Iliopsoas trigger points can cause pain in the most unusual places, including the mid and low back, upper buttocks, hips, groin, abdomen, and pelvic floor.
The Sphinx: Lie on the floor on your belly, place your forearms flat on the floor with the elbows under the shoulders and the forearms on the floor in front. Allow your belly to press into the floor, while also keeping your shoulders pulled down away from your ears. Remain in this gentle stretch for a few minutes at a time.
Stand in a wide stride step, with the right foot back and the left foot forward. The right back foot ‘must’ be pointed straight forward and back, heel raised slightly. Bend your left knee forward, keeping your right thigh where it is. Do a pelvic tuck by pulling your belly button towards your spine. Lift your right arm out to the side as if it’s a raised stop sign, secure your balance, and lean slightly from the waist to the left. You should feel a stretch in the low back and hip area. Hold for 10 to 30 seconds.
This and other great body release and alignment stretches can be found in Pete Egoscue’s book Pain Free: A Revolutionary Method for Stopping Chronic Pain.
An interesting note about sleep positions. Sometimes people sleep on their bellies with one leg pulled up towards their torsos. This creates shortness in one posas, compared to the other, which can lead to unbalanced and torqued pelvic positioning.
Trigger Point Release. When you’re in a lot of pain, trigger point release of those naughty muscle knots can bring you fast relief. I highly recommend Clair Davies’ The Trigger Point Therapy Workbook, an excellent how-to guide that explains iliopsoas self-massage in depth. Pick up a copy of this book and familiarize yourself with the psoas method before giving it a try.
- Some Cautions:
- It’s important not to put pressure on those deep blood vessels, so if you feel a pulse shift your finger position.
- Be cautious about working the psoas higher than the belly button to avoid putting pressure on the kidney ureters.
- Normal massage contraindications apply.
STR and ART help release restricted and adhesed muscle tissue (including trigger points), in a very effective way that can prove more successful than trigger point release alone when done correctly.
You can go to an STR or ART therapist to have the expert work on you, which is a good idea to get a handle on the process. To do it yourself, check out the YouTube Vid above.
Physiotherapy/Physical Therapy. Make an appointment with your local physiotherapist to find out if you have any muscle imbalances, gait issues, or posture or joint problems that are leading to your psoas issues. They can set you up with a treatment program that progresses as you do.
Even if you’ve suffered for years, you’ll be amazed at how effective these hip flexors strategies can be. And with less tightness and pain you can get back to doing what you love.