Skip to main content

What a Pain in the Psoas!

Back pain can present in a few different ways, which we had discussed in a previous post.
Today we are dealing with the iliopsoas and how dysfunction in this muscle can present as back pain
The iliopsoas is involved in hip flexion, but due to its insertion at the 12th vertebrae of the thoracic spine and first through fifth lumbar vertebrae, it is better classified as a postural stabilizer. The psoas hooks up to the lowest part of the back and then extends down to the lesser trochanter on the medial side of the femur. This means that an irritated psoas can be felt from your lower back and buttock all the way down to the middle of your inner thigh. That's a big pain and you know where you will feel it!

Psoas tendonitis can be caused by shortening the muscle due to anterior pelvic tilt (does your booty look like J.Lo?), overuse (too may hills during a run or just too much running/walking), or poor posture (are you really supposed to bend over that way?).

The simplest way to stretch the psoas muscle is to bend both legs at 90 degrees, one in front and one in back as if it were a lunge position. Next, you drive the pelvis forward, flexing the front knee and extending the rear knee. The stretch should be felt all the way down the inner thigh. You can accentuate the stretch by placing the trailing leg on a bench or ball.
Many types of movement or postures can affect psoas function, so its best to evaluate yourself and adjust your training program with a professional such as myself to properly adjust your posture, walking form, and other contraindicated movements.

Most Popular Posts

Exercise- Some Motiviation Required

It requires some thought in to why we do and don't do things. Exercise was not really much expected of the average person when there was so much labor to do around the home and job. Our evolution from labor based to service based industries has created a need for us to generate time for activity. Hence- our need for motivation.
Exercise in ancient Greece, for example, was an ingrained part of the religion and culture. The Gymnasium was dedicated to physical perfection, but also developed into a meeting place of philosophers and educators.
In some ways, exercise is a motivator today for people to look attractive, impress their friends, potential friends, or just to make people notice them. Vanity can motivate.
Sometimes, it's just about pride. The thought of having to buy new clothes to make room for more of you is just not pleasant (especially when you see the selection available). In fact, some studies have demonstrated that monetary incentives have helped people lose weigh…

Fiber for FItness (or just fitting into clothes)

The average American diet simply does not have enough fiber. White enriched flour has almost no fiber content. The most popular veggies are tomatoes, iceberg lettuce, and cucumbers, which have almost no fiber content (or vitamin content for that matter). Fiber helps regulate the digestive system (especially soluble fiber) by moving lipids (i.e. fats) through the blood stream and helping regulate sugar absorption. Insoluble fiber helps move bulk through the intestines, easing constipation and maintaining healthy acid levels.
You should also try to manage the sugar and fiber intake, especially for weight loss. Less sugar equals fewer calories which always contributes to weight loss. Check out the chart below for examples
Other great ideas are some of the whole fruit smoothies such as Bolthouse Farm products which use whole fruits and not juices. Fiber in your diet is an easy way to lose weight without making huge changes, so get started!

Body weight, reexamined...

The constant battle with the scale can be unending and unnerving. Before you even consider using it as your guide to a healthy weight, you should really consider the alternatives:

Body fat percentage: this is the most accurate measure of health and fitness. It means a low weight or lean person can have too much body fat and still have the potential for many ailments associated with being "overweight" including Type II diabetes and osteoporosis, for example. A heavier person with normal body fat percentage would actually be better off. Technology allows us to measure body fat percentage through a bioelectric resistance pad, which are those silver pads you can find on some scales. Make sure you purchase that kind of scale because it really appraises you of true progress- more lean tissue and less fat. See how you fall out on the chart below:



Waist-to-Hip Ratio: this is another effective way to measure how much fat has accumulated around the abdomen. As a general rule, the hips …