PDA

View Full Version : Stalking the Wild Psoas



mamamax
02-13-2010, 03:26 PM
What do we know about the psoas muscle?

Maybe more importantly what do we know about it in relation to Scoliosis?

According to Liz Koch (a fellow scoliosis patient):


The Shortened Psoas

Because the psoas contracts and releases at each of its joint attachments it has the ability not only to stabilize but also to torque, rotate and twist the spinal vertebrae, pelvis and legs. A short psoas tips the pelvic bowl forwards. Minimizing the space between the crest of the pelvis and the leg compresses the hip socket, preventing the leg from moving separately from the trunk. Normal rotation, instead of occurring in the ball and socket of the hip joint, begins to manifest as twists in the knees and torques in the lumbar spine.

Chronic muscular tension, overdeveloped external muscles, and muscular substitutions can be linked to a tense or overworked psoas. Birth anomalies, falls, surgery, overexuberant stretching or weightlifting may create pelvic instability or affect the functioning of the psoas muscle. However, like the chicken and the egg koan, whichever comes first – a short psoas muscle or an unstable pelvis – the problems that arise are the same: limited pelvic volume, constricted organs, impinged nerves and impaired diaphragmatic breathing. Putting pressure on the uterus, a tense or short psoas can cause cramping. Pushing the oesophagus forwards, a tight upper psoas can cause digestive problems. A short psoas can interfere with the diaphragm fully descending through the abdominal core. http://www.positivehealth.com/article-view.php?articleid=174

I have a thoracolumbar curve - so this material peaks my interest. Accessing the psoas isn't all that easy but may be worthwhile. Martha Hawes addressed this issue through reflexology and in her memoir states that she feels working on this area was fundamental to improvements in her condition.

Looking for an easier way to address the psoas, I've come across the work of David Berceli Ph.D. His method of accessing this muscle is called Trauma Release Exercise (TRE) and is endorsed by Liz Koch. http://traumaprevention.com/

I have purchased both the book and DVD offered by Berceli - after doing just one session of these exercises, I've noticed an immediate "freeing up" of mobility in the pelvic area (that has lasted 2 days). Has anyone else been stalking the wild psoas? If so what have you learned, and what has been your experience?

Jimbo
02-13-2010, 09:21 PM
Interesting article. But rather than running out and purchasing that DVD, one should try google searching "stretching psoas muscle".

There are also multiple videos on how to do this through youtube and google.

Thanks for the article mamamax.

mamamax
02-14-2010, 12:58 AM
You're welcome Jimbo :-)

There are numerous exercises available (for free) but I was looking for the seven step TRE and wasn't able to find them on the Internet. The video is great in that it gives the step by step process in real time. So for me, it was a small investment for something that so far proves beneficial.

mamamax
02-14-2010, 11:05 AM
Some more info on the Psoas. I wouldn't postulate that the psoas is causative in scoliosis but I'm beginning to find enough information about it to speculate that it may at least be biomechanicaly influential in progression. Don't know really - just a speculation. The info in this website (out of Australia) includes a simple stretching exercise. I'll be adding this exercise to my routine - will report back ;-)


The psoas can torque your spine to the right or left, pull it forward and twist the pelvis into various distortions. Frequently one psoas will shorten and pull the spine and/or pelvis to our dominant side. The distortions of the spine and pelvis can also show up as a short or long leg. This all results in scoliosis, kyphosis, lordosis, trigger points, and spasms in back muscles trying to resist the pulling of the psoas.

It can also pull the spine downward, compressing the facet joints and the intervertebral discs of the lumbar spine. The pressure can cause the discs to degenerate, becoming thinner and less flexible. This degeneration makes the discs more susceptible to bulging or tearing, especially with twisting and bending movements. http://www.bowen.asn.au/bowen-therapy/articles/psoas-muscle-and-back-pain/

Pooka1
02-14-2010, 11:13 AM
It can also pull the spine downward, compressing the facet joints and the intervertebral discs of the lumbar spine. The pressure can cause the discs to degenerate, becoming thinner and less flexible. This degeneration makes the discs more susceptible to bulging or tearing, especially with twisting and bending movements. http://www.bowen.asn.au/bowen-therapy/articles/psoas-muscle-and-back-pain/

This is an excellent candidate hypothesis for why torso rotation can be harmful to discs in people including those with scoliosis. I wonder if this is what Schroth claims.

Pooka1
02-14-2010, 11:28 AM
By the way, McIntire will dope slap me if I'm wrong but stretching doesn't really apply to muscles. Although they claim the psoas are being stretched, I don't think that matters one way or another unless they are pulled to the point of damage.

Muscles are worked in contraction and then they relax. That's the biochem/physiology of muscles as I recall from intro college biology.

If you are feeling any benefit from stretching, it is tendons, not muscles or ligaments which whether can't stretch or it can't matter if you stretch them.

txmarinemom
02-14-2010, 11:30 AM
Just FYI, the iliopsoas (group) is a common source of low back/leg/hip pain in the general population.

It's also a commonly missed sports injury because it mimics so many other things.

I seriously doubt it's the CAUSE of progression. More likely, it becomes tight as a result of curvature.

One word for *easy* self help: YOGA.

Pooka1
02-14-2010, 11:40 AM
Just FYI, the iliopsoas (group) is a common source of low back/leg/hip pain in the general population.

It's also a commonly missed sports injury because it mimics so many other things.

I seriously doubt it's the CAUSE of progression. More likely, it becomes tight as a result of curvature.

One word for *easy* self help: YOGA.

Hey Pam, am I remembering correctly about how muscles can only contract or relax and that stretching is irrelevant?

Also, am I correct in that ligaments can't stretch (appreciably) absent injury but tendons can stretch somewhat?

I learned this stuff about a million years ago and I am so not a biologist! :)

mamamax
02-14-2010, 11:48 AM
I would tend to think there could be some merit in that (especially with older spines which have had time to develop secondary problems). Leads me to question how the MedX effects the psoas compared to other rotational exercise. Maybe Kevin can comment. Good thought Sharon.

Pooka1
02-14-2010, 12:27 PM
This might be testable...

Look at the rate of disc damage in kids and adults who did and didn't do torso rotation exercises.

Of course there would need a very large number in each cohort and they would have to match patient age, curve type and magnitude, and rule out connective tissue patients as potential confounders. Certain connective tissue disorder patients are known to be damaged by exercise and so we might expect damage in these patients from torso rotation (or any PT).

The question on the table is are non-connective tissue patients also damaged by torso rotation exercises.

mamamax
02-14-2010, 01:43 PM
By the way, McIntire will dope slap me if I'm wrong but stretching doesn't really apply to muscles. Although they claim the psoas are being stretched, I don't think that matters one way or another unless they are pulled to the point of damage.

Muscles are worked in contraction and then they relax. That's the biochem/physiology of muscles as I recall from intro college biology.

If you are feeling any benefit from stretching, it is tendons, not muscles or ligaments which whether can't stretch or it can't matter if you stretch them.

What you are saying here is pretty much confirmed in the book written by David Berceli - and his 7 step TRE exercise is a whole different approach (and effect) from other standard stretching exercises that I have found.

An interesting link to his work: http://traumaprevention.com/2009/12/31/what-is-tre/

mamamax
02-14-2010, 02:00 PM
Just FYI, the iliopsoas (group) is a common source of low back/leg/hip pain in the general population.

Agreed - also making it a source of pain in the scoliosis population


It's also a commonly missed sports injury because it mimics so many other things.

Making me wonder how often it is missed in general medical practice?


I seriously doubt it's the CAUSE of progression. More likely, it becomes tight as a result of curvature.

I also do not see it as causative. But, given what it can do, makes me question the potential biomechanical influence in progression.


One word for *easy* self help: YOGA.

Yoga can be easy, depending on the movements selected - some are quite difficult - even for the general population. I think I have found a local Iyengar trained instructor, waiting to hear if she has experience in Yoga for scoliosis. An option I'm considering.

In the meantime the TRE seven step method of accessing the psoas is far easier than any exercise I've found for releasing tension in this muscle group - and the affect is both immediately noticeable and lasting (for me between sessions).

mamamax
02-14-2010, 02:07 PM
This might be testable...

Look at the rate of disc damage in kids and adults who did and didn't do torso rotation exercises.

Of course there would need a very large number in each cohort and they would have to match patient age, curve type and magnitude, and rule out connective tissue patients as potential confounders. Certain connective tissue disorder patients are known to be damaged by exercise and so we might expect damage in these patients from torso rotation (or any PT).

The question on the table is are non-connective tissue patients also damaged by torso rotation exercises.

Agreed - and I hope we see some future studies. I'm not ready to toss the baby out with the bath water on torso rotation (MedX therapeutic use), but I do think the younger population may do better with it (within certain levels of curvature degrees) than adults with larger curves and underlying secondary problems .. and think it is possible that with adjustments, the therapy may still be useful to adults. The meeting with Weiss could have proven very informative through study - too darn bad it did not happen.

txmarinemom
02-14-2010, 09:39 PM
Hey Pam, am I remembering correctly about how muscles can only contract or relax and that stretching is irrelevant?

Also, am I correct in that ligaments can't stretch (appreciably) absent injury but tendons can stretch somewhat?

I learned this stuff about a million years ago and I am so not a biologist! :)

Sharon, I'm not sure I'm fully understanding your question, but I'm going to answer what I think you're asking. Correct me if I missed the mark ...

You're right that (normal) ligaments stretch only minimally (a good thing since we want them to hold our joints together). When they do overstretch, I'm sure you know hypermobility is indicated.

Tendons stretch considerably more as they join muscle to bone.

I don't think stretching is irrelevant: Muscles do contract and relax, but they can also lengthen in response to stretching.

Here's one of the clearest explanations (http://www.cmcrossroads.com/bradapp/docs/rec/stretching/stretching_2.html#SEC17)I've ever seen ...

Regards,
Pam

Pooka1
02-15-2010, 06:41 AM
I don't think stretching is irrelevant: Muscles do contract and relax, but they can also lengthen in response to stretching.

Here's one of the clearest explanations (http://www.cmcrossroads.com/bradapp/docs/rec/stretching/stretching_2.html#SEC17)I've ever seen ...


Thanks Pam. I didn't know any of that.

As far as I can tell, that's talking about natural muscle function which exists to protect the muscle against damage.

But is there any therapeutic reason to stretch muscle?

txmarinemom
02-15-2010, 10:57 AM
But is there any therapeutic reason to stretch muscle?

Sorry, Sharon: I didn't even notice the link I posted contained a bookmark that didn't pick up where I thought it did.

The section "What Happens When You Stretch (http://www.cmcrossroads.com/bradapp/docs/rec/stretching/stretching_2.html#SEC13)" gives an overview of what happens (therapeutically) during a stretch:

The stretching of a muscle fiber begins with the sarcomere (see section Muscle Composition), the basic unit of contraction in the muscle fiber. As the sarcomere contracts, the area of overlap between the thick and thin myofilaments increases. As it stretches, this area of overlap decreases, allowing the muscle fiber to elongate. Once the muscle fiber is at its maximum resting length (all the sarcomeres are fully stretched), additional stretching places force on the surrounding connective tissue (see section Connective Tissue). As the tension increases, the collagen fibers in the connective tissue align themselves along the same line of force as the tension. Hence when you stretch, the muscle fiber is pulled out to its full length sarcomere by sarcomere, and then the connective tissue takes up the remaining slack. When this occurs, it helps to realign any disorganized fibers in the direction of the tension. This realignment is what helps to rehabilitate scarred tissue back to health.

Personally, I can't imagine I've made it this far in life playing sports - and with scoliosis - without some scarring/adhesions in muscle/fascia. Remember, every bundle of muscle - and every bundle of bundles - is wrapped in fascia. If the muscle becomes short, the fascia is right there ... stuck to it.

Stretching is definitely a daily part of my life (as is regular deep tissue/sports massage), and I can tell a BIG difference when I don't. I lost some flexibility about a year after surgery (laziness), and had all kinds of weird aches and pains until I got busy on it again.

As far as specific examples of therapeutic reasons to stretch, I think I mentioned in the Rolfing thread a week or so ago about pain between the shoulder blades (in the rhomboids) that is actually caused by tight pectoralis muscles. That dorsal pain can specifically be effected by stretching the anterior of the body.

Also, the detrimental effects of taut hamstrings (http://www.sportsinjuryclinic.net/cybertherapist/back/hamstrings/tighthamstrings.htm), is a good example applicable to post-op scoliosis patients.

Regards,
Pam

skevimc
02-16-2010, 06:11 PM
The info in this website (out of Australia) includes a simple stretching exercise. I'll be adding this exercise to my routine - will report back ;-)


It's a decent stretch but they describe it wrong. You don't lie prone (face down). It's supine (face up). :)


[COLOR="Navy"]

The psoas can torque your spine to the right or left, pull it forward and twist the pelvis into various distortions. Frequently one psoas will shorten and pull the spine and/or pelvis to our dominant side. The distortions of the spine and pelvis can also show up as a short or long leg. This all results in scoliosis, kyphosis, lordosis, trigger points, and spasms in back muscles trying to resist the pulling of the psoas.

It can also pull the spine downward, compressing the facet joints and the intervertebral discs of the lumbar spine. The pressure can cause the discs to degenerate, becoming thinner and less flexible. This degeneration makes the discs more susceptible to bulging or tearing, especially with twisting and bending movements. http://www.bowen.asn.au/bowen-therapy/articles/psoas-muscle-and-back-pain/



This is an excellent candidate hypothesis for why torso rotation can be harmful to discs in people including those with scoliosis. I wonder if this is what Schroth claims.

I question the amount of rotational torque the psoas actually exerts. It seems more likely that it stabilizes during rotation as opposed to actually rotating.

If Schroth therapists use this rationale to advise against rotation, then they might as well advise against forward and lateral bending as the psoas is probably a primary mover for these movements.

Trunk rotations can certainly damage discs. So can forward/back bends and lateral bends and axial force (compression). Rotational injuries rank third in low back injuries behind forward/back flexion and lateral bending. However, most injuries happen as a result of combined movements, e.g. extension plus rotation. But as I recall, rotation alone puts significantly less force on the disc compared to other motions.

Major point being... a bad disc is a bad disc. ANY movement will place it at risk for damage.




I would tend to think there could be some merit in that (especially with older spines which have had time to develop secondary problems). Leads me to question how the MedX effects the psoas compared to other rotational exercise. Maybe Kevin can comment. Good thought Sharon.


Aside from actually doing a study, it's all speculative. It would be a good study though. A bit difficult, but it is possible to measure the relative contribution of a muscle during a given task. There's a really cool MRI technique you can use to get this information.


Sharon, I'm not sure I'm fully understanding your question, but I'm going to answer what I think you're asking. Correct me if I missed the mark ...

You're right that (normal) ligaments stretch only minimally (a good thing since we want them to hold our joints together). When they do overstretch, I'm sure you know hypermobility is indicated.

Tendons stretch considerably more as they join muscle to bone.

I don't think stretching is irrelevant: Muscles do contract and relax, but they can also lengthen in response to stretching.

Here's one of the clearest explanations (http://www.cmcrossroads.com/bradapp/docs/rec/stretching/stretching_2.html#SEC17)I've ever seen ...

Regards,
Pam

That's a pretty good link with some good basic information on it.

The stretching debate is as vibrant as ever. Does it help? Does it hurt? Is it completely benign? For sure, stretching affects the muscle fibers. There is a hypertrophy model in animals using a prolonged stretch (holding a joint/muscle in a casted stretch for several days) that induces muscle growth. It basically acts as an anabolic stimulus, much like weight training. As well, it can also make the muscles physically longer, although this effect is much smaller. But this is chronic loading.

I like the 're-organizing' concept of short term stretching. I'm at a loss of what the literature says about that specifically though.

Pooka1
02-16-2010, 07:25 PM
I question the amount of rotational torque the psoas actually exerts. It seems more likely that it stabilizes during rotation as opposed to actually rotating.

Which muscles are involved in rotation?


Major point being... a bad disc is a bad disc. ANY movement will place it at risk for damage.

Is that an argument against PT for scoliosis? Don't the discs show damage first and then the vertebrae show damage? If so then any scoliosis curve assumes disc damage, yes?

txmarinemom
02-16-2010, 08:16 PM
Hey, skevimc ... glad you came to the party. :)


There is a hypertrophy model in animals using a prolonged stretch (holding a joint/muscle in a casted stretch for several days) that induces muscle growth. It basically acts as an anabolic stimulus, much like weight training. As well, it can also make the muscles physically longer, although this effect is much smaller. But this is chronic loading.

Would you be so kind to explain how lengthening/strengthening can both be achieved? I guess what confuses me most is there's not the expected recovery time I thought it took to build muscle. :confused:

(... and now I just have a bunch of questions for you - LOL)

Is the hypertrophy a result of muscle injury consistent with weight training?

Which effect is seen first?

If hypertrophy is not initially noted, is muscle force reduction (or atropy, for that matter) observed for any length of time in the post-loading period?

If muscle gain is not initially measurable, does it appear in a manner/timeframe consistent with normal weight training?

Did these animals have a special diet? :)

Thanks for bearing with me!

Regards,
Pam

skevimc
02-16-2010, 08:33 PM
Which muscles are involved in rotation?


Prime movers are internal and external obliques. There is EMG activity in the pecs, lats and sometimes rhomboids I think. (I question how much those muscles are actually involved in rotation versus activation based on the rotation apparatus.

Paraspinal muscles are involved, but primarily as a stabilizer. That's indicated by the orientation of most of these, i.e. they run up and down the spine, thus when they contract they will extend or flex the spine. The multifidus, which many people say is heavily involved in rotation MIGHT contribute ~3% of the torque. Again, the orientation of the muscle does not allow it to have a huge rotational component.



Is that an argument against PT for scoliosis? Don't the discs show damage first and then the vertebrae show damage? If so then any scoliosis curve assumes disc damage, yes?

You'd like to think that wouldn't you!! (delivered in Vizzini's voice from Princess Bride)

In reality, it would be an argument against all movement if there were any type of injury... ever. The 'trick', as I see it, is that with proper strengthening/form/technique the body can move and function without creating further injury. And certainly, there is a limit to what exercise/PT could do.

I am not aware of the amount of disc damage per se to AIS discs, although I know about the deformation due to asymmetric growth. I don't know if an AIS wedged disc would be damaged or just misshapen. :confused:

txmarinemom
02-16-2010, 08:41 PM
Is that an argument against PT for scoliosis? Don't the discs show damage first and then the vertebrae show damage? If so then any scoliosis curve assumes disc damage, yes?

Just my $.02, Sharon ... (which isn't much ;-)

Unless I've just missed too much of other conversations, I didn't hear that as an argument against PT for scoliosis or "not scoliosis".

It kind of sounded to me like "You're as likely to cause disc protrusion drying your hair as you are working out" (and I use that specific example because the damn blowdryer got mine 90% of the time when I was pre-op).

I'm curious: On what basis did you form the assumption disc damage is a given with scoliosis? Same with vertebral damage.

Although my vertebrae were certainly not in alignment, they *were* structurally sound (as far as individually). Since they are no longer "individual", I'll refrain from speculation on their current state. :)

My discs only began to protrude after a severe whiplash in '96. Although they did tend to protrude more often as the years went on, it seems normal to me previously protruded discs would be prone to ~subsequent~ protrusion ... especially in a segment of my spine that was compromised by the compensatory curve.

I (knock on my wooden head) haven't had a single disc-related pain since fusion - and I haven't altered my activities. The only thing altered was my compensatory curve.

*addendum: ... which makes me believe my discs aren't truly damaged ...

Regards,
Pam

skevimc
02-16-2010, 08:43 PM
Hey, skevimc ... glad you came to the party. :)



Would you be so kind to explain how lengthening/strengthening can both be achieved? I guess what confuses me most is there's not the expected recovery time I thought it took to build muscle. :confused:

(... and now I just have a bunch of questions for you - LOL)

Is the hypertrophy a result of muscle injury consistent with weight training?

Which effect is seen first?

If hypertrophy is not initially noted, is muscle force reduction (or atropy, for that matter) observed for any length of time in the post-loading period?

If muscle gain is not initially measurable, does it appear in a manner/timeframe consistent with normal weight training?

Did these animals have a special diet? :)

Thanks for bearing with me!

Regards,
Pam

I'll try to address the other questions as well, but for now I'll say that the mechanical stretch of muscle (also seen with weight lifting) releases hormone called Insulin-like Growth Factor (IGF) (produced in the liver). There is a special 'muscle' version of it, that is synthesized, released and utilized by the muscle called Mechano-Growth Factor (MGF). IGF and MGF act along the same hypertrophic pathway (PI3K/Akt/mTOR). The end result of this pathway is protein synthesis, aka muscle growth.

It's definitely confusing. There are a handful of things like this that when scientists discover this stuff we're like WTF!!! That doesn't make sense. This method of hypertrophy isn't really viable in humans because I'm pretty sure the antagonistic muscles become atrophied, e.g. if you casted your arm in extension and stretched your bicep, after two weeks like that, your bicep would be larger but your tricep would be much smaller. (not to mention your elbow joint would be more than a bit stiff.)

The lengthening is only by a few sarcomeres added in sequence. It's not really significant to the overall muscle length.

Pooka1
02-16-2010, 08:45 PM
You'd like to think that wouldn't you!! (delivered in Vizzini's voice from Princess Bride)

:) That would require that I have a horse in that race or a dog in that fight. I have neither. I am plodding along, trying to follow the logic wherever it goes. I have been forced to become interested in scoliosis because of my twin daughters. So I am. Of course is very difficult for a bunny with no relevant training in this field to follow the logic at times. Hence my incessant questions. :)


And certainly, there is a limit to what exercise/PT could do.

Not convinced everyone accepts there is a limit. :)


I am not aware of the amount of disc damage per se to AIS discs, although I know about the deformation due to asymmetric growth. I don't know if an AIS wedged disc would be damaged or just misshapen. :confused:

Good question. I think we need a disc expert.

Pooka1
02-16-2010, 08:55 PM
Just my $.02, Sharon ... (which isn't much ;-)

Unless I've just missed too much of other conversations, I didn't hear that as an argument against PT for scoliosis or "not scoliosis".

It kind of sounded to me like "You're as likely to cause disc protrusion drying your hair as you are working out" (and I use that specific example because the damn blowdryer got mine 90% of the time when I was pre-op).

Yes I think you are right that he meant it that way. I am just trying to see where that idea can be taken though.


I'm curious: On what basis did you form the assumption disc damage is a given with scoliosis? Same with vertebral damage.

I thought that was known. Disc wedging precedes curving which precedes wedging (except perhaps in hysterical scoliosis cases with very long curves involving almost every vertebra). I am taking disc wedging to equal disc damage. Maybe that is wrong.

Also I am not clear on at what point wedging occurs. Is it inevitable above a certain Cobb angle? I assume my kids have some wedging given their Cobb angles but maybe that is wrong.


Although my vertebrae were certainly not in alignment, they *were* structurally sound (as far as individually). Since they are no longer "individual", I'll refrain from speculation on their current state. :)

Okay so you made it up to ~50* without any wedging. Maybe my kids vertebrae were not wedged then.


My discs only began to protrude after a severe whiplash in '96. Although they did tend to protrude more often as the years went on, it seems normal to me previously protruded discs would be prone to ~subsequent~ protrusion ... especially in a segment of my spine that was compromised by the compensatory curve.

I (knock on my wooden head) haven't had a single disc-related pain since fusion - and I haven't altered my activities. The only thing altered was my compensatory curve.

Isn't there other disc damage besides protrusion? I was told I had a crushed disc but I wonder if that is an actual condition.

txmarinemom
02-16-2010, 09:32 PM
Yes I think you are right that he meant it that way. I am just trying to see where that idea can be taken though.

We all know this train can derail at annnnny moment. ;)


I thought that was known. Disc wedging precedes curving which precedes wedging (except perhaps in hysterical scoliosis cases with very long curves involving almost every vertebra). I am taking disc wedging to equal disc damage. Maybe that is wrong.

Also I am not clear on at what point wedging occurs. Is it inevitable above a certain Cobb angle? I assume my kids have some wedging given their Cobb angles but maybe that is wrong.

I'd really like to see the background on this. I'll sort of buy that discs can get "wedged" (although I don't agree that's the right word because they're somewhat malleable) when they're in a jam - i.e., a stack of misaligned vertebrae. However, I'm not convinced they retain that shape after correction due to the toothpaste-like consistency of the nucleus. The outer annular surface of the disc simply holds the "goo" in.

I'm going to completely pass on whether some Cobb angle dictates a disc is "stuck in a certain shape". Never heard that (nor have I ever been told that by any doctor ... ortho, PM, etc.).

Maybe if DDD is present - and the discs are dehydrated ... MAYBE. I don't know. It seems with age it would be more likely.


Isn't there other disc damage besides protrusion? I was told I had a crushed disc but I wonder if that is an actual condition.

My discs were merely (I can say "merely" *now ;-) protruding 3mm. If yours was "crushed" (I seem to recall they let you naturally fuse), it was herniated.

Quite simply ... your goo came out - where mine did not.

Pam :)

Pooka1
02-16-2010, 09:42 PM
My discs were merely (I can saw "merely" *now ;-) protruding 3mm. If yours was "crushed" (I seem to recall they let you naturally fuse), it was herniated.

Quite simply ... your goo came out - where mine did not.

Pam :)

YES! I think that is what happened! My recollection of the radiograph is that there was no space in-between the two vertebrae and that they were expected to fuse on their own. I think that happened because I have had exactly zero pain after that (1991) until very recently.

In re wedging discs, I known I read that and was very surprised that discs could be wedged given they are bags of "goo" as you state. Maybe I misunderstood but I was very surprised.

mamamax
02-16-2010, 10:15 PM
It's a decent stretch but they describe it wrong. You don't lie prone (face down). It's supine (face up). :)

Now that is funny! Guess someone should write them :-)


I question the amount of rotational torque the psoas actually exerts. It seems more likely that it stabilizes during rotation as opposed to actually rotating.

I'd be interested to know that too Kevin. Found this (but don't know how to read it):
http://www.thefreelibrary.com/Determinants+of+paraspinal+muscle+cross-sectional+area+in+male...-a020849089

Found this from some Kinesiology Lecture notes (University of Wyoming):


F. PSOAS INSUFFICIENCY:
When iliopsoas is tight the pelvis is rotated downward and lumbar lordosis in increased, displacing the pelvis anteriorly. This loads the hamstrings, causing the knees to bend. Quads become statically contracted calves hypertrophy and decrease in dorsi flexion is seen at the ankle. Increased dorsal kyphosis and tightening of erector spinae and thoracolumbar fascia and PLL. Decreases forward motion and hip joint and produces weak abdominal muscles.

txmarinemom
02-16-2010, 10:49 PM
Found this (but don't know how to read it):
http://www.thefreelibrary.com/Determinants+of+paraspinal+muscle+cross-sectional+area+in+male...-a020849089

Found this from some Kinesiology Lecture notes (University of Wyoming):


F. PSOAS INSUFFICIENCY:
When iliopsoas is tight the pelvis is rotated downward and lumbar lordosis in increased, displacing the pelvis anteriorly. This loads the hamstrings, causing the knees to bend. Quads become statically contracted calves hypertrophy and decrease in dorsi flexion is seen at the ankle. Increased dorsal kyphosis and tightening of erector spinae and thoracolumbar fascia and PLL. Decreases forward motion and hip joint and produces weak abdominal muscles.


Maxene ...

The iliopsoas is comprised of at least 2 muscles (iliacus and psoas major). Sometimes the group includes psoas minor - but only about 40% of the population have that muscle. (funny, huh?)

Both the iliacus and psoas major attach (at the insertion) to the lesser trochanter of the femur (posterior). Because their origins are the iliac fossa and the bodies/traverse processes of the lumbar vertebrae, respectively, when they're tight, they tuck the pelvis under.

Tucked pelvis = flattened lordosis.

Tucked pelvis = hamstrings pulled taut.

Quads are working like crazy to keep you balanced, and because you're now leaning slightly backward (try walking with your pelvis tucked under), your ankles aren't bent as much as they should be.

Increase in dorsal kyphosis is also just compensation in your upper body trying to keep you from falling back the direction you came.

Erector spinae are stabilizers, as Kevin said, and they're stressed by the posture - trying like crazy to compensate. Sure, they'll be tight. Thoracolumbar fascia is just connective tissue - and yeah ... if you're all contorted, it's confused too. Ditto with the posterior longitudinal ligament (PLL ... runs behind the spine).

Hope this helps.

Pam

dailystrength
02-16-2010, 11:12 PM
Some more info on the Psoas. I wouldn't postulate that the psoas is causative in scoliosis but I'm beginning to find enough information about it to speculate that it may at least be biomechanicaly influential in progression. Don't know really - just a speculation. The info in this website (out of Australia) includes a simple stretching exercise. I'll be adding this exercise to my routine - will report back ;-)


The psoas can torque your spine to the right or left, pull it forward and twist the pelvis into various distortions. Frequently one psoas will shorten and pull the spine and/or pelvis to our dominant side. The distortions of the spine and pelvis can also show up as a short or long leg. This all results in scoliosis, kyphosis, lordosis, trigger points, and spasms in back muscles trying to resist the pulling of the psoas.

It can also pull the spine downward, compressing the facet joints and the intervertebral discs of the lumbar spine. The pressure can cause the discs to degenerate, becoming thinner and less flexible. This degeneration makes the discs more susceptible to bulging or tearing, especially with twisting and bending movements. http://www.bowen.asn.au/bowen-therapy/articles/psoas-muscle-and-back-pain/


Thanks for all that interesting research! Whee, another avenue to explore. On Liz's website she mentions Peter Levine's work on healing trauma -- interesting also. I have wondered at times if muscle tension may play a role... we should be paid for all this research, huh? :)

As for right now, I'm pretty tired and will get a massage or am considering chiropractic treatment/massage (cheaper with insurance co-pay) this weekend. Hard to find balance between exercise and rest sometimes... wear myself out, get sick, rest, repeat :)

green m&m
02-16-2010, 11:44 PM
I don't know if this has been posted -- I tried reading through all the posts but my brain is refusing to corporate with me thanks to working so late...

Anyway, I'm sure many of you know, the psoas muscle is where the filet mignon/tenderloin(mmm...:9) comes from. The psoas group is non-weight bearing in quadrupeds.

In bipeds, the psoas muscle is weight bearing.. probably not tasty.

Just had to post that, after taking a pig butuering class, all I think when I hear psoas muscle is tenderloin.

To go off on the theory that psoas muscle could contribute to causing scoliosis, I am inclined to think that's a small possibility. For me personally, my psoas major is bulkier on the concave side of my lumbar curve. So for me, this might not apply to everyone, it seems my muscles 'adapted' to my curving spine. I'm guessing the years of being overstretched bulked the muscles up while the years of being 'squished' caused muscle mass to decrease. The muscle group that has the most noticeable difference for me is sacrospinalis. The convex side compared the convex side is so bulky and beefy... that might be in my favor and could even be slowing down progression.

I'd imagine, if concave side was the beefy side, the curve could progress faster due to all the strong muscle work pulling on the curve. This theory makes sense in my head, but maybe only in my currently fuzzy head :p

mamamax
02-17-2010, 06:45 PM
Thanks for all that interesting research! Whee, another avenue to explore. On Liz's website she mentions Peter Levine's work on healing trauma -- interesting also. I have wondered at times if muscle tension may play a role... we should be paid for all this research, huh? :)

I've ordered Peter Levine's book Waking the Tiger and am anxious to study it. I've read that it has been long known that trauma/stress plays a big role in affecting muscles (especially regarding the spine) - but I seldom actually hear people discuss it. I have however, often experienced it :-) David Berceli's work is also fascinating. Liz Koch's The Psoas Book is also on the way - so I guess I'll be better educated on all this one day. Will it make a difference - we'll see. Martha Hawes worked on her psoas (using reflexology) and credits this with laying the foundation for improvements in her condition. So maybe there is something to this in certain cases. I however, seek a gentler approach ;-)


As for right now, I'm pretty tired and will get a massage or am considering chiropractic treatment/massage (cheaper with insurance co-pay) this weekend. Hard to find balance between exercise and rest sometimes... wear myself out, get sick, rest, repeat :)

Welcome to the fold :D

asccbodypro
03-21-2010, 12:09 AM
I have had tones of trouble with this little muscle! It's better than it use to be post surgery but has just recently been kicking up. Due in part to taking care of a temper-mental two year old and just coming up on ine year post op. Can't wait for the fatigue and pain to disappear...if it ever does.

whatishappening
10-01-2011, 02:36 AM
............................To go off on the theory that psoas muscle could contribute to causing scoliosis, I am inclined to think that's a small possibility. For me personally, my psoas major is bulkier on the concave side of my lumbar curve. So for me, this might not apply to everyone, it seems my muscles 'adapted' to my curving spine. I'm guessing the years of being overstretched bulked the muscles up while the years of being 'squished' caused muscle mass to decrease. The muscle group that has the most noticeable difference for me is sacrospinalis. The convex side compared the convex side is so bulky and beefy... that might be in my favor and could even be slowing down progression.

I'd imagine, if concave side was the beefy side, the curve could progress faster due to all the strong muscle work pulling on the curve. This theory makes sense in my head, but maybe only in my currently fuzzy head :p


this is my great fear. what do others think?
(also, how does this poster know it is larger- the psoas is hidden-? Like, I can't see mine anyway and I can't feel it either or am I missing something?)

I found this:
from http://www.somatics.de/Psoas&Adds.html



Iliopsoas in relation to scoliosis and pelvic torsion

There have been several speculations claiming that an unilateral short psoas might be a frequent cause–or at least contributing factor--for a scoliosis. In terms of side-bending one would then suspect the lumbar spine to sidebend towards the side of the shorter psoas. In terms of rotation one would suspect the psoas fibers attaching at the lateral sides of the vertebrae to rotate this side more anteriorly, which would result in a general rotation of those vertebrae away from the side of the short psoas. Yet according to the generally accepted ‘Freyette’s First Law’[3] the lumbar vertebrae tend to rotate as a group in the opposite direction, i.e. with their vertebral bodies towards the side of their convexity (in relation to the observer). This rotation is also how just about all scioliotic spines appear in x-rays.

IF a short iliopsoas would indeed function as a significant factor for the sidebending of a lumbar scoliosis, this should be testable in the following way: with the pelvis kept immobile a hip joint flexion on the side of the short psoas would result in immediate decrease of the scoliosis, whereas bringing the femur back to line would increase the scoliosis again. Definitely not what one often sees in scoliotic people!

Further proof against the ‘iliopsoas theory’ of scoliosis comes from the fact that several surgical attempts to improve a severe scolosis by cutting the ‘short’ psoas have been reported to have never yielded to success.[4]




I don't have "real" scoliosis- but definitely rotation and according to Freyette's Law where there is rotation there is lateral deflection.

Anyway, a chiropractor stretched my left psoas in April, (my spine rotates to the right and my pelvis is pulled to the left- which is chicken and egg I don't know ) It was the best stretch of my life. I kept asking him to stretch it more- he was stretching it in a way that I had never experienced. It felt so so good. But the next day I seemed much worse, my first thought was that the tight psoas had been holding things "back". And I never went back to him out of fear. But maybe it was just coincidence. I don't know.

I am seeing a new chiropractor for about 10 visits now. At first he kept attacking my right psoas and I felt nothing (why was he so much more interested in the right psoas???- he knows I am rotated to the right- so was he hoping it was pulling my spine to the right? if you look at diagrams it look like the psoas rotates the spine toward the illium to which it is attached-or maybe I should say the length of the psoas permits spinal rotation away from the illium to which it is attached?) At that time he felt sure that I did not have scoliosis. But then he gave up on my right psoas and said it is very weak and I now know that to be true (there is a test you can do- it is in the same link I posted). (ps-I have also learnt that the TfL muscle makes up for a weak psoas and for me that is true - on the right side my TFL is quite large. Also something is huge just above my left glute- but not the quadratus lomborum- I don't think because it isn't tight. If I now actually stand with my pelvis square I have a mound of muscle there I never saw before. Sorry I diverged but it is all connected.)


So in my mind (unqualified) I picture an elongated weak right psoas permitting each single vertebrea to which it attaches to be rotated to the LEFT of the spine centerline even though the spinal twist is to the right. See? Say for example my L4- it is facing a little counterclockwise- say 10 oclock. L3 then is facing 11oclock , say L2 is facing just left of 12oclock. The right illium is say at 3oclock. see images attached.(I don't know where I got the first one from and I don't know if what they are showing is accurate)10771078


Starting 2 sessions ago the chiro has begun to attack my left psoas. He presses it with his fingers- it doesn't feel good (the other chiro just stretched it in a special way) but I can feel all sorts of stuff when he presses it, including lower back pain.

Anyway the day after my last session I was laying down and was just experimenting- internally and externally rotating my femurs- to compare TFL's, and I am sure this left psoas spasmed (shortened- or reshortened)(though I didn't feel anything) and then the piriformis spasmed- I know because I can feel it strangling the sciatic nerve which tingles. (the piriformis spasms when trying to prevent excessive internal rotation- which I think was caused by the psoas spasm). The result of this is my leg wants to be interally rotated, I have sciatica in my foot and peroneal again and I am pronated like anything to resist this horrible torsion. And really, I was just moving my femur in and out- nothing vigous or anything and I was laying down!


sorry for the long post. I go back to the chiro tomorrow and I really don't know what I should do- I am just so confused- should I let him stretch/fingure it????. also, I guess around the time he gave up on my right posas, he also has changed his tune from "derotating me" (which he seemed quite upbeat about) to now just balancing my weight and he is looking a bit depressed and hesitates and looks at the floor the last time I asked him. ike he has changed his tune on many things since he switched psoas muscles. Before he attacked the left psoas he keep saying I don't have scoliosis and now he is saying you need proper xrays to know.

I am sorry, I am just getting desperate. I just don't feel comfortable with Chiropractors expertise- they don't explains themselves, which I personally think is a very bad sign because when someone knows what they are doing they are very happy to explain themselves and I have yet to witness that from any of the para-professionals.

Pooka1
10-01-2011, 07:08 AM
I just don't feel comfortable with Chiropractors expertise- they don't explains themselves, which I personally think is a very bad sign because when someone knows what they are doing they are very happy to explain themselves and I have yet to witness that from any of the para-professionals.

Chiro is not a science. They have no particular expertise. And it shows. It is founded on an imaginary concept, "chiropractic subluxations."

http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/index.php/science-and-chiropractic/

Is chiropractic a science? No.
Is chiropractic based on neurology, anatomy and physiology? No.
Are chiropractors doctors of the nervous system? No.
Does chiropractic improve health and quality of life? No.

gail govan
10-01-2011, 10:14 AM
What do we know about the psoas muscle?

Maybe more importantly what do we know about it in relation to Scoliosis?

According to Liz Koch (a fellow scoliosis patient):


The Shortened Psoas

Because the psoas contracts and releases at each of its joint attachments it has the ability not only to stabilize but also to torque, rotate and twist the spinal vertebrae, pelvis and legs. A short psoas tips the pelvic bowl forwards. Minimizing the space between the crest of the pelvis and the leg compresses the hip socket, preventing the leg from moving separately from the trunk. Normal rotation, instead of occurring in the ball and socket of the hip joint, begins to manifest as twists in the knees and torques in the lumbar spine.

Chronic muscular tension, overdeveloped external muscles, and muscular substitutions can be linked to a tense or overworked psoas. Birth anomalies, falls, surgery, overexuberant stretching or weightlifting may create pelvic instability or affect the functioning of the psoas muscle. However, like the chicken and the egg koan, whichever comes first – a short psoas muscle or an unstable pelvis – the problems that arise are the same: limited pelvic volume, constricted organs, impinged nerves and impaired diaphragmatic breathing. Putting pressure on the uterus, a tense or short psoas can cause cramping. Pushing the oesophagus forwards, a tight upper psoas can cause digestive problems. A short psoas can interfere with the diaphragm fully descending through the abdominal core. http://www.positivehealth.com/article-view.php?articleid=174

I have a thoracolumbar curve - so this material peaks my interest. Accessing the psoas isn't all that easy but may be worthwhile. Martha Hawes addressed this issue through reflexology and in her memoir states that she feels working on this area was fundamental to improvements in her condition.

Looking for an easier way to address the psoas, I've come across the work of David Berceli Ph.D. His method of accessing this muscle is called Trauma Release Exercise (TRE) and is endorsed by Liz Koch. http://traumaprevention.com/

I have purchased both the book and DVD offered by Berceli - after doing just one session of these exercises, I've noticed an immediate "freeing up" of mobility in the pelvic area (that has lasted 2 days). Has anyone else been stalking the wild psoas? If so what have you learned, and what has been your experience?



Hi. I found that with my bends which are now arthritic and spurred and most fascinating and horrible, that the book by Clair Davies and His daughter Amber has been unbelievably helpful and especially in access to the psoas muscle. I found that releasing that one and the TFL as well as the piriformis and the other shorter hip rotators freed up my pelvis and SI joint so that I could walk.

gail govan
10-01-2011, 10:26 AM
Chiro is not a science. They have no particular expertise. And it shows. It is founded on an imaginary concept, "chiropractic subluxations."

http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/index.php/science-and-chiropractic/

Is chiropractic a science? No.
Is chiropractic based on neurology, anatomy and physiology? No.
Are chiropractors doctors of the nervous system? No.
Does chiropractic improve health and quality of life? No.

Hello. I have one comment regarding the chiropractic segment of possibilities. I went for four or five years to physicians, back specialists, in and out of the clinics dragging myself out of the van and into the clinic then back out with maybe a prescription and one after another doctor or practitioner never even knowing enough to take the one x-ray that would have discovered I have scoliosis. For all that time I was doing untold damage trying to work and being in so much pain not in my spine of all things that I could just about not stand it. Who found my scoliosis? A chiropractor. I as a last desparation move went to see him and he knew after looking at my intake papers, what x-ray he should take. And although he helped me for quite awhile, maybe three or four years, and he diagnosed the deformity where the MD's did not, I have had to take responsibility and do some more looking for what I could do to help myself. In my opinion, a chiropractor knew more than the MD's about the nervous system. One MD, a back specialist, saw me and called me an elderly white lady and never once did he even touch my back. With this experience, I could readily come to a conclusion that they do NOT care or that I am freak that nobody cares about. Is that fair? No it is not fair. Surely somewhere there is an MD that cares. I just found my diagnosis with a chiropractor. So we cannot stereotype people or professions. It has been so bad here in the area where I live that I have thought about moving out of this state to find good medical care for my back. It will be okay and I will work it out if God gives me the strength and the time.

whatishappening
10-01-2011, 11:17 AM
Thank you so much for replying.

Gail I am so sorry you had to go through that. I am experiencing similar stuff. It has completely boggled my mind that no one wants to look at my bare back. I get the feeling that MD's think that this sort of thing is normal degeneration and unavoidable- or that is what they tell themselves. At the end of the day I think it is about money and who pays whom. Chiropractors are paid directly by the client whereas doctors are paid by insurance companies and the government- they will get paid reagrdless. This is all I can think of.

But I do get what you mean about chiropractors . I feel that they are sort of the last hope and they just do the best they can with their expertise. My chiropractor now is not even charging me anymore. He said because he can't guarantee results. He says he considers me his research project but I know this man is also an active guy in the local community there, and likes to help out, so really I am more like his little charity case. Because ofcourse I was going to run after 3 sessions when nothing really seemed to work. He knows this whole thing is ruining me finanically and emotionally. I am just breaking down figuratively and literally.


I went to a differnt chiropractor in June and that was the used car sales format. But even there I intuitively felt that the chiropractors job is to give out hope when everyone else tells you to F-OFF . Even that guy told me I could basically pay what I could. I mean, I don't know, I just don't know. Ofcourse I am still looking for an MD who is actually interested in the human body but I also work full time and it is just taking so long and I now honestly believe these doctors are few and far between.

In the meantime, I really like my chiroparctor, I mean, I know for sure he has a good heart and he is a good man. But honestly, ya, I don't think he is equipted to know wtf. I mean, geez, I need a friggin spine doctor- man I am just crying right now. But now I think- even spine doctors can not care about the spine , right, I mean, so many doctors just go into medicine to impress their parents etc, they have not real interest or care.

Anyway, so I really don't want to leave this chiropractor because I feel I really need him for moral support- he at least has taken the time to really listen and look at me and yes, he is the first person who said "migod, you are really twisted" Like the others, its as if they can't see in 3 dimensions!!!! Like they have no depth perception! Or don't take the time to look or care.

So he understands I think but I don't know if I should let him stretch my psaos because I think the tight psoas is holding things in place????????????????????????????????????????????? ?????????????????????