Do you know the muscle in your body that most eliminates joint and back pain, anxiety and obesity?
When functioning at it’s best this muscle will boost your energy levels, immune system and athletic performance. If this muscle is health and happy – we probably are too!
If this muscle becomes too tight, under-trained or locked up it can cause:
- Nagging joint pain
- Poor posture
- Trouble sleeping
- Digestive issues
- Weakened immune system
- Circulatory issues
This muscle is the Psoas, or Hip Flexors. There is a collection of stretches that will help to unlock this tight muscle – FIND OUT HERE
It’s funny (not ha ha) but when my back pain is about to flare up on me the initial discomfort follows the path in this picture. First, I get a spasm and sharp pain almost out of the blue on my left side when I reach for something. If I’m on my feet it takes my balance. Once it happens it generally remains on the left side for a day or two before landing as a sharp pain across my lower back . . . by day three my right side is hit with the sharp pain in reaching for anything. I shouldn’t say “when reaching” – it can be any motion that activates the muscles around your core. So the act of walking hurts in lifting each leg and stepping forward . . . reaching for a coffee cup or shoulder checking when driving . . . basically any real motion!
After the muscle calms down my lower back feels very unstable. That is my cue to slow down and stay as immobile as possible for a day or two as the facet joint that can strike with that bone on bone pain feels very close to flaring up.
Of course sitting at a desk all day as I do doesn’t help this muscle to stretch out at all.
When the Psoas is functioning well it creates neutral pelvic alignment, stabilizes the hips, supports the lower spine and abdomen, and gives greater mobility and core strength. The Psoas even attaches to the diaphragm so it’s connected to breathing.
If the Psoas is tight and overworked the body is faced with permanent roadblocks of emotional and physical stress. This forces the brain to continue to send warning signals to all of the systems of the body. These signals trigger responses within the body that will cause an overexertion of adrenal glands and weakens the body’s natural immunity to stress.
I’ve been aware of my own very tight hip flexors for some time, and still have not found a routine for myself that is adequate in stretching and motion. At my monthly massage I cringe through the portions around my hips and thighs as the muscle is almost rock hard. I get a few weeks of relief but I know putting forth more effort on my own is the only way to truly tackle this.