Back pain? Your “psoas” is stressed!

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LBP (lower back pain) accounts for a large number of population in North America. Acute pain becomes a chronic pain, and it often leads up to an irritable, grumpy and depressed character, and I kindly use that as an excuse to keep calm and be nice when I associate with such characters. Why not change up the mind and when you happen to cross someone who is irritable and negative, enlighten the person by offering to see an acupuncturist!


What is frustrating about the back pain is that there are too many cause factors to back pain. Reasons for back pain can range from sleeping on a low-quality mattress to a degenerative spinal disease. It may take months to years to just find out why you have pain in Canada, in which it becomes a waiting game more than a quest for the cure.


As acupuncture has been continuously raising awareness as a fantastic pain-relief treatment method for the past decade, many different approaches have been developed to treat back pain. Amongst all, I would like to talk about a treatment that has often been the solution in the clinic.


Most LBP originates from spinal and pelvic alignment, which can lead to other pain such as neck and shoulder pain, but lower back is usually the main complaint. When you have back pain from lying on your back, it’s most likely your Psoas muscle. The psoas is a deep-seated muscle connecting the lumbar vertebrae to the femur.  This muscle is often called the core muscle because it is the only muscle that connects your torso and legs, stabilizing your spine and posture. If your psoas is weak, it will be extremely challenging to do daily exercises.


Here is a classic example of how we commonly stress out (tightens) our psoas. A young female patient visits the clinic with right LBP; the chief complaint is unable to lie down on her back for a prolonged period.  Her right leg was shorter with pelvic elevation on the right. Her work is an office job, and she crosses her leg frequently.


When your psoas tightens, it creates pelvic imbalance because it will cause your pelvis to rotate anteriorly to create more curved hipline from the lower back, also known as Lumbar Lordosis (aka. the duck butt.) The rotated pelvic will pull the leg up, shortening the leg (leg length discrepancy). When this imbalance doesn’t get corrected, pain occurs as a result.

Tight-Psoas-back-pain-300x191 Image Citation

Acupuncture directly treats the psoas and related back supporting muscles which the muscles to relaxed states. Different treatments methods such as upping, stone massage electo-acupuncture are combined to maximize the results! In addition to the treatments, the psoas strengthening exercises are suggested to correct future onsets of pain as preventative measures.


Below are some useful links that can show you how to stretch and strengthen your psoas at home!

Yoga for psoas –

How to release your psoas –

Awaken your psoas





Northrup, Christiane. 2014, “Why psoas muscle is the most vital muscle in your body.” (

Berkley Wellness- University of California. 2016, “Get to know your Psoas.”(

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