I’m Your Psoas: A Strong Hip Flexor, but a Hidden Culprit

Last issue, I heard my friend QL was talking about me. In fact, often I am the topic of discussion. Some call me the hip flexor, but I cannot take full credit for that, as I work closely with my friend Iliacus, QL, Sartorius, Rectus Femoris, and even Adductors. Yet I do so much more!

In the gait cycle, I strongly decelerate hip extension, have an impact upon the swing phase of gait, but also can affect the calf on the same side. You see, if I am tight, I will not allow the hip to extend efficiently, causing reduced ankle dorsiflexion and can negatively impact the calf length. Additionally, if I am tight in the gait cycle, I can reduce rotation to the opposite side and cause tightness of the abdominals, pectorals, and shoulder girdle…ON THE OPPOSITE SIDE! In these scenarios, the other tissues are the victims, but I am the hidden culprit. And do not forget, I assist in decelerating femoral internal rotation at heel strike.

Looking at my attachments, I connect to the entire lumbar spine, bend laterally and distally, then bend further lateral connecting to the lesser trochanter of the femur. Please checkout my handsome picture (below) and notice the thick powerful fibers proximally. Many say, I am so strong, that improper motion and ensuing tightness can cause the lumbar spine to extend and lead to back pain and disorder. The back hurts and is the victim, and again, I am the hidden culprit. If fact, if I am tight proximally, I can not only cause extension in the sagittal plane, but also “pull” the lumbar spine laterally. If I am tight distally, I can cause hip hike on that side. I have such influence, I can also affect my friends the QL, Iliacus, and even Diaphragm to become involved in theses issues and create lateral flexion, some rotation. Or, I can elevate a hip and negatively impact its alignment. If this occurs and you view the back from behind, the spine can get this C-shaped appearance. I am, once again, a contributing issue here. I am the hidden culprit!

Please view my video clips (also below) on some performance strengthening, mobilizing, and stretching my friends and me. Please keep in mind, these are just a few suggestions and not the only methods to work me and keep me healthy.

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Human Motion Associates is dedicated to understanding the reactions of muscles and joints to improve efficiency of performance through movement science. Our goal is to enhance health through activities of daily living.

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