Wednesday, September 3, 2008

How to stretch psoas muscle

Through my experiences in clinic I have seen first-hand how tight piriformis can cause or be caused by tightness in surrounding muscles, not least the psoas major muscle.

The psoas is a big, strong muscle running from the anterior bodies and transverse process of all lumbar vertebrae down through the pelvis beneath the inguinal ligament to attach to the lesser trochanter of the femur.

I've already described a psoas MET that I personally use but patients are also recommended to stretch this important muscle themselves. The stretch that I favour is illustrated here:

The most important features of this stretch are to keep the spine upright with the rear knee firmly planted on the ground (a cushion or towel can be used for comfort). This position alone will often induce a stretch but this can be increased further by shifting the weight forward as per the red arrow. It is often advisable to balance yourself on the floor or a nearby table etc when pushing into the stretch.

As with all stretches this should not be painful but you should "feel the stretch" as you hold the position. Hold the position for 30-60 seconds each time and repeat 2 or 3 times once or twice a day. I recommend this stretch as a good daily exercise for anyone who feels stiff in the upper leg or hips before and after regular exercise.

1 comment:

louisawb said...

what do you think about the connections between these and fai, hip impingement?
i know a lot of people with fai and this problem, inc me!