for it release and/or lengthen.

Why Does It Cause Back Pain?

There are a lot of reasons why a tight Psoas can be a pain in the back. If it’s tight and contracted then it will bring your lower back forward moving you into a posture that can lead to back pain. Also, the tension exerted by the Psoas when contracted may compress the joints and discs of your lower back. This pressure can cause degeneration and also increase your susceptibility to injury.

If your Psoas is unbalanced and short on one side it will pull the spine or pelvis out of alignment. This can lead to painful problems like scoliosis. A tight Psoas can also cause your gluteal muscles to misfire and not activate normally.

Care for Your Psoas

Make sure that you pay attention to your posture when standing, walking or sitting. Correcting your posture will go a long way in taking care of your Psoas muscle. Exercise while standing if you can. This will help to keep the Psoas lengthened.

Moving more is great way to keep your Psoas happy. Don’t stay in a seated position all day will help you from developing a short and tight Psoas. Get up more often, stretch and change positions.

Used under Creative Commons Licensing courtesy of Steve Jurvetson

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