Tight hip flexors and low back pain

We are starting the week off right with a muscle that gets a little too much attention in low back issues and treatment for it is actually pretty ineffective in helping to fix low back pain. The word I used here was fix, not alleviate it. There are plenty of “trick” out there to give you a temporary window where it may “feel” better, but nothing was actually fixed.   Up today we have the Psoas muscle, also commonly known as the hip flexors.   This muscle is the golden child for all low back pain and 99 percent of practitioners out there think it is the main culprit for ALL low back pain due to us having to sit so much.   We try our best to stretch it like crazy to help undo the “shortness” of it and there is even a faction out there that actually thinks you can simply jam a lacrosse ball into it.   (Here’s a quick anatomy lesson for those people: All you are doing is actually jamming on your intestines with that ball and causing more harm than good, so stop it please.)   So why am I in the 1 percent here that doesn't think the Psoas is as important in low back pain and dysfunction?   Because of basic biomechanics and understanding what goes on in the body. The job of the Psoas is to actually stabilize the spine from the front and it usually does a good job of it. The issue comes when the muscles in the low back get overused, mostly from bad posture and develop a lot of adhesion.   Adhesion is like glue that gets in the muscle and makes it less flexible and weaker. The force can’t be generated from those muscles so it puts more load on the Psoas.   All the body cares about is getting the job done and doesn't care in the short term where it comes from.   So the take home here is if you have low back pain and have been constantly focusing on stretching, rolling or blasting the Psoas, but you still have pain it might be time to get your entire back assessed by a movement specialist who is certified in Integrative Diagnosis.

We are starting the week off right with a muscle that gets a little too much attention in low back issues and treatment for it is actually pretty ineffective in helping to fix low back pain. The word I used here was fix, not alleviate it. There are plenty of “trick” out there to give you a temporary window where it may “feel” better, but nothing was actually fixed.

 

Up today we have the Psoas muscle, also commonly known as the hip flexors.

 

This muscle is the golden child for all low back pain and 99 percent of practitioners out there think it is the main culprit for ALL low back pain due to us having to sit so much.

 

We try our best to stretch it like crazy to help undo the “shortness” of it and there is even a faction out there that actually thinks you can simply jam a lacrosse ball into it.

 

(Here’s a quick anatomy lesson for those people: All you are doing is actually jamming on your intestines with that ball and causing more harm than good, so stop it please.)

 

So why am I in the 1 percent here that doesn't think the Psoas is as important in low back pain and dysfunction?

 

Because of basic biomechanics and understanding what goes on in the body. The job of the Psoas is to actually stabilize the spine from the front and it usually does a good job of it. The issue comes when the muscles in the low back get overused, mostly from bad posture and develop a lot of adhesion.

 

Adhesion is like glue that gets in the muscle and makes it less flexible and weaker. The force can’t be generated from those muscles so it puts more load on the Psoas.

 

All the body cares about is getting the job done and doesn't care in the short term where it comes from.

 

So the take home here is if you have low back pain and have been constantly focusing on stretching, rolling or blasting the Psoas, but you still have pain it might be time to get your entire back assessed by a movement specialist who is certified in Integrative Diagnosis.