Misleading Lower Back Pain
Being a Registered Massage Therapist in Burnaby, lower back pain is one of the most common things patients come in for treatment. Some individuals have low back pain due to soft tissue tightness, arthritis, poor posture, disc related injuries, etc. Some patients I have seen are surprised to hear that their lower back is not really the true cause of their lower back pain and that it’s due to the iliopsoas muscle.
Cause of Lower Back Pain: the Iliopsoas Muscle
Do you sit at a desk for work? Do you often sit at home after work? Do you bend forward a lot at work or at home? Do you sleep in a fetal position or on your side and wake up with lower back pain? On the couch, do you often sit with your arms around your knees? If you said yes to most, if not all of these questions, then you might have trigger points in your iliospoas.
What’s the Iliopsoas?
What is this iliospoas? The iliospoas is actually two muscles, the psoas major and iliacus. The psoas major starts from the vertebra bodies of your spine, from T12 to L5, and their associated discs. The iliacus muscle starts from the front of your pelvis, or the iliac fossa. Both unite at the inguinal ligament and cross the hip joint to end at the lesser trochanters of your femurs, close to your hips. Here’s an illustration of the iliospoas:
Trigger Points in the Iliospoas
Trigger points are bands or nodules of tight muscle fibers within a muscle that often refer pain elsewhere. The pain referral pattern for the iliospoas looks like this:
Does this pain referral pattern look familiar?
I often find that a patient’s iliospoas is often overlooked and not assessed. A simple test which we can do during our assessment will show how a tight iliospoas can affect the way you sit, stand or even sleep at night.
Massage Therapy Treatment & Trigger Point Release
Massage therapy treatment involves trigger point release and is very simple and does not require the use of medication. There is a simple ilipsoas stretch that I usually recommend to most of my patients with this issue. I also recommend to my patients that improving their sitting and sleeping posture can reduce or even eliminate their lower back pain.
When to Book an Assessment for Lower Back Pain Treatment
If you wake up with lower back pain the morning, or suffer from a sore back during or after work, we ask that you see a doctor, chiropractor, physiotherapist or a massage therapist to have it resolved before it escalates into chronic pain or dysfunction.
For more information, please visit one of our practitioners at Absolute PhysioCare in Burnaby and we’ll be more than happy to help you get to the relief you have been searching for! Contact us at Burnaby Physio Care at 604-558-CARE (2273) or online to learn more and to make an appointment.
This blog was created by Ryan Wong, RMT at Absolute PhysioCare & Sports Rehab in Burnaby.