Lower Back Pain, I Did It Again, And I Know Better

lower back pain
I yanked my right psoas muscle, and it’s easy done with a previously injured muscle or muscle group.

I was happily working on the latest book, and lost track of time. After about three hours, lost in my writing, I suddenly thought, “Did I leave the kettle on for coffee, I’ll have burned it again.” So! I put the computer down and jumped up.

Bad decision!

My right psoas (hip flexor) spasmed, bringing the left one with it (they are close friends), and I had to cancel a planned bike ride that day. In fact, my psoas history and the recent pandemic each played a role:

  • I badly strained my right psoas about 15 years ago, by spending two hours and twenty minutes on my PowerCranks, and then going for a run (silly me), but on meeting a younger friend, also running, I picked up the pace (really bad idea).
  • The gym and pool are closed due to covid-19, so less cross training and a LOT more biking, and I forget I’m about to turn 77 years of age. Relevant? Probably!
  • I usually stretch at the gym, and right now I’m tending to stretch less due to disruption of this routine.
  • I’m energized by my new book, related to animal welfare, so I become engrossed.
lower back pain
Over two hours on PowerCranks? Boy, I was fit back then.

That’s all it took to spasm my psoas muscles and have me hobbling around (trying to walk normally, which is the best approach).

Treatment: gentle release with my thumb, gentle stretching, move a lot, while relaxing my hips, don’t sit continuously for too long without moving.

Oops! Better get moving.

I should know better, having written a book on pain.

Wishing you happy hip flexors, and no lower back pain, which is a real pain.

kev aka FitOldDog


  1. Cindy Courtney DVM, ACVP says

    Hey Kevin,
    Cindy, old vet path colleague,worked with you on rat noses long ago with Peter Witchi and Wanda H
    I am Medicare age and just got a new horse and have left hip osteoarthritis from way back in my late 30’s jumping on my horse as he walked away from the mounting block, hyperextension injury (hurt like hell, rode anyway).
    You are my new hero. I just finished NFP and Old age Ultimate journey books and swin ison Kindle.
    Could you please explain in more detail or diagrams the psoas relief with thumb pressure page NFP 45 and your discussion above?
    Yes I know my NFP is due to my guarding left hip. Just recently had morning right heel pain.
    I have been doing yoga since 2000. Am working for CRO from my home in GA, love you, Cindy

    • Hi Cindy.

      It’s good to hear from you. Names from the past, my old life. I left noses behind a quarter century ago. When it comes to your issue, consider some Feldenkrais training, it really helps. The tight psoas issue is an interesting one. I considered making a video, but it would look as if I was playing with myself, so I didn’t.

      I badly strained my right psoas years ago, so I have to work on it from time to time, especially when I up my bike training, as I am right now (Ironman Florida hasn’t been cancelled, yet!). Let me try to explain. I learned it from my Continuum teacher, Rebecca, ages ago.

      Look at pictures of the human psoas muscle, and see it’s narrow insertion on the medial femur, how it slowly fans out along the inside of the ileum, to create a wide insertion on the spine. You will need to find the muscle as it runs alongside the inside of the hip (ileum).

      Lie on your back, relax, bend the knee on the side you want to work on so your foot is near your butt, and the knee is relaxedly leaning in across the midline. This will shorten the psoas on that side. Now, gently feel around for that muscle, which is well-named the tenderloin. It is the softest striated muscle in our body, I think. It feels more like smooth muscle, but it’s big. I tend to use the tip of my middle finger, of the contralateral hand, further supported by the ipsilateral hand. I feel around with the very tip of that middle finger, seeking tight strands of psoas. They are always there.

      Now! It’s easy to find tight strands, they hurt like crap when you push on them. And push on them is what you do. But it’s a gentle, persuasive push or pressure on the tight strands. As you apply this pressure it will try to wriggle out from under your finger, but just stay on it. And all of a sudden, sometimes after 30 seconds, sometimes a few minutes, the tight strand will dissolve away. Once you’ve felt that, you never forget the feeling.

      You find the tight strands and coax them to let go. Do it too much and you irritate it.

      IMPORTANT: It’s a conversation not an attack: https://youtu.be/cArWgQXoktc (there’s an error in my narrative for that movie, maybe you can spot it, but I’m not building the damned thing again – other fish to fry).

      Once things start to relax, and the muscle regains more function and less pain, combine this work with gentle stretching and strengthening.

      I hope all that helps.

      Kindest regards,


      PS Thanks for reading my books. All input appreciated, as I work on my new career as a writer. Fascinating challenge.
      PPS How is your life going, non-psoas-wise? Well, I hope.

  2. Hey Kevin. Thanks for the excellent description for finding the psoas massage starting point. In the groin area. Groans. Stretching video well done. I did not catch any errors. I do yoga and ball rolling and core strength so I can ride my horse comfortably. The head turning during stretches excellent tidbit! I’m fortunate to be working from home for Covance. I still enjoy pathology under the microscope. You can never see it all. Or in my case, I maybe don’t remember having seen the next odd finding. I’m tardy replying to your note. I am in the pool after the GA sun goes down and slow to get back to keyboard. Thanks again. CindyC

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Disclaimer: As a veterinarian, I do not provide medical advice for human animals. If you undertake or modify an exercise program, consult your medical advisors before doing so. Undertaking activities pursued by the author does not mean that he endorses your undertaking such activities, which is clearly your decision and responsibility. Be careful and sensible, please.