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Back Pain? Say It Ain’t Pso!

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Back Pain? Say It Ain’t Pso!

Stretching. So many muscles, so little time! We all know to stretch our quads, calves, and our hammies before embarking on any exercise routine. We elongate our calves, loosen our necks and shoulders. That’s all well and good, but have you ever thought to stretch your psoas? Could you point to it right now?

Most people have no idea where or what the psoas (pronounced “so-az”) is, nor would I if I were not a trained dancer. That being said, it is one of our most crucial core muscles, deep within the abdomen, and it is oftentimes one of our most neglected.

In general terms, the psoas stretches from your thigh to your spine, working with the iliacus to lift your thighs and tilt your pelvis (this hip flexor team is termed the iliopsoas). It is a very, very deep, rope-like muscle, lying beneath all of your organs, just in front of the spine. Due to our massively sedentary lifestyles, most people have a very tight or weak psoas. Long bouts of sitting (in the car, at work, relaxing) shorten the muscle, which causes the pelvis to tilt forward and the lower spine to poke out. With such a deep muscular imbalance, your entire anatomy can get thrown out of alignment, eventually leading to back, hip, and knee pain. Any of these sound familiar?

See also: What kind of emotions are your body tensions revealing?

If you are like the majority of Americans, you have experienced such ailments at one point or another. To determine if your psoas is the culprit, read on for some basic strength and flexibility tests. In some cases, a weak/tight psoas is the underlying issue in chronic lower body pain. As it is the center of nearly all major movements, a compromised psoas can cause other body parts to malfunction. It plays an active role in running, biking, walking up stairs, and even keeping good posture in a chair. If it is weak or too tight, these repetitive activities could be causing inflammation to build up, eventually leading to lower body pain. If you have any sort of lower body pain, do some investigation on your own and always seek further advice from a professional. Your psoas may need some good lovin’.

Read on for instructions on how to locate your psoas…

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Jordyn Cormier

Jordyn is a choreographer, freelance writer, and an avid outdoors woman. Having received her B.F.A. in Contemporary Dance from the Boston Conservatory, she is passionate about maintaining a healthy body, mind, and soul through food and fitness. A lover of adventure, Jordyn can often be found hiking, canoeing, mountain biking, and making herself at home in the backcountry! Check out what else Jordyn has been up to at


+ add your own
2:55AM PST on Feb 3, 2015

Hmm your post is truly amazing, the theme, the topic, the ideas, the solution each and everything is really perfect.
kneeling chairs

7:44AM PDT on Apr 20, 2013

You learn something everyday! Thanks

3:41PM PDT on Apr 7, 2013


7:26PM PDT on Apr 4, 2013


1:43PM PDT on Apr 4, 2013

Very informative, thanks!

6:31AM PDT on Apr 3, 2013

What a great resource! Two thumbs up! Thanks for sharing and surely I’ll keep these thoughts in mind… xoxo ^_^

1:32AM PDT on Apr 3, 2013

thanks for sharing

6:21AM PDT on Apr 2, 2013


6:12AM PDT on Apr 2, 2013

When did "sharing" become a proper noun?

6:08AM PDT on Apr 2, 2013

Thank you Jordan, for Sharing this!

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