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Stretching for Pain Relief - The Psoas Muscles

Posted by Judith Winer on


Stretching the Psoas Muscles

The psoas major and iliacus are considered part of the posterior abdominal wall because of their position and cushioning role for the abdominal viscera. However, based on their action of flexing the hip joint, it would also be relevant to place them with the hip muscles.

Note that some upper fibers of the psoas major may insert by a long tendon into the iliopubic eminence to form the psoas minor, which has little function and is absent in about 40% of people.

Trigger points in these muscles may often be associated with low back pain, groin pain, increased (hyper) lordosis of lumbar spine, and anterior thigh pain.

Stretching the Psoas muscles may help dissipate trigger points, prevent trigger points developing, and relieve pain. 

Below you'll find two easy to perform stretches that we often recommend for these muscles.

 

 

TECHNIQUE

Kneel on one foot and the other knee. If needed, hold on to something to keep your balance. Push your hips forward.

MUSCLES BEING STRETCHED

Primary muscles: Iliacus. Psoas major and minor.
Secondary muscles: Rectus femoris. Sartorius.

INJURY WHERE STRETCH MAY BE USEFUL

Hip flexor strain. Avulsion fracture in the pelvic area. Osteitis pubis. Iliopsoas tendonitis. Trochanteric bursitis. Quadriceps strain. Quadriceps tendonitis.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION FOR PERFORMING THIS STRETCH CORRECTLY

Regulate the intensity of this stretch by pushing your hips forward. If need be, place a towel or mat under your knee for comfort.

 

TECHNIQUE

Lie face down and bring your hands close to your shoulders. Keep your hips on the ground, look forward, and rise up by straightening your arms.

MUSCLES BEING STRETCHED

Primary muscles: External and internal intercostals. External and internal obliques. Transversus abdominis. Rectus abdominis.
Secondary muscles: Psoas major and minor. Iliacus.

INJURY WHERE STRETCH MAY BE USEFUL

Abdominal muscle strain. Hip flexor strain. Iliopsoas tendonitis.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION FOR PERFORMING THIS STRETCH CORRECTLY

For most people who spend their day in a seated position, (office workers, drivers, etc.) the muscles in the front of the body can become extremely tight and inflexible. Exercise caution when performing this stretch for the first time and allow plenty of rest time between each repetition.

 

This blog is intended to be used for information purposes only and is not intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment or to substitute for a medical diagnosis and/or treatment rendered or prescribed by a physician or competent healthcare professional. This information is designed as educational material, but should not be taken as a recommendation for treatment of any particular person or patient. Always consult your physician if you think you need treatment or if you feel unwell.

 

NAT Trigger Point Certification Course

 

 

 

 

 

 


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  • Regarding the second stretch pictured – I have had multiple level spinal fusion from L4-T10 and cannot come up all the way to straighten my arms. Would I still be getting some psoas stretch by just resting on my elbows? Thanks.

    Georgia on

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