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Psoas major is a long fusiform muscle located on the side of the lumbar region of the vertebral column and brim of the lesser pelvis. It joins the iliacus muscle to form the iliopsoas, and attaches into the top of the thigh (femur). In less than 50 percent of human subjects the psoas major is accompanied by the psoas minor. As part of the iliopsoas, psoas (major) contributes to flexion and external rotation in the hip joint. On the lumbar spine, unilateral contraction bends the trunk laterally, while bilateral contraction raises the trunk from its supine position.
It forms part of a group of muscles called the hip flexors, whose action is primarily to lift the upper leg towards the body when the body is fixed or to pull the body towards the leg when the leg is fixed.
For example, when doing a situp that brings the torso (including the lower back) away from the ground and towards the front of the leg, the hip flexors (including the iliopsoas) will flex the spine upon the pelvis.
Tightness of the psoas can result in lower back pain by compressing the lumbar discs.
The Piriformis muscle is situated between the anterior surface of the sacrum (the upside down triangular bone at the base of the spine)and the top lip of the femur (greater trochanter).
Piriformis plays a large role in sciatica and derivatives of this painful disorder. This is to do with the fact that the sciatic nerve travels in very close proximity to this muscle. Several variations occur, but the most common type of anomaly (81% of anomalies) is the Beaton’s type B which is when the common peroneal nerve pierces the piriformis muscle.
Piriformis Syndrome occurs when the piriformis muscle irritates the sciatic nerve, causing pain in the buttocks and referred pain along the sciatic nerve (posterior thigh, leg and foot).
This referred pain is known as sciatica.In 15% of the population the sciatic nerve courses through the piriformis muscle making this subgroup of the population predisposed to developing sciatica. Sciatica can be described by pain, tingling, or numbness deep in the buttocks and along the sciatic nerve. Sitting down, stretching, climbing stairs usually increases pain.
The Hamstring is a collective three muscles situated between the ischial tuberosity (lower portion of the pelvic ‘goggles’)and the tibia and fibula (lower leg bones just below the knee).
This collective cross two joints, the hip and knee. These attachments mean the main movements they provide are bending of the knee, and extension of the hip (pulling of the thigh backwards).
The Hamstrings play a crucial role in many daily activities, such as, walking, running, jumping, and controlling some movement in the trunk. In walking, they are most important as an antagonist to the quadriceps in the deceleration of knee extension.
The Hamstrings plays an essential role in characterizing body flexibility, making it an important muscle to maintain via stretching and exercising.
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