We are in fact victims of our sedentary lifestyle, stress and bad postural habits of everyday. It is important to understand that pain can occur for many reasons and can be prevented if you are pro-active. I would like to introduce you the most important muscle in the body : the iliopsoas.
Now, let’s talk a bit about anatomy. The iliopsoas is the only muscle that connects the lower limbs (legs) to the spine. It starts from the transverse process of the 12th vertebra and the 5 lumbar vertebraes and attaches to the femoral bone. It is essential for a proper motor pattern when you walk. It also plays a major role at postural level. A tight iliopsoas can cause major postural problems that can then lead to long-term chronic pain. Here are some problems that a tight iliopsoas can cause :
- Chronic lower, middle and upper back pain
- Shoulder pain
- Hip pain
- Neck pain
- Knee pain
- Bad digestion
- Liver issues
- frequent urination
- herniated disc
The list of dysfunction is long since the muscle quality of the iliopsoas affects every internal organs. Each of these organs have a ligament attachement on the iliopsoas. It is therefore imperative that this muscle remains healthy. But how is it getting so tensed?
The majority of the population sit at a desk for an average of 6 to 8 hours a day. When seated, the psoas muscle is shortened and is not recruited. When a muscle stays in a shortened position for a long period of time, it tends to shrink and remain in that position when you get up.
The most effective way to keep it functional is by doing the myofascial stretching of the psoas daily. The best moment to stretch is at night before going to bed. Keeping a good range of motion in the psoas muscle will help you to maintain space between your lumbar vertebraes in order to descrease the compression between the discs. You will also improve your posture by keeping the psoas flexible. Too much tension in that muscle will make you lean forward by 1 or 2 degrees, which can lead to pain from lower back to the neck. Myofascial stretching helps to relax the nervous system and provides general wellness. Here are a few very effective stretches