The 'psoas syndrome'

Have you been sitting at work or at home watching a movie or even reading your favorite book for so long you can barely notice how fast time flies?

In this day and age where we perform tasks mostly while we are seated, we sometimes experience low back pain that seems to have been provoked without a known cause. This is due to a group of muscles in the front of your spine called the psoas muscles. They are active when we go from sitting to standing and work every time one bends to pick something and sit.

For prolonged periods of sitting, this muscle group becomes so active and strong leading to a postural misalignment of the spine called lordosis (excessive curvature of the lower back). It pulls the vertebrae (spine bones) forward thus making the discs (cushion between the vertebrae which has fluid and acts as a shock absorber) to be pushed backward. This presses on the nerves that come out from the lower spine.

        Symptoms of ‘psoas syndrome’

  • Unable to stand upright; stooped forward posture
  • Low back pain
  • Feeling of numbness or electric shock wave radiating down either one or both legs.
  • Movement limitations such as bending, sitting to standing especially after prolonged sitting (one hour and above)

Treatment

  • Manual Therapy
  • Spine Mobilization
  • Heat Therapy
  • Exercise

Prevention

  • Proper sitting posture
  • Proper ergonomics (mechanical interaction between the working environment and human beings)
  • Exercise to strengthen the psoas muscle
  • Sedentary lifestyle i.e. people sitting for long periods during the day without any form of exercise are at risk of suffering from low back pain caused by tight psoas.

Written By:
Dion Njogu,
Physical Therapist
Chiropractic & Physiotherapy Health Centre
Attachments area

The ‘Psoas Syndrome’

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