Can tight psoas muscle cause lower (lumbar) back pain? If yes, which exercise would be best to recover? Thanks.

How do you differentiate if the pain in lower back is because of tight psoas or due to locked facet joint (No neurological problem)?

EXTRA (if it seems relevant to question): This pain also seems to sometime transfer to hip and tail bone, and as per the MRI and X-ray reports there's no disk or nerve pinching problem I've had ~10 MRIs and 10 X-rays and all show no problem in spine or joint. Though there's inflammation in hip (it was in SI joint as well, but now it is not). It seems to me now that it is probably a muscle related problem.

  • I have this problem, my psoas are so tight that they actually pull my hips out of place and cause my SI joints to have major pressure and inflammation, it sucks. So far my chiro pops them back into place and is teaching me how to stretch and exercise the psoas so it stops happening, but my hip pops back out of place in under 16 hours usually.
    – MetaGuru
    Mar 21, 2011 at 20:56
  • Hi Ryan: Thanks for sharing your problem. My condition is also quite like yours. But I'm not sure if my psoas is tight though, however my symtoms are similar to yours. Pain in lower back, probably coming from SI joint. If one day I felt good by exercising etc, then the next day the pain comes back after sleeping i.e. the pain worsens on rest.
    – user106
    Mar 22, 2011 at 15:16
  • @Ryan I'm suspecting that what you describe is exactly what's ailing me for the last year! When your hip pops out of place, is it that you can not stand up straight without pain so you're hunched sideways a bit?
    – Lagerbaer
    Apr 11, 2011 at 3:07
  • @Lagerbaer it's not so noticeable to someone looking at me besides that my gait is a bit awkward, it's a very subtle shift in alignment but enough that it hurts really bad and has a domino effect on the rest of my alignment causing even more pain and discomfort, I need to work on my stretches and work on my psoas, my psoas muscles are all lumpy with knots, it's terrible
    – MetaGuru
    Apr 11, 2011 at 20:03
  • @Ryan Just a quick update on my own condition: I think I can safely trace my pack pain back entirely to a tight psoas and/or tight quads. Whether I go for a run or after a day of rock climbing, if I do not thoroughly stretch these muscle groups I will suffer from back pain the next day. I also notice that my left muscles are much tighter than my right ones, which probably contributes to the problem.
    – Lagerbaer
    Apr 9, 2012 at 17:46

1 Answer 1


Yes, it can cause lower back pain, groin pain, abdomen pain, and other pains. eHow has an article with some very good exercises to loosen the muscle and relieve much of the pain. It walks you through:

  • the Side Plank
  • Leg Lifts
  • Ball Squats
  • Lunges
  • Hamstring Curls
  • the Ball Raise

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