Psoas I Was Saying: Say Goodbye To Lower Back Pain

If you have read any of my other blog posts you know that I LOVE the movie The Princess Bride.  One of my favorite quotes from the movie is when Wesley says, “Life is pain, highness.  Anyone who says differently is selling something.” I agree with Wesley that life really is pain, but I don’t think that pain has to include lower back pain. Thus, I want to “sell” you on a different solution to relieve back pain. 

One of the biggest issues that my clients have is lower back pain.  A lot of my client’s golf, which can contribute to lower back pain issues.

Below is a stretch (Child’s Pose) for the upper part of the Psoas muscle.

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In fact there are many different causes of lower back pain.  These causes range from bad posture to injuries and everything in between.  Some of the more common causes are that we do more sitting and less exercise; weak abs; spinal disc issues or weak back muscles; getting older; and being overweight.  Some lesser known reasons for lower back pain are weak psoas muscles or being born with some genetic issue.  So the bottom line is that lower back pain is different for each individual and is dependent upon their specific circumstances. My client’s have tried a lot of different remedies to get rid of or reduce the intensity of their lower back pain with little to no success.  They have tried injections and seen doctors and chiropractors, etc. with occasional relief or a significant reduction in their pain, but it always seems to come back (no pun intended, Lol).

Recently I read this quote by Sumesh Nair, “Remedies and solutions are different; Remedies are the measurement or ways for solving the problem.  Solutions are solving the problems, without any quary in later stage.  Solutions can be remedy, but remedy cannot.“   I believe that people are looking in the wrong places for solutions to their back pain.  They are seeking remedies instead of solutions.  I think that it rarely occurs to most people that the cause of their pain might be quite simple.

The best story to illustrate what I am saying is the Bible story where Moses puts a brass serpent on a pole and tells the Israelites that those who were bitten by the poisonous serpents need to look at the brass serpent and they will live. (Numbers 21:8-9)  Because it was such a simple solution to be healed a lot of people did not look, because they thought there’s no way that such a simple thing can cure me, and they died.

Thus, I propose a possible simple solution to lower back pain. Instead of seeking remedies to lower back pain we should be seeking to know the root cause of the pain so that we can find a solution.  Who knows, maybe you can find relief from your lower back pain by doing such simple things as correcting your posture, strengthening your abs, and stretching those tight muscles, like the psoas.  This may not work for everyone, but what have you got to lose (besides your lower back pain-Lol)?

This is a butt lift.  This exercise will help to strengthen your glutes (butt).  Pull the abs in and squeeze the glutes.  Then drop the upper body down so that the butt taps the floor and then back to butt lift position.  Make sure that you don’t take the hips too high or that could add to your low back pain.

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  I’ve been doing some reading about a little known muscle called the Psoas. It is a very important muscle that is more often than not overlooked as a cause of low back pain. The Psoas is a core muscle that is connected to the spine and the legs. The very position of the Psoas, where it connects to the spine, can contribute to lower back pain.

There is something called referred pain.  This is where an individual will feel pain in one part of the body but the actual cause of the pain will be at a different site in the body.  So sometimes we have a pain in our lower back but the cause of the lower back pain is not the back muscles themselves, it is some other issue.  For example, you might have lower back pain because you are doing too many crunches which leads to weak abdominal muscles (I know it seems crazy that doing abdominal exercises can actually weaken your abs, but it can!), which causes the hip flexors to do most of the work during the crunches, which causes the psoas muscle to become overworked, which leads to pain in the lower back.

One possible solution to relieving lower back pain is to stretch and strengthen the Psoas (pronounce so-az), strengthen the glute (butt) muscles, and stretch the hip flexors. So I have included pictures of a stretch for the Psoas, a butt lift to strengthen the glutes (butt), and a stretch to open up the hip flexors.   Make sure your doctor says that you are healthy enough to exercise before trying any of these exercises.

This is called a Camel Pose.

It opens up the hip flexors and stretches the Psoas.

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