Common Stretches for the Psoas Muscle
By Dr. Brenda Kingen
In the last issue of Y&S, I promised some ways to stretch/strengthen the psoas muscle. This muscle is a deep-seated core muscle connecting the lumbar vertebrae to the femur. Remember this is one of the more misdiagnosed pain syndromes in the body. Psoas tightness can affect activities such as walking, cycling, running and skating. Symptoms of psoas involvement can include difficulties with hip flexion and posture, low back pain, hip/groin pain, higher incidence of quadriceps strain and difficulty rising from a seated position.
As a chiropractor, I see this issue daily in my practice. There is usually an alignment issue in the lumbar spine pinching the nerve that supplies the psoas muscle. It may not be clear which came first, the tight psoas pulling the vertebra out of alignment or the pinched nerve causing the tight psoas. So, I treat both with a chiropractic adjustment and active release technique. Following are the two most common stretches I give for at-home care. Of course, you can find many others on your internet search.
Lying Psoas Stretch
1. Sit on the edge of your bed or a table.
2. Bend your right leg, while keeping the other one extended.
3. Grab your right leg, or knee with your hand and gently pull it backward while you slowly lie back. You should feel a stretch in your left hip.
4. Hold it here for 30 seconds and relax into it. You can go up to 1 minute if you please. Repeat on the other side and do 3 repetitions on each side.
1. Using a yoga mat or pad, start on both your knees, then gently lift your left leg so that your foot is flat on the ground and your knee is bent at a 90 degree angle. Your right shin is now flat on the ground and should be extended back as shown above. Now shift your weight slightly forward into a lunge. If you have trouble getting down on your knees, do this in a staircase by putting one foot up 2-3 stairs from the lower foot and then lung forward slightly.
2. Keeping your back straight and pelvis tucked, lunge forward until you feel a stretch in your left hip. You can use a wall or chair for support if necessary.
3. Hold this stretch for 15 seconds, and then repeat 3 times. Repeat on the other leg.
Call Kingen Chiropractic today and experience it for yourself… it works! Dr. Brenda Kingen has 25 years of experience. She utilizes Chiropractic adjustments, Active Release Technique, Acupuncture and Laser therapy in her practice. She can be reached at 314-646-0013.
Kingen Chiropractic Wellness Center
2001 S. Hanley Rd., Ste. 220
Brentwood, MO 63144