How a Tight PSO-AS Muscle Impacts Gut Health
When you have gut issues, sometimes it feels like they’ll last forever. The constant abdominal pain and digestive problems like bloating, gas, constipation, and diarrhea can really put you through the wringer.
But before you resign to a life filled with annoying and frustrating gut-related issues, consider this: A tight psoas muscle could actually be the root cause of your stomach problems.
For starters, what’s your PSO-AS muscle and how does it affect gut health?
Your PSO-AS muscle is a long muscle found in the back of your abdomen It extends through your gut on both sides, wrapping around the pelvis and connecting with your femur bone.
Major functions of your PSO-AS muscle include spine stabilization and hip flexion, which enables you to walk, take the stairs, and sit down without pain.
The PSO-AS also acts as a sort of protective shield or mantle for organs in your digestive tract, such as your stomach, intestines, pancreas, and bladder—all of which are key to gut health and digestion.
Considering the fact that your PSO-AS muscle crosses over your stomach, it comes into close contact with many organs in your digestive tract. Strain or tension in the psoas muscle can lead to a variety of gut-related issues, such as:
- Abdominal bloating
- Digestive disorders like IBS
- Acid reflux
A tight PSO-AS also leads to inflammation in the body that limits the amount of space in your stomach and shortens your torso. This negatively impacts your body’s ability to absorb food and eliminate waste, which ultimately, reduces gut motility and causes indigestion.
When you have a tight PSO-AS, it not only hurts but throws a lot of bodily processes out of whack.
What other problems can a tight PSO-AS cause?
A tight PSO-AS can present many problems, which include:
- Pain in your lower back: This might be the most obvious sign of a tight psoas muscle. It can also cause pain in your hips, pelvis, and legs.
- Chronic stress: It’s human instinct to bring your legs up close to your chest when you’re scared. However, a tight PSO-AS makes that virtually impossible, and your body knows it. Pso, it activates a fight or flight response that places you under constant stress.
- Diaphragmatic breathing issues: It compresses your organs, which impacts your breathing.
- Fertility problems: If you’re a female, the psoas muscle is situated close to your ovaries, which can result in stress signals that unsettle hormones, fertility, and cause menstrual pain.
Relief for a tight PSO-AS muscle
The good news is that there are many ways to gain much-needed relief. Here are some techniques for releasing a tight PSO-AS muscle:
Ever had a massage that felt like it just didn’t get deep enough? Consider going with a self-massage tool.
Self-massage allows you to focus on the specific trouble spots that are giving you discomfort, such as a tight PSO-AS muscle. And the benefits of what self-massage can do for you are virtually endless.
It increases blood flow and circulation, which:
- Relieves muscle tension and tightness
- Reduces stiffness
- Enhances flexibility and provides relief to distressed areas
- Soothes swelling and scar tissue
More blood flow and circulation also enable your body’s organs to function at peak capacity. That includes the organs in your digestive tract, especially those that are key to gut health and digestion, such as your stomach, small intestine, and large intestine.
The benefits of self-massage aren’t just limited to relieving tension in your muscles. Self-massage is the ultimate stress reliever to help you relax and decompress. At the end of the day, who doesn’t like a nice massage?
In fact, self-message is the preferred method of professional athletes worldwide. Check out this clip where Michael Chandler, 3x MMA World Champion fighter, talks about his experience using PSO-RITE on the Joe Rogan Podcast.
Constructive rest position
This might just be the MVP of PSO-AS relief positions. The constructive rest helps to stretch and lengthen your PSO-AS muscle, which alleviates muscle tension and decompresses your spine so that your digestive system can effectively run its course.
To get into the constructive rest position, lay down on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Practice taking deep breaths in and out, focusing your thoughts on the muscle tension and tightness in your PSO-AS melting away like butter, and achieving optimal gut health.
To perform this stretch, place your right foot on the ground so that it makes a straight line with your knee. Place your hands on top of your right thigh for support and lean forward so that your left leg is extended behind you. To supercharge this stretch, place your hands above your head and really focus on leaning forward. Make sure to repeat this stretch on the other side.
Lay flat on your back with your arms to the side. Keep your feet flat on the floor, bend your knees and elevate your back off the ground so that you’re now in a glute hold position. Your knee should be making a straight line with your ankle. And you should be able to trace a straight line from your shoulders up to your knees. Really brace your core, contract your glutes, and hold this position for about 30 seconds. Take a break, then repeat as necessary.
Relax in a sauna
Research shows that saunas can be an effective method for providing relief from back pain. Heat therapy (aka hyperthermia) dilates your blood vessels and increases blood flow/circulation, which relaxes tight muscles and alleviates pain.
Wrappings Things Up
The PSO-AS muscle is widely considered to be the soul of your body. It stimulates our fight-or-flight response, provides support to our digestive organs, has a hand in the quality of your breathing, and a whole lot more.
Common symptoms of a tight PSO-AS muscle include low back pain, gut problems, chronic stress, disrupted breathing, and fertility issues. But on the plus side, there are a ton of ways to attain relief.
Consider investing in a self-massage tool. Our one-of-a-kind PSO-RITE® deep tissue self-massage tool is designed to give you that extra oomph for self-massage, providing first-rate muscle tension relief, improved range of motion, and increased flexibility. Think of the PSO-RITE as your own personal masseuse you can take with you wherever you go!
Its sleek design makes finding relief for problem areas easy and stress-free. With the innovative PSO-RITE self-massage tool, ease muscle tension in your PSO-AS, hip flexors, hamstrings, inner thighs, glutes, calves, upper back, arms, and more.
Stretches and different positions like the runner’s lunge, glute bridges, and constructive rest can also help stretch and lengthen your PSO-AS muscle, which is key to relieving muscle tension. Relaxing in a sauna or any kind of heat therapy may also be beneficial, as it increases blood flow and can also help relax your muscles.
Those who have worked on relieving tension in their PSO-AS will tell you that they’ve felt less stressed, have gotten better sleep, were able to put an end to their urinary problems, and improved their gut health and digestion.
So now, it’s time for you to go out there and put some of the strategies in this post to good use!
If you found this blog post helpful, here are a few more you might like:
- How to Stretch the Psoas Muscle
- Can You Help Your Digestion By Massaging Your Mid-Section?
- The Best Sleeping Positions for Lower Back Pain
- Everything You Need to Know About Hip Flexor Strains
About the Author: Chad Richardson is a blog copywriter from Cincinnati, OH who’s passionate about creating content that helps people achieve sustainable, long-term health. When he’s not behind his computer, you’ll find Chad jumping rope in his backyard, in the kitchen trying out new recipes, or scrolling through Netflix in search of a new binge-worthy show.