Injured Police Officer

by Ian
(Los Angeles, CA)

I have spent much of my adult with some low back pain, but never so much that it was more than a troubling annoyance. Chiropractors told me I had tight iliopsoas muscles and gave me some stretches which I occasionally did.

Then one day, after chasing a suspect, I was overwhelmed with pain and couldn't stand up. They took me to the hospital, and over the course of 3 years, I had a disk replacement at L5-S1, a dozen nerve blocks, tons of physical therapy and absolutely no results.

Taking Cyclobenzaprine helped with the pain, but it's major trigger is sitting down and holding heavy objects for more than about a minute. That means I can't sit in a police car or even wear a gun belt. Five minutes with one on will have me gring my teeth in pain.

My doctors are just now looking at the iliopsoas as a possible cause, and I've had trigger point injects with no relief. I also do about an hour and a half of stretching and strengthening a day which only seems to aggravate it. Does any of this ring any bells for you?

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May 22, 2014
Iliopsoas Syndrome Comes in Many Shapes and Sizes
by: Stephen at Lower Back Pain Answers

Hi Ian,

I'm sorry to hear about your struggles. What you describe can definitely be the result of a dysfunctional iliopsoas.

If either or both of the muscles that comprise the iliopsoas - the iliacus and the psoas - are in a chronic state of contraction, then a wide variety of symptoms can result potentially.

Why doesn't stretching resolve things?

Two reasons:

1) If static stretching is used there's always the possibility of provoking what's called the Protective Stretch Reflex. This is when the muscle kind of binds against the effort of the stretch. This why I'm a great proponent of Active Isolated Stretching.

2) The second reason is that sometimes a muscle requires direct, detailed hands-on therapy before it can lengthen properly. Over the years of treating this, I have found that this is often the case with the iliacus in particular.

In the self-treatment DVD I've created for this problem I show you how to perform this on yourself. I invite you to check out the overview page for more complete information.

Last I would just encourage you that you simply may not have turned over the right stone yet. Often when folks tell me they've "tried everything" there are still things that haven't, in fact, been tried.

I hope you find this helpful.

All the best,

Stephen at LBPA

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Stephen O'Dwyer, cnmt

Neuromuscular Therapist & Pain Relief Researcher

Stephen O'Dwyer, CNMT


Lower Back Pain Answers

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