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Psoas Release Guide For Pain & Trauma Relief

Psoas, like Iliacus, is a hip flexor muscle on the front of the body that causes a ton of low back pain when tight. Fortunately, QL Claw's ramp is a very effective Psoas release tool.

Release the Psoas with the tutorial below, and scroll down to the Psoas Pain Symptoms section to learn more about Psoas and to determine if it is the source of your pain. 


Psoas Release Tutorial

Psoas Release Placement:

Psoas Release Placement
Psoas Release Massage Tool
Psoas Release Tool Placement

Psoas Release Video Walkthrough:


Psoas Release Written Tutorial

Placement: The Psoas target location lies between the belly button and the protruding hip bone in the front of the body. Orient the Claw so that it is right on the waistline. Lay on the Claw stomach-first, leaning the body towards the ramp (big/wide end) portion. The ramp will be doing the Psoas release work.

Motion: Breathe deep into the belly slowly - push the Claw out on the inhale, and sink into the Claw on the exhale. Psoas release can be felt after a few breaths, but a very tight Psoas may require a few minutes to release.

deep psoas trauma release

Additional Psoas Release Pressure 1: Engage the glute muscle on the same side as the Psoas being released. Lock that same side leg out so that the knee is off the ground, while keeping the glute engaged. This will place additional pressure on the Psoas and break up any tight tissue in the area.

manual psoas release

Additional Psoas Release Pressure 2: Take the opposite side leg (leg on the side with the Psoas NOT being released) and bring the knee out to the side of the body. The knee and foot on this side should both be on the ground. This will tilt the body into the releasing side, releasing the Psoas with greater pressure.

self psoas release techniques

Additional Psoas Release Pressure 3: Place a book underneath the Claw to elevate it 1-3 inches. This can be particularly beneficial for persons with larger waists and belly fat.

How to know you've released a trigger point: When you release a knot/trigger point, you will feel the muscle give and will simultaneously feel the device sink in to your body. A massage generally feels less painful under higher pressure once a trigger point is released.


Psoas Release FAQ:

Deep Psoas Trauma Release

The Psoas muscle can hold emotional stress and trauma for years. Deep breathing, massage, and stretching can open up the Psoas and release muscular guarding associated with traumatic memories.

How To Use Psoas Release Tool

Place your Psoas release tool directly on the Psoas muscle, and slowly lay on it. Allow your body to sink into the tool and place massage pressure on the Psoas muscle.

Take deep, slow belly breaths against the Psoas release tool to massage the Psoas gently. After 15-20 breaths, you should notice considerable release in the Psoas muscle.

What Does Psoas Release Feel Like?

Lower back pain relief, hip pain relief, improved flexibility, and deeper breathing are a few of the physical benefits of Psoas release.

Stress relief, trauma relief, and improved body language and confidence are emotional benefits of what Psoas release feels like.

How To Release Psoas Muscle & Trigger Point

The steps above show the most effect way to release the Psoas via massage. Massage is the best method of trigger point release - although deep breathing, stretching, and walking can also contribute to Psoas muscle release.


Psoas Release - Pain Symptoms

Psoas Anatomy & Function: 

Psoas is a large hip flexor muscle on the front of the body that connects from the lumbar vertebrae to the top of the femur. The main function of Psoas is in hip flexion (bringing the knee to the chest), and also in stabilizing the lower spine and pelvis [1].

Psoas Muscle Release Tool
Psoas Muscle

Psoas Pain Mechanism: 

Due to its nature as a hip flexor, the Psoas muscle shortens and tightens dramatically when sitting. When Psoas shortens, it pulls on the lower back directly and causes back pain - this is a major reason why many people who work desk jobs have back pain.

Psoas Pain Symptoms: 

Psoas muscle pain will typically manifest as low back pain, but can also cause pain in the front of the hip [2]. The image below depicts where Psoas pain is felt in the body [1]. This image only shows one-sided Psoas pain, but both sides generally hurt together (picture the bright red symmetric on both sides of the body).

Psoas Pain Release Chart

Psoas Trigger Point Pain Chart [1]


Psoas Release Tool - QL Claw

In order to successfully release the Psoas muscle, you are going to need the right tool for the job. *One note: Psoas muscle release can be done by the hands of a physical or massage therapist, but it can be very beneficial to have a tool on hand to release the Psoas muscle exactly when you need it - for instance after a long day slouching at work.

The most therapeutic, versatile Psoas muscle release tool is undoubtedly QL Claw. QL Claw was designed to release the 5 main muscles that can contribute to lower back pain when tight, and Psoas is high on that list. This is important because if you have a tight Psoas muscle, chances are high that you also have tension built up in other areas.

Read about Psoas muscle release and QL Claw below:



Psoas Release Stretch:

Massaging tension from the Psoas will relieve most of its stiffness. However, after massaging the Psoas muscle, it is important to stretch it out to maximize tension release. Stretching the muscle will also lengthen tight muscle fibers that have been left stagnant and inactive. Two great stretches for the Psoas muscle can be found here: Hip Flexor Stretches for Low Back Pain Relief. In this video, I dive into the importance of stretching your hip flexors/Psoas muscle and how to complete these stretches with proper form.

Other Psoas Release Treatments Include:

  • Hip extension exercises that work surrounding muscles to the Psoas
  • Fixing your posture (keep a straight back and pelvis) and sleeping position (pillow under legs for less strain on hip flexors)
  • Regular walks to keep the Psoas muscle flexible and active
  • Strengthening your abdominal muscles (be sure to not over work hip flexor and ab muscles)
  • Use a massage tool (QL Claw) to massage and stretch low back and hip muscles for increased flexibility.


Psoas Release:

Scroll up to see how effective QL Claw is at Psoas muscle release! 


(Psoas Release Tool)

Check out our tutorials for releasing other low back-pain-inducing muscles below!



[1] Donnelly, Joseph M. Travell, Simons & Simons Myofascial Pain and Dysfunction: the Trigger Point Manual. 3rd ed., Wolters Kluwer Health, 2019.

[2] Davies, Clair, and Amber Davies. The Trigger Point Therapy Workbook: Your Self-Treatment Guide for Pain Relief. 3rd ed., New Harbinger Publications, Inc., 2013.

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