Home » Iliopsoas Complex – Functional Anatomy

Iliopsoas Complex – Functional Anatomy

The Iliopsoas Complex, or Deep Abdominals, are a set of muscles on the back wall of the abdomen. They primarily flex the hip but also help with later flexion of the trunk. There are many studies that vary in their explanation of how they work, especially when they are trigger point laden. They seem to adjust tension based on many factors, including

Each of these posts has its own post explaining origin, insertion, and function as well as anomalies.

The psoas major and iliacus muscles combine as they cross the pubic bone into the iliopsoas muscle.

The psoas minor often absent.

Lateral view of psoas major and psoas minor showing:

  • posterior section attaching to transverse processes of L1-L5
  • anterior section attaching to bodies of T12-L4
  • bend of iliopsoas over the pubic bone and femoral head when standing.

Start by Understanding the Anatomy.
About the coloring of the illustrations…

This muscle is highly variable based on race, gender and even varies from side to side in the same person. You can learn more in this post on the anatomy of psoas minor.

Start by Understanding the Anatomy.
About the coloring of the illustrations…

This muscle is seldom illustrated to show both sections, which attach on different vertebrae and wedge the iliohypogastric complex between them. Learn more in this post about psoas major.

Start by Understanding the Anatomy.
About the coloring of the illustrations…

This is the simplest, most direct hip flexor. Learn more in this post about the iliacus muscle.

Posts Related to Iliopsoas

NMT Protocol – Iliopsoas

This protocol treats the iliopsoas through NeuroMuscular Therapy (NMT). This routine should be proceeded by pelvic balancing and release of the superficial abdominal muscles. Abdominal…
Read More


This site is undergoing changes. Starting in early 2020, we began changing the format of the posts to include more extensive self-care, illustrations, therapist notes, anatomy, and protocols. We appreciate your input and feedback. You will see us adding posts and updating older posts as time permits.


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Is the pain from
degenerative discs or
trigger points in the muscle?

This post discusses the differences in pain from disc problems and pain from trigger points. Who should you see to help with your pain?

Tony Preston has a practice in Atlanta, Georgia where he sees clients. He has written and taught about anatomy, trigger points, and cranial therapies since the mid-90s.

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*This site is undergoing major changes. We are reformatting and expanding the posts to make it easier to read, more accessible, and
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