We all know the spinal cord is essential for posture, but if you have back pain or neck pain, the cause of your discomfort might not be related to your spine at all. Sometimes, pain in the back and neck may be caused by a specific muscle. In this case, an orthopedic surgeon may be necessary to help you resolve your pain.
The psoas muscle is a very important muscle that connects the upper body to the lower body, the outside to the inside, and the front to the back. In the entirety of the musculoskeletal system, this muscle plays an essential role in flexing the hip joint, maintaining posture, and stabilizing the back. If you have a weak back, poor posture, or frequent lower back or neck discomfort, the cause may be overuse or weakness of this muscle.
This muscle connects the lumbar directly to the pelvic bone. Your ability to stand, walk, and stay upright relies largely on the curve of your lower back, which is supported by this muscle. This muscle also plays an important role in mobility; your brain sends signals to this muscle to move your legs, alternating between the front and back legs.
How Can You Support This Muscle?
Just like any other muscle in the body, certain movements and exercises can be used to support the strength and flexibility of this muscle so you can relieve back discomfort. When this muscle is tight, it can pull your pelvis forward and put pressure on your lumbar discs, which can create pain in the lower back.
The simplest way to keep this muscle loose is to perform a stretch similar to a lunge. For this stretch, you will place one knee below you with your leg flat on the ground, while your other knee will be in front of you at a 90-degree angle. You will then lean forward onto the front knee to stretch the lower back with your hands on your hips and your shoulders straight. Hold this stretch for 30 seconds, then switch legs. This stretch can be done two to three times a day.
Does Neck Pain and Back Pain Mean You Need an Orthopedic Surgeon?
A weak psoas can create pain in the lower back – but aside from pain, are there any other signs you can use to identify problems with this muscle? In general, your posture is the easiest way to identify potential problems. A compressed back with a “duck butt” can mean the psoas is too tight; a “flat butt” or a lumbar with very little curve is a sign of an overstretched psoas.
If you have pain in your lower back, a surgeon will be able to identify any specific issues with an examination. Sometimes, lumbar pain can be caused by muscular issues rather than problems with discs in your back. If the alignment of your back or your posture is abnormal, it may be caused by an overstretched or weak psoas. Please contact the expert surgeons at The Modern Spine in Thousand Oaks, CA to learn more about your overall spinal health.