Muscle of the Month: Iliopsoas

Anterior Hip Muscles
Image via Wikipedia

The Iliopsoas is a muscle group consisting of the Iliacus and the Psoas Major and Psoas Minor. Located deep in the front of the hip these muscle are responsible for lifting the leg (hip flexion) and with the leg in a fixed position they flex the trunk. When this muscle group is tight and becomes hyper-tonic, it is thought to be the underlying culprit of many peoples’ low back pain. Extended hours leaning forward at desk work and/or driving can contribute to distorted posture or even lower crossed syndrome. An anterior pelvic tilt and a positive Thomas Test point to a  body with tight iliopsoas muscle.


Muscle of the Month: Rectus Femoris

(L. straight + femur) This muscle of the quadriceps group follows a straight line down the front of the thigh originating from the anterior spine of the pelvis and attaches to the tibial tuberosity via the patellar tendon. The rectus femoris is the only quad to cross both the hip and knee joint making  it a  hip flexor as well as a knee extensor muscle. This muscle is vital to knee joint stability in walking and running. It  is most susceptible to blows or trauma because of its location front and center of the thigh. Other common sports injuries include: “Jumper’s knee” and partial tears.

muscles, stretching

Balancing Act–counteracting gravity

Keeping in shape and keeping myself fit is necessary for me to continue as a massage practitioner. The tendency of humans is to use and misuse the same muscles while doing our routines of work and life. Rarely do we exercise our remaining muscles.

Yes, the activities of daily living become our undoing when constant bad posture and body mechanics start to wear and tear at us. My hands get a great work out every day, so I must use different tools to help get the job done i.e. forearms, elbows, and the occasional jackhammer of sorts for mountainous knots :). More than anything though, my back and shoulders take the brunt of the work in my week and I have to combat that. I have to stretch out, yes. But mainly I have to bring balance back to my hunkered over posture. The core muscles on my gut (abs, quads, hip flexors) can get short and weak if I don’t give them any attention.

Really, the reason I write all this is to remind myself to keep in shape or shape it up. Fight gravity! Do all I can to stand strong every day (mentally, physically, spiritually). I tend to get focused in on the task at hand and neglect other real needs. The idea, we know, is to break an old habit by adopting a better one. For as my pastor would say, Sow a thought reap a…destiny.

The law of the harvest is to reap more than you sow. Sow an act, and you reap a habit; sow a habit, and you reap a character; sow a character, and you reap a destiny.
~George Dana Boardman