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What is psoas?

A distinction is made between the musculus psoas major, which is the large lumbar muscle, and the musculus psoas minor, the small lumbar muscle. The latter is found in less than half of all humans, and in many mammals it is not even present. If a psoas minor muscle is present, it lies on top of the large lumbar muscle, but as a single muscle it has no major significance.

The large lumbar muscle is a skeletal muscle of the so-called lower extremity. It starts at the lower back and runs laterally across the upper part of the thigh. It is primarily responsible for the mobility of the hip and for moving the leg forward.

Tension in the lumbar muscles leads to back pain

The psoas, or rather the psoas muscles, are prone to tension. The muscle itself does not hurt with these tensions, but the lower back muscles, which have to counteract them, do. Since they are often much weaker than the lumbar muscles, they have to do a lot of counteracting: they get tired and hurt in the long run.

When the Back pain is caused by tense psoas muscles, it is not immediately obvious - after all, it is the lumbar spine where the pain occurs. However, a doctor can determine relatively easily whether the psoas is the culprit based on the condition in which the pain occurs. For example, the pain often occurs when sitting up (rather than bending forward). Similarly, the thighs may not be resting when the patient is supine, or the patient may have a hollow back due to a tilted pelvis.

How do psoas tensions develop?

Poor posture and one-sided tension are often the cause of tension in the lumbar muscles. Not only those who work in a bent posture while standing are at risk, but also those with a desk job, as many people sit "slouched" and bent over in front of the computer despite supposedly ergonomic office furniture.

Psoas syndrome is often mentioned in this context. Chronic incorrect strain can lead to chronically (spasmodically) shortened lumbar muscles. This results in incorrect rotation and forced sideways flexion of the lower Spine in combination with a tilting and/or rotation of the pelvis. In the worst case, the muscle tension can even affect internal organs.

How can you counteract tension in the lumbar muscles?

First of all Bad postures and incorrect postures should be avoided as far as possible or at least compensated for regularly - this applies not only to standing or physical work, but also to desk workers. Since sitting for too long in a rigid posture that puts a strain on the body can lead to tension and cramps in the lumbar muscles as well, sitting motionless should be avoided as far as possible. A simple and effective solution here is offered by the active office chairs from Aeris such as Swopper and Muvman, but also the active chair Aeris 3Dee. Thanks to the patented 3D technology, the owner moves a lot and constantly balances his sitting posture. This constant movement strengthens the abdominal and back muscles and they can better oppose a strong lumbar muscle.

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