Psoas Release Tool + Stretches For Psoas Muscle

Can A Psoas Release Tool Help Back Pain?

Watch the video to learn how to use a psoas release tool to relieve back and hip pain.
Plus learn 2 psoas muscle stretches to help keep the pain from coming back.

Back Pain Relief More 4 Life Physical Therapy St. Louis MO 63011 Gladly Serving Ballwin, Manchester, Chesterfield, Des Peres, Ellisville, and St. Louis County. Find A Back Pain Specialist Near Me

A Tight Psoas Can Cause Lower Back Pain

If you have back pain when standing or walking for long periods, there's a very good chance that you might have tight hip flexors.

You've got lots of different muscles that are considered hip flexors, but one associated with lower back pain is a hip flexor group called your iliopsoas.

The iliopsoas is actually two muscles that join together into a common tendon:

  1. The iliacus
  2. The Psoas

psoas pain in back and groin can be caused by tight hip flexors

The Iliacus

The iliacus attaches to the inner edges of your hip bones or your iliac crests.

The Psoas

The psoas originates from the vertebrae of the lumbar spine (lower back).  It joints the iliacus in a common tendon that attaches to your femur (thigh bone).

Because the psoas attaches to your spine, it can create massive compression loads on your lower back and compress the discs, joints, and/or nerves. That in turn can be a cause of lower back pain.

Sitting Makes Your Iliopsoas Stiff

If you sit for a large portion of your day, as many people do these days, the iliopsoas muscles can get posturally shortened.

However, when you go to stand back up, they don't automatically lengthen back to their normal length.

That can cause you to stand with a forward tilt of your pelvis, which causes an exaggerated arch in your lower back.

A tight psoas can cause anterior pelvic tilt and increased lumbar lordosis

Standing with too much arch in your lower back narrows the spaces in your lower back where the nerves come out and jams the joints in your lower back together.

A tight psoas can cause lumbar extension

This in turn can cause lower back pain.

Conversely, doing a psoas release can help relieve lower back pain.

Psoas Release For Lower Back Pain

At More 4 Life, we commonly perform a psoas release as part of our treatment for lower back pain.

That psoas release is done clinically in the form of manual trigger point therapy inside the iliac crest or in the abdomen. To do this, we put a gentle deep pressure with your fingers into the soft tissues.

Dry needling is another good way to do a psoas release.

But that's really kind of hard if you want to do it on your own at home!

How To Do A Psoas Release At Home

You can do a manual psoas release at home, but it's hard on your fingers.

Additionally, if you don't know what you're doing, it's hard to tell if you're in the right place or if you're getting deep enough.

So, it would be really helpful to have a tool to help you release your psoas.

Pso-Rite® Psoas Release Tool

There is actually such a tool called the Pso-Rite® Psoas Release Tool.

Pso-Rite Psoas Release tool

This tool can be helpful to allow you to release your psoas at home.

How To Use The Pso-Rite® Psoas Release Tool

The tool is formed in the shape of a therapist flat hand.  That's how you would apply pressure to the psoas if doing it manually.

To use the psoas release tool, place the tool on the flor with the "fingers" pointing up.

Then lie the tool inside your iliac crests (pelvic bones).

How to use the Pso-Rite psoas release tool

If you can't get down on the floor, I'll show an alternative method further down on this page.

Your body weight is actually what applies the force.

When I first heard of this tool, I thought that might be uncomfortable.  Actually, though it's more comfortable than I thought it would be.

You can put as much or as little pressure as you feel comfortable using.

One you have the psoas release tool situated between your two hip bones, then start taking some deep breaths.

Breathe in, and then as you breathe out, sink a little bit deeper into that tool.

Repeat taking deep breaths in and out.

Targeting the iliacus

Place the tool right between your hip bones, to target the iliacus portion.

Targeting the psoas

If you move it up a little bit more toward your abdomen around your belly button area, that'll get more to the psoas portion.

The technique is pretty much the same both ways.

Just take a deep breath in, and then out.

Kneeling Psoas Muscle Stretches

After using the psoas release tool, it's a good idea to stretch your hip flexors.

You can do that in a half-kneeling (lunge) position like where you put one leg out in front, one leg behind.

You don't want to allow your back to arch because that just pulls using your hip flexors and pulls your spine into extension.

psoas muscle stretch incorrect

So it is really important to tuck your pelvis underneath, and get your lower back nice and flat.

Then just push your pelvis forward, and you should feel a stretch in the front of your thigh hip and thigh.

psoas muscle stretch correct

You can get a lot farther into the stretch by using improper technique, but it doesn't necessarily stretch the psoas more.  It just extends your lower back.

Using The Psoas Release Tool If You Can't Get On The Floor

Let's say that you can't get down on the floor.

Perhaps your back pain is keeping you from getting on the floor. Or maybe you have pain when kneeling on your knees.

Or perhaps you just have trouble getting up from the floor due to weakness.

There is an alternate version that you can do laying down on your bed.

How to use the Pso-Rite psoas release tool supine

In the video, I am lying on my back on the floor, but you could do this just as easily lying in your bed.

You want to have something underneath your knees, either a high pillow or a bed wedge bolster so that your psoas muscle is relaxed.

You don't want your legs flat out on the bed since that lengthens the psoas.

Additionally, you don't want to have to hold your legs up because that uses your hip flexors, and you're trying to get your hip flexors to relax.

So prop your feet up on the bolster or a couple of pillows.

Then take the tool and instead of you laying on top of the tool, you put the tool upside down inside your hip bones.

Then just use your hands to press down.

Again, take some deep breaths, and as you breathe out, you push the tool in a little bit deeper.

This stimulates how clinically we would perform a psoas release when someone is lying on their back.

And move the psoas release tool inside the hip bones to release the iliacus portion of the muscle and higher up for a psoas release.

Standing Psoas Muscle Stretch

Again, you would want to stretch your hip flexors.

However, if you have trouble getting down onto the floor, chances are you probably won't be able to do that kneeling hip flexor stretch.

But you can do a standing version of that where stand in a stagger stance position.

Roll your pelvis underneath and then just push your hips forward, and you should feel a stretch in the front part of your hip here.

The disadvantage of this stretch is that you don't stretch one of your other hip flexors, a quad muscle called your rectus femoris, when you're standing up.

But if you're doing the stretch for the purpose of stretching your iliopsoas, it works just fine for doing that.

And if you have trouble getting down on the floor and you can't do the kneeling psoas stretch, this is much better than doing nothing at all.


So hopefully you did find this video helpful.

Here's where to buy the Pso-Rite® Psoas Release Tool. You can SAVE 50% using my discount code "M4LPT".

And if you're in the St. Louis area and you'd like to get in-person treatment for your back and/or hip pain, just tap the button below to request an appointment with one of our specialists.

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