The pull of a tight psoas muscle can take many forms and changes considerably as the muscle gets tighter. We’ll start by looking at what a well aligned psoas muscle can do for the body.
The psoas muscle, with the piriformis, are the only two muscles in the body that connect the legs to the spine. Together they essentially keep the pelvis and trunk upright on top of the legs. When you have a tight psoas muscle it is often one of the two psoas muscles that gets tight. In many instances both psoas can be tight but most often we are dealing with tightness on one side.
If the psoas muscle is happy it keeps the lumbar spine in its natural curve and allows the muscles of the spine to lengthen up supporting the whole trunk. But lets say that on the left side you have a tight psoas muscle, that leg bone will be pulled up into the hip socket slightly. This accounts for the concept of leg length discrepancy. We all have one leg shorter than the other and this is almost always the result of your tight psoas muscle. In one in a million cases there might actually be a bone size difference, especially in the case of blunt force trauma such as car accidents and such. But for the most part our leg length discrepancy is due to a tight psoas muscle,
The leg is pulled up into the hip socket on the tight side and since one of the basic functions of the psoas is external rotation, this rotation is exacerbated by the tightness and that leg is often pulled into a turnout.
As we move up to the trunk we can see that a tight psoas muscle here can shorten the trunk on the tight side. This tightness manifests by a pulling up on the hip socket and a pulling down on the shoulder drawing the two bony landmarks closer to each other.
As you see in the picture above one side of the body becomes compromised by tightness in this deep core muscle. And in truth, this is the most basic of pulls in a tight psoas muscle. More severe tightness will lead to scoliosis and in extreme cases a hunchback.
In future posts we will continue to what happens when we have a tight psoas muscle as the tightness gets worse and the effects more extreme.