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Who is your Mr. Psoas and what does he do?

By 10 April 2019Myotherapy
Ben Dillon
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Image Credit: Essential Anatomy 5

Back pain, the term is broad and the reasons why we get it are even broader. We live in the information era, and while gives us the info and tech, it on the flip side also gives us dysfunction, the main offender being back pain.  Now like I have mention, back pain or low back pain are broad terms, so let’s talk about your psoas.

psoas posterior

Now here is why we need to talk about Mr. Psoas. He’s the guys in your office that does a lot of the behind the scenes work, the nice guy who goes about his business and doesn’t often ask much from anyone. Problem is, when this dude is pissed he will let you know about it, whether it be the drop in productivity or the abuse that he will hurl at you, either way you’re going to feel it and have a bad time.

So who is your Psoas and what does he do? Your Psoas is one of your main hip flexors, originating from your lower back, it passes over your pelvis and it attaches behind your femur (upper leg bone). – Yeah that’s right, there is something there, it’s big, and you use it every single day.

Now the information era while awesome for us, it can be Mr. Psoas’ worst enemy, and more often than not our long stints of the computer are his biggest beefs with us. When we are seated for long periods of time Mr. Psoas gets comfy and gets use to his new position, he gets shorter, but he doesn’t mind, so long as he can stretch out (go for a walk) every once in a while. It’s when you don’t let him stretch that he’ll lose his temper.

So here is what he does. Ever seen someone walking down the street that is tilted awkwardly at the hips, maybe even hunched over like our old mate Quasimodo? That’s Mr. Psoas. It’s gotten so use to being shorter, that when the psoas does stretch out, it doesn’t want to lengthen even when it’s meant to (like when you stand for example).

psoas posterior

The restriction that is caused by the psoas will not only pull you forward in the standing and upright position (due to its low back attachment point), but it increase pressure on your spine and back muscles, potentially leading to headaches, and even worse…  a hunchback, and this is just the beginning!

When this dude is pissed, and not happy in his office, then neither will be his co-workers. Radiating pain through low back, front of quads will begin to happen, and if you think that is bad, how about the potential vertebral wedging, disc degeneration, neck and rib problems down the track? – Yeah that’s right, the list is long. So it is pretty obvious, keep this dude happy and you won’t want to look like Quasimodo.


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