For millions of people suffering from lower back pain, many do not realize that the source of their problem is weak or tight hip flexors.
While it is not common for a person to experience lower back pain with healthy conditioned hip flexors, it can still occur in instances of diseases or injury. So before you dismiss the pain, make sure that you see your doctor and talk about it first.
Many do not realize the significance of the hip flexor muscles until they begin to weaken and cause posture and mobility problems. When these muscles are not maintained through exercising and stretching, they will become tighter and weaker. When this happens, the muscles will eventually shorten and cause other health problems.
When the hip flexors are weak, your joints and spine tend to compensate and carry your entire weight instead. This causes serious strain on your knees and lower back. When it does, pain and other spine-related concerns will arise.
Living a sedentary lifestyle directly leads to the deterioration of this group of muscles. As the hip flexors are in a constant state of contraction, spending too much time sitting down or basically physically doing nothing weakens your hip flexors. As the muscles diminish their tone, they will progressively become tight.
What are the common signs of weak and tight hip flexors?
Poor Posture and Difficulty in Standing Straight
As the hip flexors are attached to your spine and pelvis, weak muscles can make it difficult for you to stand up straight. And because the hip flexors are also responsible for holding your core and entire stance in one place, poor posture becomes an ultimate sign of tight or weak hip flexors.
Lower Back Pain or Tightness While Standing
It is normal to feel tightness and pain in your hips and lower back when you are standing for many hours. This typically happens because your muscles are tightening down to try to support your core. But when tightness and pain starts just a couple of minutes after standing, this can be a troubling sign.
Neck Tightness and Pain
Tightness and pain in the neck is not always related to weak hip flexors. However, it is correlated to the effects of poor posture on your body. Many healthcare practitioners observed that the neck discomfort often goes away after the issues in the hip flexors are taken care of.
How do you determine tight hip flexors by yourself? Follow the steps below.
- Step 1: Lie diagonally on your back on a flat surface, with the right leg hanging off. In this case, it could be a table or your bed (if you have a very soft mattress, remove it first).
- Step 2: Hug your left leg and bring it into your chest.
- Step 3: Observe your right leg.
- Step 4: Repeat on the other leg.
Does the hanging leg feel tight, particularly on the thigh area? Does it hang loose below the edge of the table/bed? If your answer to the first question is yes and to the second question is no, your hip flexors are tight.
There are countless images, videos and resources online that will demonstrate how to fix weak hip flexors and alleviate the tightness. You can simply copy the movements found in these videos and start doing them as a daily routine. However, there is a chance that you will find it difficult to stretch your muscles as there is a tendency for you to feel discomfort and slight pain at other neighboring muscles.
It is important to remember that not all techniques found online will provide relief for everybody. As every person’s case is different, you will need to find other ways to resolve health problem. If this happens and you feel like you cannot do it on your own, it is advised that you see your doctor right away.