26 Oct

Hip and back tightness and pain? Heres why stress might be a contributing factor.

The Psoas muscle is located in the lower back (lumbar) spine and extends through the hips to the femur. The primary job of this muscle is to lift the leg towards the body, by flexing the hip. 

One of the most common symptoms of a tight psoas is lower back pain. If the psoas is contracted, it can pull on the lumbar spine causing tightness and pain, which is why in clinic if someone complains of back pain, I always check their hips first. This is common in runners and people who sit for long periods in an office setting. 

In my experience, a tight psoas muscle will almost always be present in a client who is stressed or has been through a period of stress, including past trauma.  The simple reason for this is the fascia (connective tissue) of the psoas attaches close to the area of the adrenal grands. Adrenal glands are responsible for the production of cortisol, the hormone released in a stress response. The close proximity of the adrenal glands and the psoas muscle is why the psoas is often referred too as the stress muscle, hence why those experiencing chronic stress, often suffer from tight hips and lower back pain. 

As a practitioner, it is my job to find WHY you have pain, be it your job, lifestyle or past accidents and trauma. The root cause of your pain needs to be determined in order to make long term changes. Inserting needles into the area that is sore may simply not enough for chronic pain, and is not how I address chronic pain in my clinic.

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