Those with low back pain who go to the internet to research possible causes of their pain often land on a page touting the psoas as the cause. The muscle has been blamed for back pain, bowel issues, and even emotional trauma. Meat eaters might know that the psoas is the prized filet mignon. It’s a ‘celebrity’ muscle and it’s blamed for just about every pain condition…hip and back pain especially.
Why is this muscle considered to be so important? It’s the only muscle that connects the spine to the lower half of the body. It is a deep muscle that helps to stabilize the spine, flex the knee/thigh toward the chest, swing your leg through when walking, and helps bend your trunk forward. The psoas has attachments into the diaphragm and can impact your breathing. A reflexive muscle that tightens when we are under stress to pull us into the ‘fetal’ position as a protective mechanism. This muscle has a lot of different functions. In alternative health communities some call it the ‘muscle of the soul.’ As you can see it’s an important muscle…
…but is it really that important?
It’s not uncommon for those painful areas in our body to feel ‘tight.’ And what better way to decrease tension than by stretching that area.
Butt pain – stretch the piriformis
Knee pain – stretch the quads
Ankle pain – stretch the calves
Low back pain – stretch the hamstrings
Don’t get me wrong…stretching those areas often does feel good. Of course it’s typically only for a few moments until you start moving again.
Stretching induces a relaxation response in the muscle. It is short-lived, but feels good in the moment.
That moment of feeling good can be enough for us to think the stretches are really helping…even though the symptoms never really change.
Those that know me know I am a believer in good posture.
Everyone loves a good night’s sleep. But sleep can become restless when you know when you wake up…You will have the dreaded first step of the morning!! I have heard that story a 1000 times. It’s a typical symptom of plantar fasciitis. The first step is excruciating, then each step the pain lessens and by mid-day it’s manageable.
The next morning when you must take ‘The Dreaded First Step…’
There is nothing worse than foot pain. Walking becomes unbearable and walking is what us humans were designed to do. How are you going to get through the day riding on a ‘flat tire?’…a painful ‘flat tire.’ Heel pain is frustrating and can be difficult to resolve. I know you’ve tried everything all ready...
The Internet. The only place where one can order dinner and have it delivered while allowing time to search for ‘The One Exercise That Will Solve Your Back Pain.’
Let’s be honest. It would be awesome if we could go on a site like WebMD and get a diagnosis then head to YouTube for the video that will give us the right treatment.
The problem is that that’s what a lot of us are doing.
Being in pain is not fun…it’s frustrating. And we will look everywhere for an answer to get rid of our pain.
YouTube is a great place to find exercises, but not answers to our pain…especially if it is chronic.
I get it. You have probably all ready gone to the chiropractor who ‘cracked’ your back and saw a physical therapist who gave you some exercises (probably the same ones you found on YouTube).
Your MRI was fine and all the doctor did was prescribe you medication.
But did anyone really take the time to understand what was going on with you? Did they listen? Perform a thorough assessment and provide care catered to you?
Exercises are great…and it’s awesome you took the initiative to try to find something to help you.
But it’s time you find someone that can provide the care you need, give you specific exercises your body will benefit from, and use their hands to help alleviate your pain.
YouTube is for funny videos…not for replacing healthcare.
If you are looking for one on one individualized care where your therapist will listen and come up with a plan to help get you out of pain…
Then give us a call to see if Body Evolution Physical Therapy & Wellness is the best fit for you!!
I'm just a guy helping active adults and athletes frustrated by nagging aches and pains naturally return to a healthy lifestyle.