The psoas syndrome

The psoas syndrome refers to a condition in which the psoas body becomes tense, shortened, and/or atrophic; anything that will disturbs the psoas muscle will results in abnormal shift of the pelvis, causing neuro-muscular straining

The psoas syndrome can arise due to many causes like: ileocecal valve syndrome, iliopsoas bursitis, appendicitis, kidney stones, hernia, genitourinary problems …etc. The end result is muscular irritation and psoas muscle contraction and shortening; this will results in:

1. Back pain: the pain is felt in lower back and may radiate to groin

2. Lumbar vertebral malalignment: the lumbar vertebra will be shifter ipsilaterally to the side of the contracted muscle 

3. Sacral rotation: the sacrum will rotate obliquely to the side of the contracted muscle (e.g., Sacroiliac joint dysfunction)

4. Pelvic shift: the whole pelvis will shift contra-laterally

5. Piriformis muscle syndrome: the contra-lateral piriformis muscle will be under tension and strain from the pelvic shift created by the pelvic rotation, which will result in the development of classical piriformis syndrome. Moreover, whenever the sacroiliac joint is sublaxated or under tension, its tension will be transferred to the piriformis syndrome. Symptoms include cramping pain in buttock, tight hamstrings, and pain with sitting

6. Dyspnea: if the tension within the psoas syndrome transferred into the diaphragm, the myofascial layer covering both muscles can be thickened limiting the movement of the diaphragm; this can result in shortness of breath and dyspnea

7. Sexual dysfunction: tension over the inguinal fascia can arise from psoas muscle tension, resulting in damping the sexual enjoyment


Selected references

1. Staugaard-Jones JA. The Vital Psoas Muscle: Connecting Physical, Emotional, and Spiritual Well-Being. 2012; North Atlantic Books; 1st edition

2. FitzGordon J. Psoas release party: release Your body from chronic pain and discomfort. 2013; FitzGordon Method Books; 1st edition