Browsing Posts tagged Back Pain

Sciatica also known as Lower back pain occurs due to the damage of sciatica nerve. It is characterized by stabbing pain radiating over the course of sciatic nerve. It results due to injury of proximal sciatic nerve, which might follow a fall, a herniated disc or improper administration of an injection on the buttock.

Sciatic nerve controls the movement of lower limb. All the movements of lower limb are usually controlled by the brain and the spinal cord through Sciatic nerve. The back pain or Sciatica therefore results when damage is done to the sciatic nerve. In severe cases this may cause permanent disjunction of the sciatic nerve thus resulting in the complete loss of movement in the lower limb.

Causes of Sciatica
· Sciatica may occur as a result of lower limb impairment depending on the precise nerve root injured.
· Another cause of sciatic or lower back pain might be an accident which causes the sciatic nerve to be damaged.
· Improper administration of injections may also cause the vertebrae of the vertebral column to damage thereby resulting in the destruction of the sciatica nerve completely or partially.
· Carrying some weight carelessly may also cause sciatica or lower back problems.

Symptoms of Sciatica
· When sciatic nerve is completely transected, the legs become nearly useless.
· Lower limbs cannot be flexed and all foot – ankle movement is lost.
· Pain may also be felt in the buttock and the patient feels uneasy during movements.

However, there is Sciatic Pain relief geared towards dealing with the issue of lower back pain. Let’s examine this. Neuron cures are the most complex treatments in medicine but still there are medicine and treatments for Lower back pain. Sciatic Pain relief deals with the pain effectively.

Here are some facts to note:
· Sciatica occurs due to damage to sciatic nerve and so sciatic pain relief through open surgery may be done to put the sciatic nerve on its place. But surgery is taken as a last resort. There are many other options before this needs to happen.
· Chiropractic treatment is used in sciatic pain relief when back pain is not a result of accident. Self treatment at home is also good, if you know what to do.
· The sciatic pain relief also includes an ancient Chinese treatment that uses needles and pins. This is called acupuncture. It helps in the relaxation of sciatic nerve. This is a little extreme and may not be needed.
· It is also advised not to over-work or sit on the same place for hours. This may cause the vertebrae to stiffen and cause lower back problems.
· When there’s no tangible improvement in treating the pain, surgery is usually the last resort and the final sciatic pain relief to be engaged in order to deal with the problem. This would be only after all other treatments have failed.

In conclusion, it must be noticed that Sciatica or lower back pain is not an ordinary disease. It is a disorder of the skeleton and the patient may lose all his lower limb movements. So it is better to take care of the spinal cord and nerves. Learning how to take care of your spine and back is vital to all of us. However, the recovery from sciatic injury can be done at home if you know what to do. There are exercises that can give you relief and heal these injuries if you know how to use them properly.

As much as there are a variety of doctors, there are also two categories of chiropractors who deal with different types of chiropractic care. Primarily, the core objective of the chiropractic professional is to establish alignment of the spine by treating subluxations anywhere in the spine through gentle spinal adjustments. The profession also deals with other conditions that are concerned with musculoskeletal issues as well as conditions that disrupt the normal wellness of an individual’s body. However, the straight chiropractors differ from the “mixers” in that the former focus on the removal of the spinal subluxation following their purist belief that once the spine heals, then the whole body heals also. The latter, on the other hand, incorporates the practices of physical therapy, diet and nutrition, and exercise regimens in addition to the manual spinal adjustments.

Despite the difference in principles in these two types of chiropractors, both perform an initial examination and detailed discussion with their patient about the medical situation to determine which method to utilize for treatment. On this basis, there are three major kinds of chiropractic care.

Symptom/Pain Relief Chiropractic Care. Program evolves on eliminating the patient’s pain and symptoms in the acute phase, which is generally a short phase. The chiropractor determines the level of acute damage and then formulates a treatment plan that would result in immediate but short term cure. This is usually done with the use of modalities such as electrical stimulation, TENS, acupuncture, and sometimes laser.

Traditional/Corrective Chiropractic Care. Emphasis is given to provide longer term of treatment that targets alignment and cure of the subluxed or dislocated spine. This kind of plan is usually recommended for patients who have had problems with their back or spine for quite some time and have not sought treatment.

Maintenance Chiropractic Care. This plan obviously concentrates on those patients who have long-term and permanent spinal disorders who will do well with palliative treatment through constant consultation and checkups, and regular gentle manipulations. This is also recommended to individuals who wish to seek alternative regimes when their ailments are not cured by medical means, and those who would like to make sure that their bodies are kept “aligned” and in shape.

All kinds of chiropractic care follow the premise of spinal alignment or fixation to release blockages in the nervous system that disrupt normal bodily functions. Indeed, the chiropractic profession deals with the spine and everything that is connected with it – and that means the entire well-being of the individual.

If your job requires you to sit for hours, you may get back pain sometimes. This pain can influence the way you work because you do not feel comfortable enough to finish your job. Actually, there are several things you can do to prevent this pain.

People often think that sleep is only a necessity without knowing the advantages for their body. Good quality sleep will make you fresh when you wake in the morning, while on the other hand, you will feel more tired if you do not sleep properly. Mattress is one factor that influences your sleep, in which it helps you to rest in proper position. Further, it relaxes your muscles, providing a more refreshing sleep.

When you feel tired after driving for miles or sitting for hours, you may tend to slouch because you think that this position makes your muscles relaxed. Slouching is actually an activity that makes the muscles work harder. Instead of doing this, you better stand and sit in neutral position or what is called good posture. This is really helpful to make your spine free from any strain.

Exercises are also a good way to prevent back pain since it keeps your spine and muscles healthy and strong. To get the best results, you better do the exercises for 30 minutes each day. Just choose the activities you like to make you enjoy the exercises, such as jogging, dancing, tennis, biking, swimming, or weight-bearing. You can combine the activities to avoid boredom. You will need to make sure that the activities make you breathe harder because it is beneficial for your circulation.

From now on, control your weight! Some illnesses are related to obesity, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, cancer, and even back pain. Since skeleton is a construction of our body, it carries our weight. It means that excessive weight can cause strain, especially to our spine. You can conclude that if you are over-weighted, you will get back pain easier than your slimmer friends.

Many people think that they need doctors only when they get sick. This opinion is wrong! Anyone should do regular checkups to ensure that they have no problems with their systems. Call your doctor when you have a back pain to find the solutions to relieve it. The doctor will give you advises about treatment you can consider to make you free from living with back pain.

You are stressed overworked and have constant middle or upper back pain. Your doctor has recommended exercise, but when do you get the time to do it?

If this is you then these three quick, simple and effective exercises are perfect for relieving your middle upper back pain. What’s more they can be done anywhere in a matter of minutes.

Back pain is something that affects virtually everyone. Constant bending and twisting can really hurt your back. That is why it is imperative to make sure you are bending and twisting properly. It is also imperative that you are aware of the many different kinds of exercises out there that can help relieve middle upper back pain. By doing these exercises your back should be feeling better in no time. I do advise that you see a doctor for severe pain, and do not do any exercises unless you have an OK from a doctor.

The first exercise that can help relieve middle upper back pain are hamstring stretches. It may be hard to believe, but stretching your hamstrings can help make your back feel better. The reason for this is because everyone is pretty much connected to something else in the body. A tight hamstring can result in a tight back, and a tight back could lead to back pain. A simple way to stretch your hamstrings is to stand up, bend your knees slightly, and bend over to try and touch your toes. You will more than likely not be able to touch your toes, but try to reach farther each time you do it.

The next exercise I recommend for middle upper back pain relief is what is called the cat stretch. This stretch actually stretches your back. Start by getting on the floor on all fours. Then, keeping your hands and knees in place, lean back. It should look similar to a cat or dog when it stretches. This stretch will help stretch your back muscles. This will result in a looser back.

Other than stretching, there are strength exercises that can help strengthen your back. Often times back problems are either because of a tight back or a weak back. The lower back is usually where people have the most back problems. Try what is called a superman. You start by lying flat on the floor with your face down. Then, simultaneously lift your back legs and arms up while keeping them straight. Hold the position for a second, then slowly lower your legs and arms back down. This, and many other exercises, can help middle upper back pain go away.

If you follow these simple but highly effective exercises there is no reason why you should not begin to feel the benefits right away. In time that horrible nagging middle upper back pain could be a thing of the past, and you could be enjoying that quality of life that you crave.

Most doctors and therapists explain this away with, “everyone has a short leg and it doesn’t make any difference”, but it does for a large percentage of people, especially when the discrepancy is quite noticeable, the person’s body is weak or they have hyper mobile joints. A short leg also adds to the muscle imbalances because it makes your weight distribute unevenly throughout your body with every moment whether you are sitting or standing. Ask any therapist who can fix chronic back pain or sciatica quickly and effectively and they will agree without hesitation, because correcting the short leg it is the only approach that works every time for a long time.

Being a ball and socket joint it allows for a variety of movements of the leg from the hip, so it relies heavily on the muscles in the lower back, the leg and around the hip and buttocks for support.

The condition of each of these supporting muscles, relative to their ability to contract and lengthen with movement, or their resting length, will determine the angle at which the neck of the femur sits in its socket.

If problems with any of the relevant muscles on one side of the body cause this neck to draw up or downwards slightly, it will effect the length of that leg in relation to the other side. This causes the pelvis to tilt and other muscles in the body to start compensating. Unfortunately because of our lifestyle these days, changes to the muscles supporting one of the hip joints can come about very easily, either through an injury or accident from overuse or through something as simple as bad posture over a period of time.

Whether any problem with these muscles becomes permanent or not depends largely on things like posture, stress levels and whether the original problem is given the correct treatment at the time. When the correct treatment is not received, the supporting muscles don’t do their job properly and so excessive wearing of the hip or knee joint can happen, resulting in the need for joint replacement surgery later in life, something I am sure everyone would want to avoid if at all possible.

Once a person has a short leg their pelvis is drawn down on that side and up on the other. This causes tension to build up in the lower back and in the erector spinae muscles along side the spine into the neck. When this happens it’s possible for the spine to curve and some of the vertebrae in the back to become twisted or tilted especially in people with weak muscles. This is often the underlying cause of back pain or worse, sciatica.

Keeping your muscles healthy and supple into your old age and having a balanced pelvis are very achievable goals and something we all should strive for. It is an ongoing effort that is required though and something that needs to be incorporated into your lifestyle with the right diet and exercise treatment, along with vital self treatment techniques that will work to take away any problems that already exist. All the information you need to help you achieve this is contained in my self treatment program which covers information, lifestyle changes, exercises and self treatment techniques that will help you to diagnose and treat your chronic back pain or sciatica.

As a result of overuse, a trauma or strain, even bad posture, tension will build up in a muscle to the point where the circulation is impaired and eventually that muscle will weaken and in certain situations, fail causing the body to compensate and eventually get out of balance. Like someone who is constantly hunched over when they sit at their desk or leans on one leg when they stand.

As tightness builds up in a muscle due to poor circulation, that muscle becomes weak causing other muscles to have to compensate or carry the weight for it. These other muscles then start to overwork, fatigue and tighten up and the odds become higher that one of the joints in the spine will be put under an uneven pressure which will end up causing impingement, pain and inflammation.

The muscle imbalances that set all this up will usually be the underlying problem yet they are rarely considered or treated by most Doctors and therapists. These imbalances can be confined to one area such as the back or shoulders, or spread throughout the whole body causing a pattern of tight muscles and pressure that eventually leads to weakness and pain. Some treatments you get for pain will exercise and stretch you until your body compensates sufficiently that your pain goes away but it doesn’t remove the imbalances, it just covers them up. You lose flexibility and have a negative effect on the circulation and strength in the body.

When we move, especially doing vigorous exercise, we exert a force which should be carried evenly throughout our whole body. But as a result of even a minor imbalance it is distributed unevenly throughout our muscle system causing compensations and the imbalance to spread deeper into the body. Especially when the body is unhealthy or weak and holds onto its tension.

Even though at any one time most people have imbalances and therefore the potential to injure themselves it will generally only becomes a problem and ends up a pain episode for people who push themselves beyond their body’s limits through such things as an accident, or overuse in their work, sport or lifestyle. Bending over at that particular angle to pick something up off the floor can be just a bit too much stretch for a muscle in the back that was already too tight and too weak to support the weight or pressure you were putting on it.

This movement caused the muscle to go into spasm, (a permanent state of contraction) and become irritated at the point where it attaches to the bone, or it upsets the alignment of a vertebrae causing pressure on a disc.

Further, although the imbalances need to be addressed they are not the only issue, the level of physical, emotional and chemical stress in our body is equally important and also needs to be addressed because unless the stress is removed, the imbalances will resist efforts to correct them.

Scoliosis can be simply defined as a curve within the spine – whenever there is a deviation in your spine to the right or left, it is called a scoliosis.

There are 2 types of Scoliosis: Congenital and Idiopathic Scoliosis.

Congenital scoliosis is when you are born with a structural deviation in the spine. Your back will twist either left or right from birth. However, it often only starts to become visible at the ages of 2-5 or sometimes as late as the early teenage years. The cause of congenital scoliosis is not clear. It is basically hereditary and causes bones (vertebrae ) within your back to sometimes fuse together and then further grow in a crooked manner.

When identified early on, congenital scoliosis can be operated on with a positive effect on the growth of your spine. This is, however, a complex procedure and serious thought should be given as this surgical intervention can influence the whole quality of your life. Always look for more than one medical opinion.

Congenital scoliosis also leads to imbalances in the muscles surrounding the spine. Any physical treatment is directed at relieving the symptoms in the majority of cases (management), unless surgical intervention has been successful with structural correction. I find that early physiotherapy post-operation is a necessity in to manage congenital scoliosis effectively.

Idiopathic scoliosis on the other hand is where you develop a twist in the spine after an injury, or a following a medical condition. Examples that I see involve clients over sixty who have osteoporosis or clients who have disc injuries in the back (a deviation happens in the spine to reduce pressure on the disc affected.)

Most idiopathic scoliosis may be corrected with physiotherapy management and other related scoliosis treatments. However, when a scoliosis is left untreated for longer than a couple of weeks a full recovery can become increasingly difficult. There are many causes of scoliosis, diagnosing the cause of scoliosis is most important in the relief of this spine condition. Make sure you get specialist medical and physiotherapy help as soon as possible.
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Scoliosis and Related Back Pain

In my own experience with scoliosis over the past 20 years – muscle and ligament pain are the most common associated back pain. On one side of the spinal twist the ligaments, muscles, joints, discs and nerves are all compressed. By comparison, the other side these structures are increasingly being over-stretched. As a result – you will probably feel pain and symptoms linked with the compressed and overstretched structures. Pain comes about from these soft tissues being overstretched and gradually damaged – resulting in inflammation and degradation with each of these structures. Each one of these can produce the symptoms of back pain you will probably experience over time.

Idiopathic scoliosis can be frequently reversed when tackled early. Mobilisation therapy and exercise and are my own treatments of choice. However, should ignore your scoliosis and its related pain for extended periods, reversing the damage can become more difficult. Eventual joint damage may develop which leads to potentially far more trouble for your back. Congenital scoliosis also demands an early intervention – surgery alongside exercise therapy is the most used treatment of choice with this condition.

There are a lot of women who suffer from chronic back and shoulder pain on a daily basis. For those women who have seen a doctor and found that their pain is not caused by a more severe underlying issue, there are solutions to this problem. The answers come in the form of a specially designed posture bra and a program of light exercises to strengthen the muscles.

Taking a look at the root cause of a women’s consistent back pain usually results from the same issue. A woman’s breasts are not supported by the muscles in the chest, they are actually supported by the muscles in the back, neck, and shoulders. Most of the women who struggle with regular days filled with back and shoulder pain have a issue that a lot of other women may look on as a blessing – a large chest. This is even a more common condition in full figured women. Larger breasts weigh more, and require a greater level of muscle condition than would otherwise be required. But there is a solution.

Most women’s bras do not supply the necessary lift and support that is required to accommodate a larger chest. Even though they may be manufactured and sold in the appropriate cup sizes, they are made using the same designs as they do for women with a smaller chest. The end effect is sore muscles. The answer is to find a bra that is designed to provide the added support you need.

The type of bra that will provide this relief is often called a posture bra. It is a bit of a misnomer. Although they do help improve your posture by pulling your shoulders back and providing added support to keep the back straight, their real purpose is to provide additional support where it is needed. This takes the strain off the muscles and redistributes it to the bra itself. They are designed and manufactured to accommodate the extra size and weight.

Now a posture support bra is a great way to relieve the day to day stress you may be putting on your back, but you also need to strengthen those muscles to have a long term pain free life. There a few simple exercises that you can do at home for a few minutes everyday that will do the trick. A combination of both will put you well on your way to a pain free life.

To begin, let’s say that an essential understanding of your psoas muscles means understanding what they do for you and, when too tight, what they do to you. That understanding points you to an effective way to free them, if they’re tight and painful.

What your psoas muscles do for you is maintain your uprightness in sitting, your spinal alignment and balanced equilibrium when standing, and your efficiency of movement bending, twisting, walking and running. Your psoas muscles are initiators of movement and dynamic stabilizers.

To get your psoas muscles to function well, we first free them (which can be done a number of ways — and there’s hard way and an easy way). Then, we integrate their movement functions with other movers and stabilizers of the body, and so normalize psoas functioning. That’s a matter of movement training, which also involves awakening our ability to sense our psoas muscles. Without the integration step, your psoas muscles are likely to revert to their tight state. I’ll say more, as we go on.

Understanding how psoas muscles play in movement simplifies our approach to setting things right. Having made such a statement, I will, of course support it. But first, I have to lay some groundwork.

“PSOAS” OR “ILIOPSOAS”?

Sometimes, one name is used, and sometimes, the other. The psoas muscles share a common tendon and end-point with the iliacus muscles, which line the inside of the pelvis, so the combination is called, the “iliopsoas” muscle. For brevity, I use the term, “psoas muscle”.

ECONOMICAL MOVEMENT

“Economical”, in this sense means, “getting the intended (not necessarily the most) result with the least effort.” Where tension and movement are concerned, more is obviously not necessarily better; more efficient is better. The word, “graceful”, applies, here. Graceful movement is economical movement; awkward movement is uneconomical or ungainly movement. Graceful movement conserves effort; ungainly movement wastes effort. For movement to be economical, it must be well-balanced and well-coordinated — a matter of integration.

The psoas muscles, being most centrally located as the deepest muscles in the body, help control the shape of the spine. By controlling the shape of the spine, they control our balance — how the centers of gravity of our major segments – head, thorax (or chest), abdomen and legs – line up.

To the degree that our movements cause these centers of gravity to line up vertically (when standing), to that degree, we have balance. To the degree that we have accurate, balanced movement and good timing, we have economical movement.

Tight psoas muscles distort the spinal curves, shorten the spine, change pelvic balance and cause ungainly (chunky, heavy, labored, awkward) movement. To the degree that the spinal curves are distorted, our alignment is distorted and to that degree, we are out of balance and our movement is un-economical/wasteful of effort.

ACTIVITY AND REST: MUSCLE TONE

The term, “tone“, refers to the level of muscle tension: complete rest means zero muscle tone; complete activation means maximum muscle tone. Some people believe that the higher the tone, the better; others believe that complete relaxation is better. As you will see, where tone is concerned, it’s neither; better-integrated is better, and better-integrated means more freedom to adjust accurately to changing conditions — freedom and balance.

Here’s the key to understanding your psoas muscles and freeing them: Psoas muscles help regulate our changes of position as we move from rest into activity and from activity into rest by changes in their tone. They help maintain our balance and stability in those positions. They are central to movements from lying to sitting, from sitting to standing, and from standing to walking and running. If their tone is too high, they interfere with balance and stability as we move into different positions; their tone is almost never too low, and if so, usually indicates either neurological damage or a need to learn basic control.

With changes of position, the activity level of your psoas muscles changes, as follows.

From Lying to Sitting – At rest or in repose, your psoas muscles have no job to do and should be at rest — which means relaxed and comfortable.

Your psoas muscles connect your legs to your trunk. When you move from lying to sitting, they help hold and move your legs as counterbalances, plus they help provide a sufficiently stable core as you move to the upright position. Overly tight psoas muscles create groin pain or deep low back (lumbopelvic) pain when changing position from lying to sitting. You may have the experience of a groin pull or of muscles seizing up in your pelvis or low back.

When Sitting – Your psoas muscles connect your groin to your pelvis and low back and stabilize your balance in the front-to-back direction; your brain adjusts their tone for the right amount of front-to-back stability under the pull of gravity.

Overly tight psoas muscles that create too deep a fold at your groin and too much back arch contribute to groin pain and back muscle fatigue and soreness.

• From Sitting to Standing – As you move from sitting to upright standing, your psoas muscles must relax and lengthen to permit movement to a larger hip joint angle between legs and trunk.

Overly tight psoas muscles, which connect your groin to your spine, prevent you from coming to a fully erect, balanced stand. They hold you in a subtle crouch at less than your full stature, which you may not recognize because you’re used to it – except that you hurt in certain movements or positions!

When Standing – Your psoas muscles’ well-regulated tone helps your back muscles to erect you to your full stature, with minimal lumbar curve. Through your psoas muscles, your brain adjusts your spinal curves (and balance) as you bend forward, lean back, move side-to-side, and twist and turn.

Overly tight psoas muscles don’t lengthen enough as you stand straight; they pull from your groin to your low back, causing lumbopelvic or lumbosacral pain, a “pubes back” position, and excessive lower back curve. Your butt sticks out.

From Standing to Walking – As you move step into walking, you first shift your weight onto one foot to free the other leg; the psoas muscles on the standing side relax and those on the walking side tighten to help you step forward. (For therapists, a detailed description exists in the ezine article, “The Psoas Muscles and Abdominal Exercises For Back Pain“.) In healthy walking, your psoas muscles freely alternate, side-to-side, between higher and lower tone as you walk or run.

Overly tight psoas muscles shorten your stride and require your hamstrings and gluteus medius muscles to work harder to bring your “standing” leg back as you step forward. You end up with tight hamstrings and tight gluteus medius muscles (hip pain in back). In other words, your brain has learned to hold your psoas muscles at a level of tension that’s related to the tension of other muscles.

You can’t make a lasting change in one without changing the other because your brain maintains habitual patterns of movement among muscles (pattern of coordination); to change one, you have to change your entire pattern, or at least enough of it to reorganize your movement pattern. That kind of change doesn’t occur “by deciding to move differently“; when you’re walking, you can’t conveniently put that kind of attention into your movements; you have to make it automatic, and there’s a process for that, mentioned below.

In actuality, most people never experience complete relaxation or complete activation; they’re stuck with elevated muscle tone somewhere in between, stuck with limitations of movement and posture, stuck with ungainly movement (taken as normal “individual differences”), stuck with some degree of muscle fatigue (often mistaken for weakness).

The reason: muscle memory.

MUSCLE MEMORY

People may attribute consistent tight psoas muscles to muscle memory. But neither the psoas muscles nor any other muscle in the body has a memory. Muscles have no control of their own. Memory resides in the nervous system; the nervous system controls the muscular system to coordinate movement and maintain balance, something no muscle can do on its own. No muscle controls any other muscle; the nervous system does that. To do that, it remembers (or we remember, both at a conscious and at a subconscious level) what movement and balance feel like and our nervous system coordinates (we coordinate) our movements to recreate and maintain those familiar sensations of movement and balance.

COORDINATION

Muscles never work alone; they always work in concert with other muscles. What any muscle does affects our entire balance. Other muscles have to compensate for those effects on balance by tightening or relaxing. Your brain controls these entire patterns of movement and compensation with memories of movement (“muscle memory”). To be more accurate, the term, “muscle memory” should be “movement memory”.

Because your nervous system and muscular system cooperate as a whole, to try to change the movement and tension behavior of tight psoas muscles without changing the larger movement pattern of which they are a part is to work against the rest of the system and its (our) memory of how movements go and feel. That’s why methods of muscle manipulation (e.g., massage, myofascial release, stretching) produce changes that are either temporary or slow in coming – and why psoas release by manipulation is painful: it works directly on sore, contracted psoas muscles against the conditioning of the entire movement system.

THE CORE

The psoas muscles are our deepest core muscles.

When people speak of the “core”, they usually mean the muscles of the abdominal wall. But how is that the “core”? The core of anything, such as the Earth or an apple, is its centermost part. The psoas is a core muscle (as are the diaphragm, quadratus lumborum, iliacus and other muscles closest to bone); the abdominal muscles are “sleeve”, to use terms used by rolfers.
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Your brain coordinates the movements and tone of muscles; tone changes as position changes in movement. That’s what is meant by “supple“. Supple psoas muscles have the sensation of spaciousness, support, freedom and length at your body core. The term rolfers use is, “open core.” When psoas muscles do their job of stabilizing the spine, they relieve the abdominal wall muscles of some of that task; your abdominal muscles have the sensation of relaxation and free breathing. The term rolfers use is, “free sleeve“. Healthy psoas functioning gives the experience of “open core, free sleeve.” Open core/free sleeve is the feeling of trunk/spine length, flexibility and stability.

SUMMARY

So, we can see that efforts to free the psoas muscles without also improving their coordination with the rest of the musculature are grounded in, let’s say, a partial understanding of how they function. That means that “psoas release” techniques, “psoas stretches”, and psoas strengthening approaches need movement education (known as “somatic education,” which involves brain-muscle training) to produce the result they seek – a stable shift to healthy psoas functioning.

Economical movement (least effort, good result) and easy balance are the goal — attributes you can develop by movement training that first frees the psoas muscles and then integrates them into economical movement patterns. First free, then integrate.

It’s convenient to use the movements and positions in which the psoas muscles participate — from repose to sitting, from sitting to standing, from standing to walking (and by extension, to bending, twisting, running and other actions) — to evaluate their functioning and to free and integrate them.

Then, it’s a brain-level training process that changes the brain’s sense of movement and coordination. Beyond saying that we free and integrate movement, a description of the training process is quite beyond the scope of an article, but you can see steps in that process in video through the link, below.

There’s an easier way and a harder way. This is the easier way.