Back pain is an all too familiar issue, with even more common causes. From picking up your children the wrong way to taking a small fall down the stairs, it doesn’t take much to put your back out and cause straining of your muscles.
Especially if it is back pain, you’re suffering from it can be hard to identify precisely where it is coming from. Even your doctor might have trouble diagnosing it correctly, which could prolong the treatment for weeks. Let’s take a look at what the Psoas muscle is and if it is the cause of your back pain.
So What is the Psoas Muscle?
The Psoas muscle is one of the more essential muscles located on your back. In layman’s terms, it attaches your Lumbar vertebrae to the head of your femur. This means it is in charge of all the movements you make between your lower spine and legs, so if it is the cause of any back pain, it’s going to be chronic and uncomfortable.
What does the Psoas Muscle do?
The Psoas muscle is primarily responsible for flexing your hips and enabling you to stretch your legs apart. When this particular back muscle contracts, it brings your knees inwards to your stomach. It allows rotation of the hip and lets you move each hip individually.
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How Can this Muscle Cause Back Pain?
The simple answer to this is tightening. When a significant muscle like the Psoas is tight, it will manifest through pain and discomfort. If the Psoas muscle is contracted and you are standing, your back will be more arched than usual, and you will have trouble bending it back to its original position.
This awkward positioning brings the surrounding muscles down with it – if the Psoas is contracting, the smaller muscles that support it will also suffer. It can throw the lower back into spasm and result in a high level of pain.
How to Treat Psoas Pain with Stretching
Luckily, there are some simple ways to reset your Psoas muscle and reduce the level of pain it is causing.
Alongside other methods, treatments, and concepts such as seeing professionals, eating properly, having a low stress lifestyle, and sleeping on a good mattress – you can stretch your psoas to help relieve back pain.
While your doctor might prescribe you medication to help manage the pain, you might not even need it (but always discuss this with them first!) – the solution might be some easy stretches you can do at home.
The hip flexor stretch is a particularly useful way of loosening up the Psoas muscle. Orchestrate this stretch by making a deep lunge with your hands on your hips. Bring the knee of your extended leg right down to touch the floor. Alternate by making the deep lunge with the other leg and hip. Remember to keep your core stable and avoid arching your back. Hold each stretch for 30 seconds and try to do between 2-3 rounds with each hip. Do this a couple of times a day.
This simple stretch can significantly improve the feelings of discomfort and pain in your lower back caused by the Psoas muscle.