There are a lot of options when it comes to self-massage tools for athletes and non-athletes alike. One of the up and comers that is rapidly gaining popularity is the Pso-Rite. When compared to percussion guns, vibrating foam rollers, and other muscle release tools, it looks like a pretty goofy apparatus.
However, as you’ll see throughout my review of the Pso-Rite, I’ve been pleasantly surprised at how effective it is. While it’s not the only tool that I use for relieving muscle tightness, it has become a crucial part of my recovery routine.
What is a Pso-Rite?
A Pso-Rite is a muscle release tool originally created to relieve pain and tightness in the Psoas muscle. It is a simple plastic tool that is easy to use for trigger point relief, meaning releasing muscle tightness similar to what you’ll get with a deep tissue massage.
What is the psoas muscle?
he Psoas muscle is actually a collection of muscles: the Iliacus, Psoas Major and Psoas Minor. These muscles are responsible for connecting your lower body, midsection and upper body. It is an often overlooked muscle in stretching, foam rolling and other forms of therapy or recovery exercises.
Psoas tightness can affect just about anyone, especially athletes, people that sit at desks, or those with physically strenuous jobs. Psoas tightness often shows up as tightness, pain or injury elsewhere in the body, since the strain on Psoas muscles can lead to other muscles overcorrecting. It can even affect digestion, breathing, hip and knee pain and more.
What does a Pso-Rite do?
Unlike some of the more expensive massaging devices on the market, the Pso-Rite doesn’t do anything on it’s own. You have to do the work to use it properly. The way the Pso-Rite works is to sit on the ground while you sit, lay, or lean on top of it. The device applies pressure to sore areas or trigger points of muscles that are too tight.
By using a Pso-Rite to relieve muscle tightness, it can loosen up not only the muscle it is applied to, but also a number of connecting muscles. While it was originally created with a focus on the Psoas muscle, it can also be used on hamstrings, back, neck, spine, chest, hips and more.
How to release the Psoas Muscle
The most common methods of relieving Psoas pain are to use a percussion gun, Pso-Rite device, or a lacrosse ball to apply pressure and release the trigger points of the muscle. The first step is understanding where exactly it is. When you can locate the muscle and the trigger points where you may have tightness, you can massage out and release the tight muscle. Using a firm enough tool like the Pso-Rite or a lacrosse ball allows you to apply enough pressure to release it.
Because of the location of the Psoas, it can be difficult to target with a foam roller or other personal massage tools. Likewise, many of the popular recovery tools on the market don’t apply enough pressure to really release the Psoas. Making sure that you are getting down to the deep tissue will be more effective than simply stretching or massaging the soft tissue.
Specifications of the Pso Rite
As I mentioned, the Pso-Rite is not a complex self-massage tool. It’s a very firm piece of plastic that has two peaks in a “U” shape. The reason for the two peaks is to mimic the arms and elbows of a massage therapist. By including both sides and the hard surface, it allows you to target just about any trigger point and move to change the way pressure is applied. As far as the exact specs on a Pso-Rite, it’s a very easy device to store, transport and use.
- Dimensions: 10.7 inches long, 5 inches wide, 5.3 inches high.
- Distance between peaks: 6.3 inches
- Weight: 1.5 pounds
- Material: ABS plastic
How do you use a Pso Rite?
When releasing the Psoas, you lay face down using your elbows to support your weight and positioning the peak of the Pso-Rite directly on your Psoas muscle. You can floss, curl or lean your legs to apply pressure to different parts of your muscle, or with a different angle of the device. Doing this for 30 seconds to 2 minutes on each muscle will provide relief, similar to a deep tissue massage. It can also be used across a number of different areas of your body as you can see in the demo videos below.
Other muscles that the Pso-Rite works on:
- Lower Back
Benefits of the Pso-Rite personal massager
- One of the more lightweight massage tools
- Relatively inexpensive compared to other alternatives
- Firm surface for deep tissue massage
- Targets muscles that are otherwise hard to release
- Quick to use with no real setup time and only a few minutes to get results
- A hyper-specific device for people with tightness in a few areas
- Mimics the shape and firmness of arms and elbows of a massage therapist
- Some people view it as expensive for a plastic device (I personally think it’s a good value)
- Requires a flat surface to use it properly
- Can leave marks on certain floor surfaces
- Is not as multifunctional as something like a percussion gun or vibrating foam roller
My review and experience with the Pso-Rite
My Pso-Rite review is going to be slightly different from others, as I have specific issues that have plagued me for a while. As a marathoner, Ironman finisher, ultramarathon runner and someone who sits at a desk all day, I have some tightness throughout my body. I first discovered the Pso-Rite when listening to David Goggins on a podcast. He ranted and raved about how releasing his Psoas muscle changed his performance and many issues similar to what I was experiencing. I trusted his review as he was not compensated or sponsored by Pso-Rite.
I have to admit that I didn’t actually know where the Psoas muscle was, but always assumed that a lot of my pain and soreness were due to tight hips. I started researching exactly where this muscle was and realized that the Psoas was a very likely culprit. I ordered the original Pso-Rite in the black color and received it within a few days.
It took me a little while to figure out exactly where to target certain trigger points and how hard to apply pressure. After a day or two of trial and error for 5-10 minutes at a time, I found a couple points that really seemed to relieve tightness and pressure. Specifically, I use it on my Psoas, lower back (targeting the Piriformis) and my upper back between my shoulder blades. It was hard to tell at first if I was experiencing immediate relief because it was working, or if it just felt good to stop applying heavy pressure to my deep tissue areas.
I did a couple things to experiment with the Pso-Rite, including using it on one side only for a couple days, stopping all other mobility work that was part of my routine, and using it on different areas of my body. After a few weeks of using it, I noticed a measurable increase in my range of motion and less pain in my hips, IT band and lower back. It’s hard to tell how this has affected my performance since I’ve been running and lifting weights harder than usual lately. I have been injury free and mostly pain free since I started using it, so I believe that the Pso-Rite should get the credit for that.
Now, I use the Pso-Rite daily or every other day as part of my stretching and rehab routine. Most days, I use it in conjunction with a percussion gun and foam roller to target different areas. I would recommend using it in this way as I’m not sure that using a Pso-Rite alone will be as effective as using it alongside other tools. I do firmly believe that the Pso-Rite provides muscle relief, range of motion and decreased pain in a way that no other self-massage tool on the market can.
Where to buy a Pso-Rite
I purchased mine from Recovery for Athletes as they had a $20 discount, no sales tax and free shipping. They are also available on Amazon and a couple other retailers, but I trust Recovery for Athletes.
How much does the Pso-Rite cost?
Prices will vary based on promotions, but the original Pso-Rite will cost between $70 and $100. There are other variations from the same brand that include the Pso-Spine, Pso-Mini and Pso-Key. Before purchasing one of these alternatives, I would make sure that you are getting the right device to target the pain or tightness that you are experiencing.
To sum it all up, this is a product that I would highly recommend. Even for non-athletes, releasing muscles with the Pso-Rite can dramatically reduce pain, increase mobility and enhance performance. I recommend using it in conjunction with stretching and some soft tissue work with a foam roller or percussion gun. Purchasing through Recovery for Athletes or Amazon will get you the product fast, at a fair price and with good return policies. Feel free to leave any questions or your own experience with a Pso-Rite in the comments below.