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Tight hip flexors equal poor posture and low back pain

Updated: Sep 3, 2021

Learn how to release it here

Anatomy of a muscle

The psoas and iliacus (hip flexors) are situated deep in the muscular system. They originate from the front side of the lower vertebrae and the front of the hip bone. They run down the front of the pubic bone and attach to the inside of the upper femur. The hip flexors flex and internally rotate the hip joint as well as increase the arch of the lower back.

Causes of tightness

These muscles become shortened by any activity that flexes the hips for a long period of time, such as sitting.

Results of tightness

Constant and prolonged hip flexion from sitting all day can cause tightness in the hip flexors. This can make them chronically tense which can prevent the leg from traveling behind the body correctly – this is what happens when you walk. When this happens, other areas of the body compensate such as overarching of the low back.

Symptoms of tightness

  • Ache or pain in the low back

  • Pain in the groin or the inside of the thigh

Flexibility test

  • Lie on your back on the floor with both knees bent and pulled toward your ribs.

  • Grab one leg behind the thigh and pull it further in – this keeps the low back against the floor.

  • Slowly straighten the other leg on the floor.

  • Do not allow the foot of the straightened leg to turn out to the side.

  • The calf of the straightened leg should touch the floor.

The fix

  1. Lie on your stomach on the floor.

  2. Place a tennis ball or lacrosse ball beside your bellybutton.

  3. Find a sore spot and hold your bodyweight on it for 30 seconds to 2 minutes or until the muscle releases and there is just pressure but no pain.

  4. If the sore spot releases before the 2 minutes are up, move to a new spot on that same side.

Self-massage will help improve muscle function, decrease stress, and prevent aches and pains.


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