Relieve your postnatal pain - Re-training Your Psoas Muscle the Right Way
By Julie Turner
While your little one was growing inside you, your body underwent a lot of changes—you know that better than anyone! But did you know that one of the most significant yet often overlooked changes happens to the psoas muscle, which is one of the most important muscles in your body, before and after labor?
What’s this psoas muscle thing?
The psoas (SO-as) muscle is a long, spindle-like muscle that connects your torso and legs. You can think of the psoas muscle group as your body’s columns of support, since they run along both sides of the body and attach the vertebrae of the lower back to the top of your thigh bones.
The psoas muscle:
- Plays a major role in your breathing thanks to its connection to the diaphragm (your primary breathing muscle)
- Supports your internal organs
- Ties into the nerves of your reproductive system and is involved in reproductive health
- Stabilizes your trunk and spine
Basically, whenever you’re walking up stairs, bending over to pick something from the floor, twisting your spine, sitting, or even breathing, you have your psoas muscle to thank.
Why is the psoas muscle group important?
During pregnancy, the pelvis widens and tips forward slightly to accommodate the baby. As the weight of the baby pulls the spine forward, the lower back (lumbar spine) becomes unstable and the psoas gets very tight.
After labor, the body produces less relaxin (a hormone produced by the placenta to dilate the cervix for labor) which causes the tissue surrounding the psoas to tighten up. If left unaddressed, the psoas can lock up and make it difficult and painful to move naturally
That’s why it is so important to focus on your psoas muscle after labor and give it the TLC it deserves.
How can I tell if my psoas is too tight?
There are several ways to determine whether your psoas may not be stretching like it should.
- Pain in your lower back
- Discomfort in your knees
- Trouble moving normally such as bending down to pick things off the floor or walking up stairs
- Misalignment of your pelvis, which can lead to poor posture
What can you do to loosen up your psoas for better movement?
Releasing the psoas is easier than you think; a few simple stretches are all you need. This quick 20-minute video can help you start feeling better today… and the best part is that you can do it from the comfort of your own home!