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Back Pain - Courtesy of the Iliopsoas Muscle

Posted on 17 December 2014
Back Pain - Courtesy of the Iliopsoas Muscle
What is the Iliopsoas Muscle?

It is a group of muscles consisting of the psoas major, psoas minor and the iliacus muscles. They are the only muscles, besides the piriformis, that connect the vertebrae (back bones) to the legs.

Psoas Functions

This group of muscles does many things. The muscles work as a hip and thigh flexor, an extensor of the lumbar spine -- which makes it the major walking muscle.

If the legs are stationary, these muscles work to bend the spine forward. When you're sitting, they stabilize and balance the trunk.

Ideally, the psoas maintains the pelvis in a dynamically neutral orientation so it can move easily and retain structural integrity--this creates positions of the spine that require the least muscular effort.

Common Pain Symptoms
  •     referred pain down the front of the thigh
  •     vertically along the lower to mid spinal column
  •     trigger points are found above the path of the psoas on the abdomen, on the quadratus lumborum muscles, as well as the piriformis, gluteals, hamstrings, and erector spinae.
Causes of Dysfunction
  •     postural habits -- such as the way we stand, walk and sit
  •     walking or standing with our chin forward
  •     prolonged sitting at the office, car or elsewhere
  •     unresolved trauma

Until the psoas is released, the muscle may stay contracted and go into further shortening and spasm.

Treatment Considerations

The iliopsoas muscle is an essential part of the instinctive fear reflex and, as such, it is very sensitive.

If we work on the inner fibres, we affect fibres connecting to L4 and L5, and if we treat the outer fibres, we affect the fibers connecting to T12 and L1.

Some Treatment Techniques

The Sports Medicine Doctor at Toronto SEMI can help to determine if this injury is affecting you. The Registered Massage Therapists and Physiotherapists can help direct your recovery.

Some of the techniques employed by the team at SEMI are:

  •     Education about aggravating factors/positions to avoid
  •     Iliopsoas release with stretch/heat
  •     Combination rib cage release and heat application
  •     Joint Mobilizations
  •     Massage treatments are followed by directed stretching and strengthening exercises of specific and related muscles.
  •     A personalized Home Exercise Plan to help you speed up your own recovery!
Tags: Upper body Treatment options


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