When we experience low back pain, most of us would probably blame bad posture (slouching) for the discomfort and in many cases you’d be correct. But there is an often forgotten cause of back pain that can be treated successfully with some simple stretching exercises and that is a tight or shortened Psoas muscle.
The Psoas (pronounced: So-as) is located deep in the abdomen and attaches the femur (thigh) to the pelvis and lumbar spine (low back). Its job is hip flexion; pulling our thigh up towards our chest. We use is when we walk, dance or kick a ball.
Prolonged sitting and lack of exercise can, over time, shorten the Psoas. When we stand up after sitting for a while, the shortened Psoas pulls the lumbar spine forward into increased lordosis (sway back). We often experience this as a stiff or achy low back.
These simple stretching exercises can be done twice a day initially until the discomfort starts to subside and then continued daily to combat the effects of prolonged sitting.