"I Am Psoas Hell!"Lately, I have been getting clients who report hip and low back pain. Some even feel the pain in the groin making life a little challenging to say the least.
Because many of us spend lots of hours sitting where the body is in a constant state of flexion, this can shorten major hip flexor muscles, the psoas or iliopsoas. (pronounced "so-as")
Because of the clinical implications these guys have, there are entire books dedicated just for them. Frankly, there isn't enough space for me to truly give them their due here. I will touch upon some of the major facts about them in this article.
The psoas muscles are long and flat. About 16 inches in length. They are also quite thick. In animals, it is referred to as the "tenderloin". My apologies to my vegatarian friends. Here is a link to an image of these muscles.
They connect the trunk of the body with the legs. They originate at the T12 vertebrae and insert into the inner thighs. They flex the hip and the spine. These muscles act as "guy wires" and lifts the upper leg towards the body (used for walking) and conversely, pulls the body towards the legs when the legs are in a fixed position. (Think of a forward fold in yoga)
When these muscles are shortened, they can cause the following symptoms:
The way we stand, sit or walk can distort these muscles. Prolonged sitting is a huge factor in shortening these muscles as they remain contracted to keep us in a sitting position.
If you suspect you are having any of the above symptoms, there are a couple of things you can do. Since these muscles are in a state of excitement, you can visit a licensed massage therapist (that's me :) ) and they can relax these muscles in a very gentle and effective manner. Another is to retrain them. They are dysfunctional and will need to "re-learn" how to function correctly again. Here is a wonderful link I found on how you can retrain your psoas muscles.
If you have any questions regarding this information, feel free to reach out to me. You can email me or call me at 602-730-2508.
I look forward to seeing you in my cozy treatment room.