View Full Version : Psoas

Craig Brown
08-23-2008, 10:12 PM
So, after a good long while I have narrowed down my low back/hip/leg pain to my Psoas. That's a weird and tricky trigger point to get to! using the trigger point as well as the 'squat therapy, I am as good 36 hours after as I have ever been.

My question is geared towards getting past this- I've had it happen hefting boxes, deadlifting, and now squatting. Anyone else have this, and if so, how did you get beyond the re-injury phase? I think it's triggered by letting off ham/glute tension during lifts, so I will drill the shit out of that as I work back in to weight, but any thoughts would be appreciated.

Howard Wilcox
10-08-2008, 04:38 PM
Hello Craig,

Yes, I had a psoas trigger point problem. I thought I was going to have to stop squatting. I had a massage person do one major release of it and several follow-ups.

I think the squatting motion (weighted back squats in particular, deads didn't matter) seemed to cause it. I don't know why that affects the hip flexors so much, perhaps the tightness on the adductors (or is it abductors, whatever is on the inside).

Now, I still don't stretch like I should, but not slouching in a chair after heavy squats is a very important. If I'm on top of it, I do the samson stretch among others. I still will get "ghost pain" when I first wake up occasionally, but nothing serious and it doesn't seem to last once I get up and move around.

I haven't had it happen with odd lifting (like boxes)...that is a PITA. And considering it is very difficult to release the psoas yourself, it is more of a hassle to tune it up since you probably need to see someone.

I guess you could get the Trigger Point Therapy Manual and try to do it yourself, but who knows.

I'm going through the rolfing sequence and hope that will solve all sorts of crap, we'll see.


Mike ODonnell
10-08-2008, 08:34 PM
Do more lunges

Steven Low
10-08-2008, 08:52 PM
Samson stretch/splits/deep lunges should help stretch it out... maybe release it if it's just a bit tight.

Otherwise, having someone dig in is probably best.

Craig Brown
10-08-2008, 09:08 PM
Wow, many weeks later, this crops up- cool!

The lunges seem to help. Basically for the last year I've had just vicious levels of trouble with my right leg, hip, sciatica, psoas- all different times, usually triggered by squatting. The trigger point book has been a huge help. Currently recovering from SI joint fuck-up- that one is unpleasant! Not sure what the root cause is with all this, and tired of getting floored every couple of months. See what happens in the long term.

Thanks for the input-


Mark Bennett
10-09-2008, 01:29 AM

Interesting, I have a very similar problem with my right hip, and have had it for many years. Sciatica down that side, very tight psoas, SI joint pain, lower back pain and lack of mobility in the hip etc. Over the years I have seen just about every kind of therapist out there, and no one has been able to help much with this. I have also tried stretching, mobility training, trigger points the list goes on, again with little success. In my case itís hard to think that this is all caused by a tight psoas and I keep coming to the conclusion that something else must cause the psoas to tighten. I am starting to think that my problems are caused by my hip being out of alignment, may be caused by a SI joint problem.

I would be interested to hear how you get on with this, and what makes your condition worsen?

Howard Wilcox
10-13-2008, 07:37 PM
Hey Justin,

That's good to hear. Do you think you can give the drills?

The most common ones I've seen are:

1. clams (lay on your side and pick up the outside leg (bent))
2. bad dog (on hands and knees and acting like you will pee on a fire hydrant)
3. bridges (either single or double leg)



Steven Low
10-13-2008, 08:03 PM
Howard: There's a bunch you can do with the wall obviously. Just google it if ya need any better ones. :)

If you need some resistance just add it with the clams by adding a thigh weight or a theraband or something.

Garrett Smith
10-14-2008, 06:05 AM
Foot drills and single-leg DLs and pistols. Lots of hip flexor stretching, preferably in a PNF manner. Nothing done to failure that aggravates this issue until the issue is resolved.

Thomas Bailly
10-14-2008, 09:16 PM
Just got back from some amazing Active release therapy that hugely improved an ancient(nagging) psoas/hip flexor/inguinal ligament injury. It's pretty common to have SI joint issues with psoas problems. Good advice in this thread,also diligent ,focused core work will help and as mentionned PNF stretching. The psoas is fairly easily released when adequately addressed, find someone good.
Also "pigeon "type PNF stretches and other hip opening work can help.
In 11years of pro bodywork I found that an easy 80%of clients low back problems had heavy psoas involvement . One of the best things you can do for your psoas health is not sit down for long periods...throw away that desk chair!

Justin, YNWA.;)

Thomas Bailly
10-15-2008, 11:40 PM
Nothing to do with this forum, everything to do with your avatar....
or have you never heard of LFC?
Sorry all,no more thread hijacking...promise

Grissim Connery
10-29-2010, 06:05 AM
I read some of the other threads on here about issues in the psoas. I'm not sure how i should correctly go about my issue.

The most limiting physical factor in training BJJ are my psoas hurting. They are never chronically injured, but when training hard, i feel it the most there. it doesn't feel like a classically sore muscle but instead just aches. They tighten up easily the next day when they ache, but luckily i can open them up pretty quickly though with some pigeons and what not. My back will tend to arch a lot as well when things tighten up, but basic standing piked stretched open that up fast. They continue to ache though.

Eventually after training a lot, it feels like a tight string pulling my spine just below the ribs from the inside toward the front and back of my pelvis. It feels like it’s under my abs. This particularly feeling only really occurs on the left side though.

I'm kinda a triangle/omo plata guy now, and i think i have decent hip flexibility except for the hamstrings. I can get my leg close to behind my head without stretching, and after some diligent work i can get it there but uncomfortably.
Lunging type stretches don’t seem to stretch it well. Lunging stretch help open up a lot of other stuff on me (particularly in the glut area of the front leg), but when I try them, I only feel an uncomfortable tugging at the hip flexor area in the back leg, not so much a stretch. It feels like I shouldn’t do it too hard or I will hurt something.

Rotational stretches have a lot of benefit in opening up the areas. Sometimes I try tennis balls and such to try and release them, but these muscles are so deep that it’s hard to get them aside from digging in there with my own hand. I dunno about money right now for a massage. I tried to show my girlfriend where to dig in, but she’s just confused => she’s just still surprised there’s a muscle in there because she feels like she’s trying to move my organs.

My questions:
Is it possible to be flexible in the piriformis and not the psoas?

In order to reduce the ache in the future, would it be better to try to strengthen the psoas outside of squatting (I have no idea how to isolate them), or would it be better to try to place the load somewhere else like the abs?

Steven Low
10-29-2010, 07:29 AM
1. Yes, the piriformis is an external rotator of the hip, and the psoas is a flexor/internal rotator. Since they perform "opposite" functions yes one can be loose and one can be tight.

2. I'd go with some of the hip flexors stretches like are on mobilitywod..... just sit in them until you feel the muscles release. Sometimes it takes a couple minutes or more for really tight muscles.

Craig Brown
10-29-2010, 08:18 AM
What Steven said! Just hang out in the stretches for a LONG time. For me also my QL can get hung up as well, so some work on that is good. I find that the Piriformis trigger point needs regular work for me, 'just cause'- I do the version Defranco shows in one of his videos. Somehow this keeps the Psoas for getting as stressed in my case, Steven might know why. I also do the pigeon a LOT on my squat & dead days, in between sets which seems to help.

Yael Grauer
11-03-2010, 06:48 PM
My psoas gets super sore. My body worker makes me lift my leg up while he presses on it. I call it psoas torture. Hurts like hell but helps a lot.