The Hidden Survival Muscle and the Natural Behavior that is Killing Us

We all want to be healthy. We don’t plan to do things to cause ourselves pain or suffering.

But life happens.

We find jobs that require us to sit at a desk for hours upon hours. We work long hours to make headway in our careers. We put our children first. We make sure they have what they need, and enable them to participate in the hobbies they want. We don’t take the time to care for ourselves physically, and then one day it happens…Persistent leg, hip or lower back pain. Pain when walking or standing too long, back pain when sitting and bad posture.

We rationalize it away. We tell ourselves we have the pain and bad posture because we worked 12 hours that day leaning over a desk, and assure ourselves the pain will be better after sleeping and stretching our backs out. And that rationale works for a little while. Then suddenly it hits us that it’s been months of daily pain, and we start to think maybe there’s something more happening and we just don’t know what to do about it.

How do We Walk and Stand?

The hip flexors are a group of muscles that bring your legs and body together. Some things these muscles allow you to do is move your leg or knee up to your chest, walk and balance yourself. Part of the hip flexor muscles are called the psoas (so-az). Here is where the psoas muscles are located:

Daily Behavior that’s Killing Us

An inactive lifestyle can contribute to these and other muscles becoming weak. When they are not used, just like any other muscle, they can waste away or become weak. Science Digest reports that approximately 36 percent of adults in the United States do not engage in any physical activity in their free time.

Adding to the problem of inactivity is a natural occurring body position but a most unhealthy one: SITTING.

The Mayo Clinic states, “Any extended sitting — such as at a desk, behind a wheel or in front of a screen — can be harmful. An analysis of 13 studies of sitting time and activity levels found that those who sat for more than eight hours a day with no physical activity had a risk of dying similar to the risks of dying posed by obesity and smoking.”

It’s not our fault we sit so much. It’s a function of the types of jobs in society: computer jobs, contact representatives, business executives, etc. So when a muscle, which is essential with almost every movement, isn’t used enough we find ourselves with problems such as lower back pain.

Simple Stretching May Work

As you see from the picture above, the psoas muscle is deep in the body – almost buried. It is why it has earned the term “hidden survival muscle”. Hidden because of its location, and survival because it is associated with just about every type of movement.

Society has provided us with many conveniences.  Between conveniences,  jobs and kids we tend to live a more sedentary lifestyle than we should. So if you suffer from and ailments mentioned in this post, and your Doctor can not find any other underlying problems, you’ve probably already tried simple stretches.  Stretches for the best lower back pain relief may take time to work.

Keep on stretching!

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One thought on “The Hidden Survival Muscle and the Natural Behavior that is Killing Us”

  1. I’ve always said consistent exercise of these muscles will help for the long-term. As we spend much of our lives sitting these days, our hip flexors are at serious risk of getting weakened. Ditto for our abdominals and spinal erectors. One reason so many of us have weakened cores and low back pain is directly related to our increasingly sedentary lifestyles. Good post and good suggestions.

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