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Pain Relief for the Psoas Muscles

Body Region: Psoas Muscles
Conditions Associated with TPs: Back pain
General Symptoms: Most common is low back pain and stiffness especially after sitting or driving for an hour or more. Common is the pain or stiffness upon first standing which is gone within a few steps after sitting for an hour or more.
Common Causal Activities: Stress, trauma, following surgery
Anatomy Picture:
Psoas Muscles
Self Care: This is very difficult to do for self care unless you have a hook tool. Without it you must use a three or four fingertip gripped hook to press down into the area of the Psoas muscles using the other hand to help pull the treating fingertips into the abdomen. With a hook tool it is much easier. See Detailed Instructions.
Therapist Care:

First of all, the contact must be perpendicular to the direction of the Psoas and across it. The Psoas can be a few inches wide so the best contact is a double hand overlay. This places the fingers of one hand over the backs of the other hand for support. The necessary support is to keep the fingers bending and curling slightly forward and not allow the fingers to arch backward which is natural in this position. This is to protect your hands. Stand next to the hip facing the opposite shoulder. Start at upper end of the Psoas which is located at the belly button and press slowly into the abdomen. Depth may be up to a several inches on some people. This is a fairly slow motion process similar to the Colon. Move the treating fingertips about one to 2 inches at a time until you reach the pubic bone. The end of the muscle is located in the Femoral Triangle which is the indentation in the groin on the inside of the leg at the Femoral Ligament.

The best way to do this is to have the patient lay on their back and position the ankle of the side you're treating on top of the opposite knee and let the knee flop or fall outward to the side you're treating. Start at the Umbilicus (belly button) and work your way down to the Pubic Bone. The muscle starts at the very back of the abdomen and as you drop lower the muscle comes closer to the surface until at the Pubic Bone it is on top of the bone. Use the double hand overlay for the abdominal area. Once you go to the groin area use one hand in a straight middle fingertip pressing straight down into the Femoral Triangle with the hand and elbow straight up to prevent unintentional physical contact. Have a witness present if you can.

Special Notes: Don't confuse the Psoas with other low back pain disorders. It is the most commonly missed cause of low back pain seen by all doctors since the muscle "feels" like a back muscle but is treated from the front of the body. It should ALWAYS be check in any low back pain condition.

 

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