The iliopsoas muscle is often involved in back and thigh pain if it is overly tight or harbors trigger points.
On this page I will show you where in your body this muscle is located, what functions it has, where exactly it can send pain to, why it might have gotten tight and painful, which movements might be impaired, how to feel/palpate it and last but not least how to massage it – for your relief –.
As you will relieve this muscle via self-massage, feel free to jump right now to the feel and massage part, which is where you’ll find the practical applications.
Still, I recommend reading the rest of this page at some point, as it will enhance your understanding why this muscle might be troubling you.
As you can see in the pictures below, the iliopsoas can give you pain in the region of your lower back and your upper thigh.
The deeper the red, the more common it is to experience pain in the respective area.
But when and why does the pain occur? This is the case, if the muscle gets too tight or develops trigger points. Both are signs of overuse of the muscle and create pain.
Luckily, you can get rid of this excessive tension and those trigger points by practicing self-massage.
The result of a troubling iliopsoas muscle – too tight and/or trigger points – is an impaired extension of your hip, as the muscle would get stretched with that movement – remember that a flexion of the hip is its main function –.
If it is too tight, it cannot extend/elongate itself properly. The motion of the movement will be limited and sometimes painful. Example: An extension of your hip occurs with every step you take when you push yourself forwards.
All in all that means, walking or standing upright might become painful for you. In very severe cases, you might be even unable to walk or stand at all, and your mobility may be reduced to crawling.
It goes without saying that all activities that require strong activation of the muscle, like running or doing sit ups, will be painful, too.