As you look deeply into your abdominal core from the front, the final layer of muscle attached to your lower back or lumbar spine is the Psoas Major.
This anchor for our lower or lumbar spine is coupled in the lower back by our spinal erector muscle group. This gives our very vulnerable lumbar spine support and stability.
Like everywhere else in our body structure, the balance between both sides of the joints is crucial to achieving optimal position, mobility, and function.
THE CONSEQUENCES OF TIGHT PSOAS
Some are calling it “muscular amnesia.” In this scenario, the hip flexors adaptively shorten and the poor lumbar muscles adaptively weaken. Postural control in the lower back has all but ceased to exist.
Tight psoas affects your mobility, especially in stride length. As it tilts and rotates left/right, the psoas muscle also plays a critical role in structural balance.
As the psoas has several attachments into our diaphragm, it also affects our breathing and ultimately our oxygen uptake. Sitting, tight clothing, and narrow shoes distort our posture, curtailing our natural movements, and further constricting our psoas muscles.
The lifelong chronic stress put on the psoas can lead to many problems like back, hip, or knee pain and even digestive issues and dysfunctional breathing.
It could also be a major cause of why people suffer from chronic physical pain.
In addition to its function to help keep the body upright and moving, the PSOAS is the link and connector between our upper and lower bodies. This creates a smooth distribution of ground reaction forces from toe to occiput.
Lengthening the psoas, whether for increased speed or improved breathing, will make you feel more grounded and more aware of your lumbar pelvic pivot point, often referred to as your center of gravity.
In our opinion, almost all back pain and knee pain is linked or associated with constricted and dysfunctional Psoas movement.
When you are made aware of where the psoas is, what it feels like when touched and how, when released, it can reset the whole of your body structure you will realize how free you really can be. Just let it go and see what your movement potential is and how your mental stress just fades away.
HOW CAN YOU RELIEVE TIGHT PSOAS?
Whilst deep tissue massage might give you some relief, stretching is the most effective way to relieve tightness in our hip flexors. By lengthening the fascia around the muscle, stretching will help correct some of the postural imbalance that is the source of aggravated strain in the lower back.
Daily practice of certain stretching yoga poses, like the Crescent Lunge pose or the Ustrasana (Camel Pose) will help.
However, few men have the time, the inclination, or the patience required in regular yoga practice, let alone flexible enough to get started. So those with little time to spare will greatly appreciate the assistance of a well trained and experienced Stretch therapist performing Assisted Stretching on them.
If you need help releasing your tight psoas muscles, give us a shout. The Active Isolated Stretching technique we specialise in will give you fast and lasting results.