The Psoas Muscle And The Importance Of Keeping It Healthy
Updated: Dec 31, 2020
For some of you it may be really relevant and for some of you not at all until you experience back, groin or even leg pain. I'm going to give a quick overview of what this muscle does, how we use it everyday and how to keep it healthy with pictures and a specific video we made to avoid pain and dysfunction in the future.
As you cans see from the picture the psoas major (pronounced so-as) muscle (highlighted red) AKA the iliopsoas is a hip flexor, this means it's main action is to bring the knee closer to the chest or in anatomical kinematic language, flexion. It is also partly responsible for bending the upper body left and right and helps along with other muscle to turn the foot outwards. It is a major muscle much like a guitar string except when it is plucked the sound is usually an ouch! So Why does this muscle cause pain? Well mainly it is because of lack of movement, we were designed to run after buffalo (no offence to vegetarians and vegans), throw stuff, walk on rough terrain, jump, dance, procreate and just generally move! With our society now, a larger proportion of people sit down for their jobs and it is often this important psoas muscle that become unhappy and becomes painful. The picture below shows the common locations of trigger points which are tight bands of muscle that can refer pain to different areas including the groin, buttocks and legs. This muscle is also usually the culprit of that clicking noise in the hips when you sit up and down. It is called snapping hip syndrome and can be both painful and non painful but occurs in most cases because of a tight psoas muscle.
You can see from the diagram that the psoas connects to the lower spine, travels through the pelvis and attaches to the thigh bone (femur) on the inside. What do you think will happen when it gets tight? Have a think first to see if you are right. The answer is it can throw the pelvis forward applying more pressure on the spinal column potentially damaging the spinal discs and speeding up the natural wear and tear we all go through at varying levels. This has a chain effe
Caution: If you have had hip surgery, prosthetics or a bursa problem then consult me or your healthcare provider first. If any movement hurts, stop and try something else.
Instruction: Go into the stretch slowly, never let your knee go past your toes and keep your torso vertical as this will give the best stretch. Hold for 20 seconds and then repeat on the other side. Attempt 3 times on both sides to keep that psoas healthy
Thanks for reading and hope to see you next month for Corbin's Chiro Blog