The iliopsoas muscle group (iliacus muscle and psoas muscle) is a vitally important muscle complex attaching to the hip and low back area. It functions to stabilize the low back and flex the hip joint (bringing knee to chest).
It can be involved in hip and low back pain, but dysfunction of this muscle group can be related to a number of other aches and pains due to compensations made by other muscles reacting to a weak or overactive psoas. Many people have a contracted or overactive psoas muscle because of their normal work and home life. Frequent sitting or bending can cause this muscle to shorten over time which will eventually put excess strain on the low back, hip, and knee areas. An iliopsoas muscle dysfunction can also be involved in improper breathing patterns due the upper portion of the muscle having attachments to the diaphragm, an essential breathing muscle.
Proper examination is important to determine if you have a dysfunctional iliopsoas muscle. Treatment with spinal manipulation, Active Release Techniques, proper stretching, and corrective exercises are very helpful is resolving issues related to weak or overactive iliopsoas muscles.