The Iliopsoas (il-ee-o-so-az) is a group of 2 muscles that combine and flex the hip (i.e. bringing your knee toward your chest flexes the hip, or being seated your hip is in the flexed position). As a combined muscle it is considered the most powerful flexor of the thigh. The iliopsoas originates at the front portions of the T12 to L5 vertebrae and inserts into the ‘lesser trochanter’ portion of the femur at the hip joint. Both are innervated by the 1st – 3rd lumbar nerve roots, which means that the alignment of the 1st three lumbar vertebrae directly effect this muscle and vice versa.
Because it is a major flexor, when in spasm or even weakness of that muscle can cause many of the surrounding muscles to compensate and become overused, spasmodic and painful. The iliopsoas is often involved with lower back pain, hip pain, and even pain in the groin area. It’s gets tight when we sit a lot, which most of us are guilty of this because of our education, careers or travelling.