Exercises for Psoas Muscle Spasms

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The psoas muscles are also known as the hip flexors. (Image: NOVKOV/iStock/Getty Images)

Your psoas muscles are the muscles located in the front of your hip area. These muscles are responsible for helping you lift your leg and move your torso toward your thighs. If you experience a muscle cramp in the psoas area, a number of things could be to blame. Possible causes include muscle strain from overuse, not enough potassium or calcium in your blood, compression of the nerves in your hips, or not enough blood flow to the area. If you experience spasms in this area, slow, gentle stretching can relieve tense muscles and reduce cramping.

Lying Hip Flexor Stretch

This stretch helps to lengthen the psoas muscles and can be performed several times a day. Lie on the edge of a bed or weight bench, with your feet on the floor. Tuck your pelvis in slightly to put your lower back on the ground. Slowly lift your left leg off the ground, wrap your hands around your knee, and pull it toward your chest. Hold this position for 15 seconds, then lower your foot back to the floor. Repeat by stretching your right knee. Repeat the stretch until you've stretched your legs four times.

Lunge Stretch

While this stretch can effectively lengthen the psoas muscles, take care not to pull the muscles to the point of strain. Start in a kneeling position, then place one foot on the ground, making a 90-degree angle with your lower leg and thigh. Place your hands on your hips and reach forward, feeling a stretch in the side of your hip. If the muscle continues to spasm, you may wish to rub it gently as you stretch. Hold this position for 15 seconds, then release the stretch. Repeat on the opposite side.

Pigeon Pose

The pigeon pose is a traditional yoga pose that's effective in releasing the psoas muscles. To perform, sit on the floor with your feet touching each other. Extend your right leg back as if you're in a splits position. Continue to keep the left leg forward and bent. Slowly lean forward to stretch the left leg. You also should feel a stretch in the right hip flexor. Hold this position for 30 seconds to one minute, then release the stretch. Repeat by bending the right leg forward, then straighten the leg backward.

Cross-Legged Pose

This simple stretching pose can be performed almost anywhere. Start by sitting on the ground, then cross one leg over each other. You should feel a stretch in your hip flexors. Lean forward to deepen the stretch, keeping your back straight. Hold this stretch for 30 seconds, then release it. Repeat the stretch by crossing the legs with the opposite leg on top.

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