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Deep Tissue Massage

A deep tissue massage targets connective tissue underlying the muscles to ease postural problems, fibromyalgia, muscle spasms, carpal tunnel syndrome, whiplash and sports injuries.

Any benefit from deep tissue massage on the iliopsoas muscle?

Risa Mateo (West Hempstead, NY) on Oct 7, 2014
Opening up the illiopsoas muscle gives your body greater movement in the hip joints. The illiopsoas is a very deep hip flexor that tends to get tight on runners and cyclists. Some people find deep tissue massage on the psoas muscles uncomfortable. The pigeon pose in yoga is a great stretch for opening up the hips.
Toni Campbell (Brooklyn, CA) on Oct 7, 2014
Yes, It has been known that deep tissue can increase healing and mobility in this muscle. The only muscle to connect the lumbar spine to the legs, is the psoas. This muscle is a major walking muscle. We use it everyday. Also sitting too much or in a bad position can also harm this little muscle. This is the most difficult muscle to address. But with breathing and right technique you can achieve amazing results. Good luck!
Friska Streeter (Mokena, IL) on Oct 7, 2014
Yes, there are many benefits. First of all, Illiopsoas are the muscles which responsible for hip flexion. Since most of us these days do a lot of driving or sitting down at our job, a lot of times these muscles are tight. In some cases, athletes such as runners also have a lot of problem with these areas which can effect their performance. From all those factors, it makes sense for the muscles to harbor a lot of trigger points. But keep in mind, more likely, the clients that come to you have never had these muscles worked on previously. Therefore these areas will be very tender with deep pressure. With a lot of prep work (so the body can adjust to the pressure) and client-therapist communication, a trigger point work can increase range of motion of the hips, decrease hip pain, and increase blood flow to the hip. It is very important, however, for the massage therapist to be able to 'read' the client's pain tolerance. It's not very beneficial to force the client to receive deep tissue massage if the client isn't ready for it. The client's pain tolerance will dictate the progress of the treatment. He/she might only be able to handle superficial pressure on the first day, and the next session his/her body might be able to receive more pressure. It doesn't matter how fast or slow the progress is, as long as it's a progress. Open communication is always a great way to avoid the session to be 'too painful' for the client.
Nicole Johnson (Middle Village, NY) on Oct 7, 2014
Yes. This particular group of muscles are deep so massage is extremely beneficial. The actual treatment I would use in this situation is called Myofascial release.
Brian Kocun (New York, NY) on Oct 7, 2014
Psoas is the strongest hip flexor, that I find contracted on many of my clients. It can be released by simple myofascial strokes or more specific A.R.T protocols. Working on iliopsoas muscle can be also very uncomfortable for the client. Releasing psoas muscle contracture will immediately increase the range of motion in your hip and may decrease the pain in lower lumbar region.
Carin Piacente (Putnam Valley, NY) on Oct 7, 2014
Absolutely. The iliopsoas muscle has a tendency to become short and contracted. We use this muscle often especially from sit to stand. This muscle can be a culprit of low back problems. Due to the origin of this muscle, it can pull on the lumbar spine creating low back problems.
Amy Sonnanstine (Boulder, CO) on Oct 7, 2014
In my experience, yes, there is benefit from deep tissue psoas release. It can be a very tender muscle, so it is important to continually communicate with the client while working here. Clients report their hips feeling better and a lot looser afterward. It can especially be helpful for clients who do a lot of running or cycling. -Amy Sonnanstine, RMT NCTMB
Drew Gulsrud (Ventura, CA) on Oct 7, 2014
Absolutely! Massage can help to relax and lenghthen the muscle, alleviating, eliminating, or preventing lower back and/or pelvic pain and improving posture. It's also fairly common to find trigger points effecting other areas in this muscle since it is a hard worker that tends to be neglected. Massage is also beneficial to ALL the muscles simply because it flushes out lactic acid and improves circulation. Drew Gulsrud, LMT 888-274-8886
Michele Greholver (Portland, OR) on Oct 7, 2014
Yes. Deep tissue massage when applied to the iliacus and psoas muscles, can alleviate low back pain that has been unresponsive to massage of the lumbar paraspinals and low back. The iliopsoas is a hip flexor that originates on the anterior lumbar vertebrae and ilium of the pelvis, so it is best reached through the low abdomen. Deep tissue on the iliopsoas requires the client's complete relaxation, deep and focused breathing, and a skilled practitioner in order to be most effective.
Jennifer Parks (Palm Springs, CA) on Oct 7, 2014
My experience is that you need to have patience with this muscle. It's not one that you can just dive in, find and apply pressure. The client needs to be relaxed, and you slowly get deeper and deeper. A PT should also be able to diagnose whether it really is the psoas that needs attention. Sometimes it's the Transverse Abdominis that is pulling on the pubic synthesis and causing pain. There's a great utube video on the psoas massage. I'm sorry I cannot think of the practitioners name.
Nancy Paul (River Forest, IL) on Oct 7, 2014
There is definitely a benefit to treating the iliopsoas muscle. The iliopsoas muscle is a hip flexor; these days, it is not uncommon for people to work at a computer for hours a day, in a seated position, with their hips flexed. The iliopsoas muscle gets "used to" being contracted. Because this muscle attaches to the iliium (hip bone), a contracted iliopasoas can indirectly cause back pain, especially one iliospsoas is tighter than the other. I would treat the iliopsoas muscle with positional release -- a gentle, non-invasive technique that helps muscles relax and neurologically re-set.
Yusef Najem (Oakland, CA) on Oct 7, 2014
Beneficial Yes. This muscle, in particular, is located and connected internally as opposed to more surface muscles. To access this muscle it is necessary to delve deeply into layers of soft tissue. Work on this musle is helpful for pain management, and improved range of motion.
Danica Carlson (Berkeley, CA) on Oct 7, 2014
Absolutely. This is a deeper muscle that is hard to reach superficially. In fact if you have your therapist approach this muscle from the sideline position he or she will be better capable of reaching the entire muscle span and thus relieving the tension within. Thank you for your question and I wish you the best of luck with your search for answers! Warmly, Danica Carlson
Jon Tallerico (Springfield, MO) on Oct 7, 2014
There certainly could be some benefit, but... I'm not sure what condition is being benefited here. As with any massage, you have to weigh the risks versus the rewards. "Deep tissue" is usually reserved for massage where the intent is to press through the skin and fascia to access a deeper structure and then compress that structure against the bone. This is particularly painful and dangerous with the "illiopsoas" (I prefer to separate the iliacus and psoas maj. and min. since they are different muscles with different functions) especially when done by a poorly trained therapist. This region of the body is highly sensitive to pressure, and carries some fairly delicate structures that I would be reluctant to deeply influence without a good reason. Structures that underlie the iliacus and psoas include several nerves that then travel down the thigh, the Abdominal Aorta, and the inguinal ligament. This doesn't even begin to mention the viscera. So, without knowing why you are seeking "deep tissue" for your hip flexors/stabilizers, it is hard to say how beneficial that treatment could be, but it is fairly easy to see the risks.
Pauline Haughton (Fort Lauderdale, FL) on Oct 7, 2014
DT because anyone doing Swedish is not going into this area. of course there are benefits. Client should feel release of muscle on lower back area. Will allow hips to open up. May also allow bowel movements if client is a little or somewhat constipated. This should be a must for all massage sessions.
Scott Brukman (Denver, CO) on Oct 7, 2014
Any muscle can benefit from deep tissue massage. That muscle in particular, as it's a deep muscle underneath other muscles and requires deep work to get to it during massage
Enok Cuay (Antioch, TN) on Oct 7, 2014
Yes it would benefit minimal amount, but instead of deep tissue massage seek out Myofascial Trigger Point Therapy from a MTPT for fastest results. The iliopsoas muscle is known as "hidden prankster" because it is the leading cause of all lower back pain. The iliopsoas originates anterior to the transverse processes of the T12 to L5 vertebrae and inserts into the lesser trochanter of the femur. Both are innervated by the 1st through 3rd lumbar nerve roots. Unfortunately because of its location it is not treatable by most therapies. I do trigger point therapy within the femoral triangle to the distal attachment of the muscle. This is can be painful to the patient, but phenomenal in its positive effect. To treat the proximal attachment it's best to come in from the side, since it is on the anterior transverse processes. The most important key is to treat the muscles on the stretch to encourage the muscle fibers to lengthen.
Diana Sponsler (Syracuse, NY) on Oct 7, 2014
It depends on the practitioner. This area has many other structures. If it is done well by a competent party, it can help many issues from chronic low back pain to breathing problems and shoulder issues. Due to its function, and the many muscles that interrelate with it, releasing it can relieve pain in a variety of seemingly unrelated places.
Sharyn Cerio-Bernstein (Pueblo, CO) on Oct 7, 2014
Yes, there is definitely benefit from working the psoas muscle. Releasing the psoas can greatly reduce low back pain.This should always be done by a trained professional.
Joseph McCoy (Muenster, TX) on Oct 7, 2014
Yes, that is one of the root causes of Low back pain that most therapist fail to address. I always release iliopsoas to stabilize pelvis before starting a session. Too tight and hypertonic psoas, and sometimes just on one side.
Vladimir Batista (Miami Beach, FL) on Oct 7, 2014
You could walk more synchronized and balanced.
Rob Hundley (Broomfield, CO) on Oct 7, 2014
Iliopsoas release is one of the most beneficial massage techniques available. Given the fact that many people work, relax and sleep in a posture that shortens these deep abdominal muscles, they become chronically shortened and make it difficult to stand up straight. I would go so far as to say that many neck and upper back issues can be improved by lengthening the iliopsoas. Find a therapist who has experience working these deep muscles. It will be worth it.
Steven Green (Chicago, IL) on Oct 7, 2014
iliopoas is a mucles that disfuntions from sitting to long everyday . it needs to be lossened an lengthened because it is now short from sitting all day. its a deep muscle so deep tissue massage is required which can be confused with increased deep presure. increased presure will hurt an cause a reflex spasim
Teena A Masters (West Mifflin, PA) on Oct 7, 2014
Yes, deep tissue work on the iliopsoas can be beneficial, especially if you have any tightness issues in the groin area that seem to extend into the upper thighs, or feel like you can't fully stand up straight. The work is a little tricky and not always very comfortable for the client because you have to work around the intestines to some extent to truly reach the iliopsoas, but it can be done. There are also some exercises for stretching the iliopsoas which might be worth trying first to see if they have a positive impact on the issues mentioned above before trying the deep tissue work. I hope this answers your question.
Nicole Keane (Anchorage, AK) on Oct 7, 2014
Yes, but you really have to find someone that knows how to work this area. Active Release Technique can be very effective and the protocols for treatment are standardized, so every therapist that does ART should be working the muscle in a fairly similar way. That would be a decent place to start.
Kim Greenlee (El Paso, TX) on Oct 7, 2014
I recommend stretching and neuromuscular massage for the iliopsoas muscle.
Mary Jo Smiley (Warrendale, PA) on Oct 7, 2014
Of course, but the therapist would have to be addressing the Iliopsoas directly. It is quite deep in the belly and would not usually be treated in most massage sessions. Treating the trigger points there can eliminate the referred pain from those trigger points that are in the low back and front of the upper leg.
Rosemary Rickard (Tampa, FL) on Oct 7, 2014
Yes, especially if your muscle is tight and is throwing your pelvis out of alignment. Structural Integration will reorganize your posture more than basic deep tissue.
Nigel Hunt (New York, NY) on Oct 7, 2014
Iliopsoas is best restored and stretched through proprioceptive neuromuscular Facilitation (PNF) deep massage to this area will have some effect, but the these strong hip flexors needs to be stretch out to its full range of Motion. When hypertonic, Iliopsoas can pull the pelvis forward and offset the gate. Nigel Hunt Massage For Health And Fitness
Christina Richards (New York, NY) on Oct 7, 2014
I doing Rolfing structural integration. The iliopsoas muscle connects the leg to the spine. It is one of our core muscles that flexes our legs or trunk and hopefully is active in walking. Working on this muscle group will allow the lumbar curve to lengthen, the pelvis to come closer to neutral, and helps regulate elimination if the psoas is not allowing the sacral plexus (nerves) to function. Anger and fear are motions associated to this muscle group so they can be released as well.
Larry Tipper (Wilmington, NC) on Oct 7, 2014
The iliopsoas muscle is under the abdominul muscles. you have to worm up the whole abdominal cage in order to go to the iliopsoas muscle. NMT is recommended.
Paula Reeder (Katy, TX) on Oct 7, 2014
Of course there is!
Nitasha Canine (Charlottesville, VA) on Oct 7, 2014
Yes. Absolutely if it is shortened and causing gait and posture restriction. Finding someone to do it right is another story! Good luck!
Adele Newlin (New York, NY) on Oct 7, 2014
Accessing the iliopsoas can help lower back issues
Jennifer Stanley (Georgetown, MA) on Oct 7, 2014
All muscles benefit from massage no matter where they are located even intercostals between the ribs are relaxed and released by deep tissue massage check out for more info and assistance
Jeff Byrd (Las Vegas, NV) on Oct 7, 2014
No, the Psoas Major and Iliacus are behind the intestines also a major nerve. Look for a therapist that has a trigger point certification and an understanding anatomy.
Peggy Richards (Scottsdale, AZ) on Oct 7, 2014
Ida Rolf feels the 5th hour of her Strucutural Integration series (also known as Rolfing) is one of the major keys to her work and it focuses on lengthening the iliopsoas. Her students developed or created Deep Tissue Massage. My first suggestion would be to get Rolfed and my second would be to find some one who knows how to work the iliopsoas so if it is to short, or out of the best position it can be in to support the rest of your body, especially your ability to stand with more ease, etc., get a session with them. Thank you, Peggy Richards Scottsdale, AZ
Carol Stuhmer (Miami, FL) on Oct 7, 2014
yes, however it can take time. Find someone who knows how to do specific treatment for IP. It is not uncommon of course that other muscles are involved.
George Engelhard (Orlando, FL) on Oct 7, 2014
Iliopsoas is not easily accessable. The only way to get to it is through the abdomen. Because it is so difficult to get to and because, if there are issues with it is extremely tender, deep tissue is not appropriate. the muscle must be approached slowly and carefully, using limited pressure held until the muscle relaxes.There are stretches that can be done to help alleviate problems with iliopsoas, some done by a therapist and some done by the patient/client.
Stephanie Cavoli (Schenectady, NY) on Oct 7, 2014
Absolutely! Any massage on this muscle is going to be considered deep tissue because it is located deep within your abdomen. It is beneath your intestines, reproductive organs, and along the anterior side of your spine. When this muscle is tight, or in a constant state of contraction, it can cause severe lower back pain. People who sit, or drive more than usual often times have trouble with this muscle and visiting a massage therapist comfortable with releasing the iliopsoas can really make a difference. Some clients visit every few weeks, as it can offer really great pain relief for those who have trouble with it. Caution, depending on your body this massage technique can be a little uncomfortable and even a bit painful. If you trust your therapist, and have tried other things, it will certainly be worth it. I recommend Neuromuscular therapy, and a Pin and Stretch method that starts with you lying on your back with one knee bent. As the therapist gently pins the muscle, pulling your leg back down will stretch it, and although it can feel uncomfortable, most clients report positive results afterwards!
Mark Lohmann (Fort Lauderdale, FL) on Oct 7, 2014
You can reach a very small portion of fibers by massage. Sometimes this may bring about a pretty good release when trigger points are hit by a talented therapist. Active Isolated Stretching works many more fibers of the psoas that are impossible to massage. It's far more thorough and effective.
Brionna Brouhard (Salem, OR) on Oct 7, 2014
Absolutely. Especially if there's sciatic nerve pain occurring also. Deep tissue massage can release a tight psoas muscle and relieve the nerve issues.
Theodore Schiff (Northampton, MA) on Oct 7, 2014
Yes so long as you are comfortable with the therapist. This is very personal space. It can also be very well addressed with Positional Release Therapy, which is not invasive work. Ted Schiff-Valley Massage Therapy (413)687-7878,
Tim Garrison (Plumsteadville, PA) on Oct 7, 2014
short answer: YES! long answer: below: I am a myofascial release practitioner and the psoas is a key component in restoring the body's optimal function. The iliopsoas is important in keeping the hips in balance. At the start of every session, John Barnes trained, myofascial release therapists, do a brief postural assessment. The first thing we look at are the hips. MOST folks have a hip imbalance. One hip is rotated forward, pushing the femur or leg down on that side.( Some folks have both sides shortened causing a lordosis or too much lumbar curve. ) Over time, this imbalance can create tension and inflammation patterns throughout the body. The hips provide a stable platform for the rest of the body to orient around. A tight or chronically shortened illiopsoas muscle can cause a multitude of issues, including: ankle, knee, hip, shoulder, back, and neck pain, scoliosis, tmj, headaches, bunions, tendonitis, etc. Due to the fact that we spend so much time sitting in the car or at the desk or on the couch, these muscles are constantly in a shortened position, causing them to tighten over time. For more info on The John Barnes Approach to Myofascial Release go to
Margarita Perez (Jersey City, NJ) on Oct 7, 2014
There is more than one issue here. It is not uncommon that improvement requires lymphatic drainage massage followed by deep tissue massage. This can be done in the same session but for better results, I usually recommend that the LD be session be followed by one or two days of rest, and then the DT massage.
Kate Reust (Seattle, WA) on Oct 7, 2014
IF done correctly and slowly - work on the psoas is VERY helpful for many low back pain conditions or pelvic instability problems. But you want to work with someone very experienced with addressing the psoad and related hip structures (both hard and soft) .
Ivan Ivanov (New York, NY) on Oct 7, 2014
Generally speaking, massage is beneficial for muscles and the iliopsoas is no exception.The iliopsoas group is the strongest hip flexor. It is prone to shortening when stressed and tends to move the top of the hip bone forward and the lumbar spine into a hyperlordosis. The iliopsoas is frequently an overlooked source of lower back pain. The bad news is that the psoas muscle is located deep in the abdomen and working on it causes discomfort to the client but it is worth it. Do not do it if you have high blood pressure.
Carol Hayes (West Dundee, IL) on Oct 7, 2014
Yes, there definitely is a benefit with deep tissue massage on the iliopsoas muscle! It may be somewhat uncomfortable, I have had it done myself, but the end results are less or elimination of any pain or tightness in that area.