If you sit a lot for work or nursing a baby or just out of pure exhaustion, it’s highly likely that your psoas is tightening up to tell you something.
Basically, your psoas connects your spine to your thigh bone. While it is often named alongside the iliacus as “iliopsoas,” the meat of it is more like your tongue than your bicep.
Much has been written about this “tongue of your spine and pelvis,” and I humbly acknowledge that there’s no way for me to cover it all in this little blog. However, I’d like to offer you an uber simple understanding of your psoas and four simple things you can do to help it while you do your own research.
The psoas has long been considered a hip flexor and stabilizer, but many smart minds are now proposing that it’s more of a sensory organ and very much connected to everything. A psoas that isn’t tensioning correctly can impact your pelvic floor, abdominal strength, and even your jaw! Yeah, read this…
In short, if your psoas decides to freak out, life will become much more difficult. Your psoas may have already thrown a tantrum without you realizing it. Maybe you just thought your hips were “off” or your back was “out.” In all actuality, your spine-tongue might have been sticking itself out at you! How rude!
By the way, the “p” is silent. Thus all my “s” alliterations. So say it like this: Sweet talk for your “So-Azz.”
Got it? Okay, moving on…
If you have pain or severe tightness across your frontal hip bones AND you’re dealing with any type of core or pelvic floor trauma or injury like prolapse or diastasis AND your jaw feels sore every morning OR you’ve got TMJ you might be dealing with a spazzy psoas. One or all of the following 4 things should help you a lot!
Those 4 things I keep talking about:
Get It Released Manually by an LMT or DC
Some argue that the psoas cannot be manually released by someone else. I’ve had it done by my chiropractor, Dr. Shannon Anhorn. It wasn’t pleasant. But it brought me some quick relief. Ask your massage therapist or chiropractor for their thoughts on manual release, and if they believe in it and know how to do it… wowza!
Sing To Your Psoas
When your psoas is doing too much stabilizing and won’t let you move at all, this article called “A Song To My Psoas” shows how you can perform a self-release of your psoas with bolsters and pillows. Katy Bowman has written a great deal on Psoas stuff (remember to read that: so-azz stuff) too, like this article she called “Snapping Psoas, Hidden Tiger.” Yes, I’m a proud Katy-Stalker.
Take it for a hike
Sometimes, your psoas doesn’t need stillness.
It needs motion.
Specifically, the uneven terrain of a hiking trail can be just what your naughty sticky-outy-psoas-tongue muscle needs. Now I have to admit here that I read this tip somewhere, and now I can’t find it to link for you, but it did help me a couple weeks ago. After a long drive in the car followed by a day of lots of writing, my psoas was hollerin’ at me. So I took it and my two kids for a hike around Battle Ground Lake, and all three of them quit bickering!
… or is it four? Two kids and two psoas muscles… technically called psoai in the plural, and I do have two: one in each hip.
Offer Some Restorative Poses
Here on Fit2B my team has filmed several routines that feature restorative poses. Similar to the singing release above – which isn’t about actual singing, by the way, it just makes your psoai so happy you’ll want to sing… maybe – my restorative routines each have something in them for your psoai. Preview all our Restorative Poses routines in this blog here.
Again, I’m only scratching the surface of everything that can be learned about your psoas muscles (psoai) and these are just 4 things out of many more that can be done to restore the true “tensegrity” of these pivotal lower-trunk movers and shakers. Actually they keep you from shaking… But that’s another blog. Be sure you read all those links up there!
Have a great day!