You may have heard your therapist mention or treat your psoas (“so-as”) during one of your sessions. The psoas is a deep muscle located on each side of the body in the abdomen about an inch to the side of the navel. It attaches proximally to the bodies of the vertebrae in the lumbar spine and the last thoracic vertebrae. As it travels down the body it crosses over 8 joints, including the sacroiliac (SI) joint before attaching to the inner thigh.
The psoas is a very important muscle and can be a main contributor for many issues in the body including:
- Low back pain
- Disc problems
- Abdominal pain
- Distended abdomen
- Menstrual cramps
- Digestive/elimination problems
- Hip/upper thigh pain
- Knee/ankle pain
- Neck pain
- Much more…
The primary functions of the psoas are to help draw your thigh to your chest, rotate your leg outward, and flex the trunk. Everyday we are performing these motions regularly (walking, sitting, bending, lifting) which contracts and shortens the psoas. Each client that comes into the clinic has psoas restrictions and we as therapists tend to spend a good amount of time releasing this area.
The psoas muscle plays an important part in the posture and structure of the body. This muscle is vital in determining the position of your low back in relation to your pelvis. When the psoas tightens, it can increase the curvature of your low back causing your pelvis to tilt forward, compressing the low back vertebrae, which in turn will cause your abdomen to protrude. Once the pelvis starts to shift in position it will impact the position of your hips and lower extremities, as well as the position of your neck. These changes in alignment can cause a myriad of symptoms.
Learning how to correctly self-treat your psoas is beneficial for most individuals. It is very important that you have your therapist guide you on whether this technique is beneficial for you and take you through the correct way to utilize this technique. Click here for a step by step guide on using the 4 inch ball to release the psoas.
If you have any of the following you should not perform the psoas release:
- Mesh in the area after surgery
- Currently pregnant
Everyone can benefit from the psoas release, but it does have a tendency to produce more sensations. Check-in with your MFR therapist at NBT for guidance and if you have any questions about this technique. Releasing your psoas correctly can have a great impact on changing your posture and eliminating symptoms. Get releasing that psoas today!