psoas trigger

Understanding and Treating Psoas Trigger Points: A Comprehensive Guide


In the fast-paced world we live in, many of us suffer from various physical discomforts, one of which is the notorious psoas trigger points. These trigger points, when left untreated, can cause pain and limitations in movement, impacting our daily lives. In this article, we will delve into what psoas trigger points are, their causes, symptoms, and most importantly, how to effectively treat and prevent them. So, if you’ve been experiencing any discomfort in your hip or lower back, keep reading to gain valuable insights and find relief.

What are Psoas Trigger Points?

The psoas muscle, also known as the hip flexor, is a crucial muscle that plays a significant role in our body’s movement and stability. It connects the lower spine to the upper thigh bone, enabling us to flex our hips and lift our knees when walking or running. However, due to various factors such as poor posture, overuse, or injury, this muscle can develop knots or tight bands known as trigger points.

Psoas trigger points are specific areas of muscle fibers that become contracted and sensitive. When these trigger points are pressed or strained, they can cause pain, stiffness, and even refer pain to other areas of the body, such as the lower back, groin, or abdomen.

Causes of Psoas Trigger Points

Several factors contribute to the development of psoas trigger points:

  1. Sedentary Lifestyle: Prolonged periods of sitting or inactivity can weaken the psoas muscle, leading to trigger point formation.
  2. Overuse or Repetitive Movements: Engaging in activities that repeatedly stress the psoas muscle, like cycling or prolonged running, can cause trigger points to develop.
  3. Muscle Imbalances: Weakness or tightness in surrounding muscles can put extra strain on the psoas, leading to trigger points.
  4. Injuries or Accidents: Trauma to the hip or lower back can result in the formation of trigger points in the psoas muscle.

Identifying Psoas Trigger Points

Detecting psoas trigger points can be challenging, as their pain often refers to other areas. However, some common symptoms may help you identify their presence:

  1. Hip Pain: A dull or sharp pain in the hip area that worsens with movement.
  2. Lower Back Pain: Trigger points in the psoas can cause chronic lower back pain that doesn’t respond to conventional treatments.
  3. Groin Discomfort: Pain or tightness in the groin region, which can extend to the inner thigh.
  4. Limited Range of Motion: Difficulty in lifting your knee or fully extending your leg due to muscle stiffness.

Trigger Point Therapy - Iliopsoas - YouTube

Treating Psoas Trigger Points

Managing psoas trigger points involves a combination of self-care techniques and professional treatments. Here are some effective strategies:

  1. Stretching Exercises: Regular stretching can help lengthen and relax the psoas muscle. Perform hip flexor stretches, lunges, and yoga poses like the pigeon pose.
  2. Foam Rolling: Use a foam roller to apply pressure on the psoas muscle and release tension in the trigger points.
  3. Massage Therapy: Seek a qualified massage therapist who can target and release the trigger points through specialized techniques.
  4. Heat and Ice Therapy: Apply a heating pad or warm towel to the affected area to relax the muscle, followed by an ice pack to reduce inflammation.
  5. Posture Improvement: Be mindful of your posture throughout the day, especially while sitting, to reduce strain on the psoas muscle.
  6. Exercise Routine: Engage in regular strength training exercises to improve muscle balance and support the psoas.
  7. Pain Relief Medications: Over-the-counter pain relievers can help manage acute pain, but they should not be relied upon as a long-term solution.

Prevention is Key

Preventing the occurrence of psoas trigger points is essential for maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle. Here are some preventive measures you can adopt:

Stay Active: Regular physical activity helps keep your muscles strong and flexible, reducing the risk of trigger points.

Proper Posture: Maintain good posture while sitting, standing, and walking to avoid unnecessary stress on the psoas muscle.

Ergonomic Workstation: If you have a desk job, ensure your workstation is set up ergonomically to support your back and hips.

Take Breaks: If your job requires prolonged sitting, take short breaks to stretch and move around.

Listen to Your Body: Pay attention to any signs of discomfort or pain and address them promptly.


Psoas trigger points can be a significant hindrance to your daily activities and overall well-being. Understanding the causes and symptoms is the first step towards effective treatment and prevention. Incorporating stretching exercises, massage therapy, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle can go a long way in managing trigger points in the psoas muscle. Remember, prevention is the key to keeping these pesky trigger points at bay and enjoying a pain-free life.