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  1. #1
    Play Nurse
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    Low Back Pain: PSOAS

    I'm looking for suggestions on how to alleviate my low back pain and muscle spasms. I have been seeing a chiropractor for about 2 months now and though the pain and spasms are not as excruciating I seem to have hit a plateau. According to my chiropractor my problem is with my psoas muscle, also called the hip flexor muscle.
    On the bike and sitting my pain/spasm is either low or diminished. When standing at work it can be unbearable at times. I do the stretch she recommended everytime I get off the bike. (the stretch I do is keeping one foot flat on the floor and the other foot on top of a stool so that my knee is bent, then leaning into the hip one the side where the foot is plat on the floor, then switching) I have also been doing abdominal workouts.

    Anybody have any ideas?

  2. #2
    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
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    Don't go to work.
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    Senior Member late's Avatar
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    Hi,
    stretch gently. Swing your legs back and forth, slowly increasing the length
    of the swing. After a minute, put a foot on the kitchen counter and lower your hips a bit while keeping your upper body upright. I like this better than the classic psoas stretch where you pull your knee towards your chin.

    Here's one to try, just to see if it helps. Sit down, cross a leg, then pull the leg up a bit ( a yogi doing this could get his leg behind his neck) and then make circular motions. This may not do a thing for you, but it massages my butt where it hurts.
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  4. #4
    Banned. DnvrFox's Avatar
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    You may have a muscle imbalance between your quads and your hams. You use your quads a lot while biking.

    I have been fighting the same problem lately - sometimes excruciating pain.

    I stretch my hip flexors by placing one bent leg on the other leg above the knee and bending my supporting knee at about 90 degrees and leaning forward with my body. It helps a lot in stretching the piriformis, which may also be causing you trouble.

    The other thing I just started today at the advice of a personal trainer who leads our spinning class is hamstring strengthening exercises. I did several at the gym today, and I have had a great deal of relief this evening. Hope that is the cause of the reduced pain, because ham exercises are easy to do.

    Hope this helps.

    It can be REALLY painful.

  5. #5
    Play Nurse
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    Quote Originally Posted by DnvrFox View Post
    You may have a muscle imbalance between your quads and your hams. You use your quads a lot while biking.

    I have been fighting the same problem lately - sometimes excruciating pain.

    I stretch my hip flexors by placing one bent leg on the other leg above the knee and bending my supporting knee at about 90 degrees and leaning forward with my body. It helps a lot in stretching the piriformis, which may also be causing you trouble.

    The other thing I just started today at the advice of a personal trainer who leads our spinning class is hamstring strengthening exercises. I did several at the gym today, and I have had a great deal of relief this evening. Hope that is the cause of the reduced pain, because ham exercises are easy to do.

    Hope this helps.

    It can be REALLY painful.

    Thanks I'll try working on the hamstring. That's the same stretch I do, and your right the pain is excruciating.
    I think I might try acupuncture if improving hams and abdominal strengthening doesn't work.

  6. #6
    Banned. DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PlayNurse View Post
    Thanks I'll try working on the hamstring. That's the same stretch I do, and your right the pain is excruciating.
    I think I might try acupuncture if improving hams and abdominal strengthening doesn't work.
    I did hamstring muscle strengthening today - no pain all day???

  7. #7
    Ca-na-da? krazyderek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DnvrFox View Post
    I stretch my hip flexors by placing one bent leg on the other leg above the knee and bending my supporting knee at about 90 degrees and leaning forward with my body. It helps a lot in stretching the piriformis, which may also be causing you trouble.
    This sounds like a glute stretch to me, but i'm no doctor. Leaning forward, ie, bending over, entails stretching your hamstring, glutes, and back.

    The stretch i do that is similar to yours PN is this

    I do mine next to a bench, chair, or my bed and in this case i would put my right hand on the bed, and only my left hand on my knee and vise versa. My chiropractor showed me this stretch a year and a half ago and it's done wonders. I do it along with a quad stretch and of course, ham string stretch.

    I would agree that hamstring under development ie, muscle imbalance would be a good area to focus, just make sure you stretch both muscle groups regularly, but not to often, and never when you're cold.
    I find the best time to stretch is right before i got to bed every night.
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  8. #8
    Banned. DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by krazyderek View Post
    This sounds like a glute stretch to me, but i'm no doctor. Leaning forward, ie, bending over, entails stretching your hamstring, glutes, and back.

    The stretch i do that is similar to yours PN is this

    I do mine next to a bench, chair, or my bed and in this case i would put my right hand on the bed, and only my left hand on my knee and vise versa. My chiropractor showed me this stretch a year and a half ago and it's done wonders. I do it along with a quad stretch and of course, ham string stretch.

    I would agree that hamstring under development ie, muscle imbalance would be a good area to focus, just make sure you stretch both muscle groups regularly, but not to often, and never when you're cold.
    I find the best time to stretch is right before i got to bed every night.

    Nope, the stretch I do is specifically called a piriformis stretch. Perhaps I didn't describe it well.

  9. #9
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    Find a masseuse who is trained in psoas release, and see if that helps. That and good stretching has done wonders for me (from not able to ride 10 miles without pain, to easy centuries). Check out these threads and search the interwebs for psoas stretches, there is a lot of good information out there.

    back pain? check out your psoas!!!
    Leg pain, psoas, and stretching

  10. #10
    ride lots be safe Creakyknees's Avatar
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    always remember to stretch the opposing muscle(s) as well.

    after I'm warmed up /after a ride, I get on the yoga ball and lay on my back, opening up my front / chest / stomach / front of the legs. sorry, don't know all the muscle names.

    but I'm usually pretty tight in the very top of my quads where they meet the hip, so this is a good stretch for that. you can just relax and breathe, vs that standing pose above where you have to maintain some degree of muscle tension and posture.

  11. #11
    ride lots be safe Creakyknees's Avatar
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    oh I also got one of these hard foam rollers, they are cheap and awesome to roll around on and stretch and massage:


  12. #12
    Senior Member Road Fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Creakyknees View Post
    oh I also got one of these hard foam rollers, they are cheap and awesome to roll around on and stretch and massage:

    Creaky, it's made you look so young, too!

  13. #13
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    This is pretty cool:
    http://www.bandhayoga.com/keys_psoas.html

    A riding buddy of mine had this problem. Solved it by moving his saddle a bit forward, lowering his bars quite a bit (3"?) and going to a slightly longer stem. The increased stretch seemed to relax the muscle.

  14. #14
    Village Idiot
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
    This is pretty cool:
    http://www.bandhayoga.com/keys_psoas.html

    A riding buddy of mine had this problem. Solved it by moving his saddle a bit forward, lowering his bars quite a bit (3"?) and going to a slightly longer stem. The increased stretch seemed to relax the muscle.
    I've been having issues forever with my left lower back hurting on rides. I had a fit that solved it and it started up again when I had to swap saddles after mine broke.

    Over winter, I'll try flipping my stem down, and putting my saddles nose down a hair more and see if that helps.

    Thanks!
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