Pso-Rite and Pso-Spine Review
What follows is a completely unbiased review of both.
What are Pso-Spine and Pso-Rite?
Quite simply, they are recovery tools.
They’re kind of similar to a foam roller, or a lacrosse ball, but also completely different!
You are trying to achieve the same result, which is the breaking down of knots, scar tissue and fascial adhesions, but the method and results vary widely with different tools. I’m pleased to say the results with these tools were fantastic!
Why do you need them?
The afore-mentioned knots, scar tissue and fascial adhesions are par for the course if you’re resistance training, or even if you’re not.
As you go through life, but especially as you go through training, you will accumulate damage in your connective tissues; your muscles, but also the “web” that holds everything together inside your body – the fascia.
This damage is often felt as “knots”, “adhesions”, “scar tissue”, etc. and left untended it will result in your body not moving as freely as it used to.
You’ll lose mobility at joints (shoulders are a big one) and you may experience localised pain in muscles around joints when trying to perform certain movements.
This is because as tissues heal from the damage we do to them in daily life and training, they sometimes stick together. This prevents them from smoothly gliding past each other. Where they stick together we have “knots” or adhesions.
You can most likely find these knots by doing a little exploring with just your fingers. Press on any areas where you have tightness and you may find some tender spots. If you apply the right amount of pressure for a right amount of time, you’ll begin to feel tightness and tension in the surrounding area dissipating as the adhesion is broken up. You may even have nearby spasming of muscles as the tension flows away!
There is usually some pain associated with this, but it’s “a good kind of pain”.
There’s countless ways you can achieve this release, but not everything is effective at treating everything.
Foam rollers are probably the most widely used, but they’re actually pretty bad at getting into tight areas as they’re too big.
Lacrosse balls are definitely good, but they’re not great at treating all areas.
You can also pay for massages – trigger point release from someone qualified in active release therapy (ART) is likely to make you feel great, but is costly if not a one-off.
Pso-Rite and Pso-Spine are well worth a look if you’re interested in keeping your soft tissues pain free (and everyone should be!)
What Do You Actually Receive?
The first one I received was Pso-Spine. Appearances and presentation didn’t wow me initially – but looks and presentation aren’t why you buy it.
Both products arrived in unassuming brown carboard boxes. There’s very little in the way of packaging. Neither product has any pomp and ceremony about the presentation. It’s just the product in a clear plastic sleeve, delivered in a plain cardboard box.
You do expect a bit more, considering the price tag. If I hadn’t received these as gifts, I probably would have been feeling pretty cheesed off, based on first impressions. Both items are just a piece of moulded plastic, without much fanfare accompanying them.
But none of that really matters as long as it works, right?
One thing that’s noticeable about both tools, is they’re made of hard plastic. There’s an accompanying leaflet which states they are made of “ABS Plastic – the safest plastic known to man”. This is good to know, as it means the tools are impact resistant, and they won’t shatter or crack when you lay on them and press yourself onto them to reach areas of deep tightness.
I was able to press very hard and allow the tools to take my full weight. They obviously didn’t crack, shatter or otherwise break, but what I was more impressed with was the fact that the sturdy design meant they didn’t tip up when more pressure was applied on one side. This is quite important as it would result in the loss of pressure on whatever troublesome area you are working on.
How Good is the Pso-Spine?
When I first received my Pso-Spine I laid on it so that the ridges on either side were pressing into the muscles on either side of my spine, in the middle of my back.
I immediately felt the tell-tale “hurts so good” discomfort that accompanies myofascial release. After not very long, muscles I didn’t even know were tight were spasming and releasing on each side of my spine. I was impressed.
I have a very troublesome spot that I’ve never been able to get back to full health. It’s my upper traps/levator scapulae, and the adhesions are very deep in that area. Nothing has been able to really reach them. This means I’m never really fully mobile without pain when turning my head or extending the cervical spine.
The Pso-Spine is not really designed to get into this area, however, by placing one end of it up against a wall and maneuvering myself carefully onto it, I was able to get right into that area and really go to town on it. It felt absolutely great and I was rewarded with some immediate improvement in mobility and pain symptoms.
I also used the Pso-Spine on my tight calves, which was basically torture, but absolutely does the trick in loosening them up a bit.
Absolutely I recommend this product if you’ve got any kind of back pain.
How Good is the Pso-Rite?
The Pso-Rite was actually created to reach the Psoas muscle, which is a deep muscle located in the lower lumbar region of the spine and extends through the pelvis to the femur.
The way the tool reaches this muscle is through the front of your body.
You lay on you front with your forearms flat on the floor, and each “arm” of the Pso-Rite poking you in the abdomen, near where the psoas muscle attaches to the spine.
I have to say, I was pretty sceptical that this tool would be able to reach a muscle that attaches to the spine, by exerting pressure from the front of the abdomen.
I did, however, notice that the tool does seem to do more than simply press into the fleshy part of your abdomen. Once you get it right, there is a feeling of it pressing on something – but I didn’t have any big revelations. Could just be that my psoas is fine and I don’t need to release it. Could also just be that I need more help to use it properly.
I did get some very good results using the tool on other areas.
It’s great at releasing areas of your lower back and glutes. The design of it means that it sits either side of your spine and can get really stuck into the tightness there in the lumbar region.
I then moved it down a bit, to the top of my glutes and the pain was real (in a good way). I got some good release there, as well as on my adductors (inner thighs).
Would I recommend it? I seem to be in the minority here – perhaps I just haven’t used it properly – but I’m not blown away by the whole psoas release thing, which is this product’s main function for which it has received widespread acclaim.
However, it’s probably the best thing I’ve used for releasing both front and rear delts. When I got it into position on both the anterior and posterior delts, and it dug into the right area, it was like nothing else I’ve tried. Lacrosse balls are pretty good at this, but they’re not pointy enough (being round) and they roll around too much, whereas the pso-rite stays perfectly still.
It presses really deep into some hard to reach areas and is designed to mimic the hand and elbow of a massage therapist.
Overall, I would recommend both products, especially if you’ve got tightness in your back and shoulders. They’re both very versatile, with multiple uses. Whilst they may look simple, they are very surprisingly good at getting into those tight spots.
Both products can be ordered here.