Lower Back Pain? Its probably in your hips!!

As an Exercise Physiologist all too often people are referred to me for a ‘core strengthening programme’ to address their lower back pain and all too often the rout of the problem is in fact tight hip flexor’s. Hip flexors are also known as the illiopsoas muscle which consists of psoas major, psoas minor and illiacus this connects from the lumbar spine region to the top femur. Their major function is flexion of the hips. When we are sitting down (which in today’s modern society we tend to do a lot!) the hip flexors are shortened and tightened so even though you feel like you are in a relaxed position the hip flexors are working overtime. Prolonged Jogging and cycling can also lead to tight hip flexors. Tight hip flexors tug on the lower back and create an anterior pull on the pelvis know as an anterior pelvic tilt. This alters posture and stop’s the opposing muscle group the gluteus maximus from working which leads to muscle imbalance. Common lower back symptoms related to tight hip flexors are the feeling of a tight band across the lower back, referred pain into the legs and feet, and sore gluteal muscles. In order to prevent tight hip flexors and subsequently lower back pain it is important to follow a regular stretching routine involving all major muscle groups. Below is a simple example of how you can stretch your hip flexors.

hip-flex-stretch

 

Kneel on the floor and place one foot out in front in a lunge position ensure all joints are at 90 degrees, tuck your tail bone under and gently move forward at the hips hold for 30 seconds and then rest and repeat. Remember to keep the back upright, the stretch shoulder be felt on the upper front part of your hip and thigh and not in your lower back.

If you or someone you know is suffering persistent lower back pain and think the cause may be tight hip flexors, contact an exercise physiologist at Absolute Balance for a consultation. You can contact us on info@absolutebalance.com.au.

phoebe

Phoebe Trolio (BSc – ExHealthSc, GraddipSc – ExRehab)
Senior Accredited Exercise Physiologist (AEP) (ESSAM)

P 9244 5580 – M  0499 909 596  – F 9244 5582

References

Nadler, SF., Malanga, GA., et al. The Relationship between lower extremity injury, low back pain, and hip muscle strength in male and female athletes. Journal of sport medicine. 2000; 10 (2). 89-97

Daneels, LA., Vanderstratean, GG., et al. Relationship between hip muscle imbalance and occurrence of low back pain in collegiate athletes: a prospective study. American journal of physical medicine and rehabilitation. 2001; 80 (8) 572 -577.

T, Richards.Hip flexor extensibility and it’s correlation to hip hyperextension and lower back pain in dancers. The big sky undergraduate journal. 2016; 1(1). 1-6