Low Back Pain

People who sit for a prolonged period of time can develop a tight Psoas Muscles because their hip is constantly in a state of flexion.  If the Psoas is always in a shortened state, such as when it is while sitting, it begins to adapt to this position, which will result in the “new normal” state.  The way we walk, or position our hips also can contribute to a tight Psoas. A tight Psoas pulls forward on our lower vertebrae and causes an anterior tilt to our pelvis, creating a hyperlordotic curve (increased low back arch).  This puts extra pressure on the intervertebral discs of our spine, which can result in degeneration, increased risk of injury, and increased pain.  If only one side is tight, this can pull the vertebral column and pelvis laterally, creating a lateral bend, resulting in many more problems, and pain.


The Psoas is one of the largest, thickest muscles in the body.  It is our primary hip flexor muscle, so it lifts the leg at the hip up toward our chest.  If the leg is fixed (meaning your foot doesn’t leave the ground), it helps flex the torso, bringing the trunk and leg closer together.  It also aids in side-bending when only one side is contracted.

A couple ways to avoid and release a tight Psoas Muscle

  • Move your body often, especially if you sit a lot. Get up every hour and move your body, for example, walk, jog, or do some jumping jacks.
  • Sit with Good Posture
  • Stretch (after warming up the muscle you are about to stretch)
  • Strengthen your glutes
  • Avoid sleeping on the stomach because it causes hyperextension to the low back

Here is a video that I found a few years ago when I was studying about back pain and stretching the Psoas muscle. This works great!


Low Back Pain Video






Works Cited:

Holliman, Casey LMT Performance Bodywork Therapeutic & Sports Massage 2013