Does Acupuncture For Psoas Pain Work?


The psoas muscles are the deepest muscles in your core and are responsible for stabilizing your spine. The psoas muscles begin at the 12th thoracic vertebrae to the 5th lumbar vertebrae and go through the pelvis, connecting the lower back to each femur. These muscles play a crucial role in many bodily movements, from bending over to straightening to walking. Psoas muscle injuries can cause debilitating pain, and can even make breathing and going to the bathroom difficult. If you’re dealing with psoas dysfunction, you may be wondering, does acupuncture for psoas pain work?

Acupuncture is particularly helpful for treating psoas muscle pain. Acupuncture increases circulation to the injured psoas muscles, and encourages healthy muscle contraction and relaxation, allowing you to use your psoas muscles efficiently and pain-free.

What are the psoas muscles and what do they do?

The psoas muscles (pronounced “SO-az”) are involved in just about every bodily movement. These muscles join the spine with the hips and legs, so you can walk, run, lay down, bend, and flex. The psoas muscles stabilize your core and spine, so healthy, functional psoas muscles are critical for good posture. 

Psoas pain is characterized by hip, leg, buttock, and lower back pain. The pain may result in a limited range of hip motion, poor posture, a protruding abdomen, and difficulty standing up straight. You may also struggle to move your thighs backward and have symptoms of quad strain and facet joint pain  

People who deal with psoas pain may find it difficult to stand or sit in one position for more than a few minutes. You may limp or shuffle when you walk, and one of your legs may be slightly shorter than the other. Psoas pain can radiate to surrounding muscle groups over time, so you may experience stiffness and weakness in other parts of your body as well. 

Psoas pain can contribute to a variety of secondary symptoms, like chest breathing. Weak psoas muscles cause compensatory thrusting of the ribcage, which results in short, shallow breaths. Inadequate oxygen intake leads to air hunger and fatigue. Strained psoas muscles can also make it difficult to empty your bowels, resulting in chronic constipation. 

How can acupuncture for psoas pain treat your symptoms?

If you’re a dancer, athlete, manual laborer, or simply an active person, then you rely on your psoas muscles to optimize your physical performance. You’re also at a higher risk of developing psoas strains and injuries, which can lead to loss of strength and limited range of motion. 

Fortunately, acupuncture for psoas pain can help you overcome the inflammation without having to rely on prescription medications. Regular acupuncture sessions can improve your posture, reduce stress, and promote circulation to the psoas muscles, allowing you to regain strength, flexibility, and control. 

As acupuncture needles are inserted, they create tiny tears in the muscle fibers. These tears stimulate the nervous system, increasing circulation to the injury site. By bringing more oxygen and blood to the tissues, this enables the body to repair damaged psoas muscles and reduce inflammation naturally. 

Not only does acupuncture help fight psoas pain, but it also improves musculoskeletal function, treating the secondary symptoms of psoas inflammation. By reducing stress and relieving inflammation throughout the body, acupuncture fights muscle pain naturally so you can use your body more efficiently, thereby reducing your risk of injury. 

What to expect during your first acupuncture visit

During your first visit, your acupuncturist will ask you about your health history to get a clearer picture of your condition and to determine which treatment options will work best for you. Once your treatment plan has been created, your session will begin. Remember to wear comfortable clothing to your acupuncture session so you can move easily. 

Your acupuncturist will begin by placing needles in key points across your body. You may feel a sense of pressure as the needles are inserted, followed by a sense of release. Acupuncture is believed to trigger the release of endorphins and other mood-regulating neurotransmitters, so you’ll likely find your session incredibly relaxing!

Once all of the needles are in place, you’ll be asked to lie back for 10 to 40 minutes while they do their work. This gives your muscles a chance to loosen up. Acupuncture can also be used with massage to release deep muscle tension. 

When your session is over, the needles will be removed, and you can be on your way. Your acupuncturist may advise you to perform certain exercises or to refrain from exercise completely, depending on your situation. It’s important to follow their advice to enhance the effects of the treatment. 

How often should you get acupuncture for psoas pain?

As a general rule, chronic conditions require more acupuncture sessions than acute injuries. However, the severity of your symptoms also plays a role in determining how often you’ll need to receive acupuncture treatments

If you’ve suffered a strained muscle, then your acupuncturist may recommend bi-weekly acupuncture sessions for a period of 2 to 4 months to get you back on your feet. But if you’ve struggled with musculoskeletal pain for a while, then you may need ongoing acupuncture for psoas pain. 

Corrective exercise programming can also be hugely beneficial for psoas dysfunction. This type of therapy works by identifying underperforming muscle groups and bringing them back into work to relieve the burden placed on surrounding muscle groups. Overall, corrective exercise programming teaches you how to use your body properly to reduce the risk of strain and injury. 

Your acupuncturist may recommend additional therapies, like electrostimulation and orthopedic acupuncture to maximize your results. Using these therapies together enhances the benefits of each, and can speed up the recovery process. 

Booking your first acupuncture appointment

Ready to take the plunge and begin your healing journey? At Lycoming Orthopedic & Sports Acupuncture, we’re here to help. If you’re tired of struggling with your psoas pain, you don’t have to go through it alone. Let us work with you to come up with an acupuncture treatment plan that gets you the results you want. 

Contact our office to learn more about how acupuncture for psoas pain can help you finally overcome your symptoms and get back to living the life you enjoy. Book your appointment at one of our clinics today and stand up to the pain that has been holding you back. 

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