Do you have a problem with your lower back? The majority of the time it is actually coming from your hip flexors.
The 3 main muscles which work as a hip flexor are:
- The Psoas muscle
- The Iliac muscle
- The Rectus Femoris (forms part of the quadriceps muscle)
In simple terms the hip flexor muscle starts in your lower back, comes around your hip and ends at the front of your leg. This is why the majority of people who come to MSK Therapy automatically think the problem is in their lower back and have already cancelled out any other options.
The majority of people who come to MSK Therapy with symptoms of lower back pain have tight hip flexors mainly due to their office jobs or there excessive exercise. Sitting for long periods of time or doing exercise like running, cycling or any movement which involves hip flexion can cause the onset of tight hip flexors. Having tight hip flexors causes muscle imbalances and can cause the pelvis to anterior tilt causing lower back pain. Tightness in the hip flexors can cause your glutes to become weak which over loads both the hamstrings and lower back muscles.
Here are some simple stretches to stretch and release your hip flexors and low back muscles. Stretch two to three times per day and hold for 40 seconds minimum. It has been proven that stretching for 40 seconds plus lengthens the muscle. Stretching for less than 40 seconds will maintain the muscle length and if the muscle is already short and tight then this is what we do not want and need to improve.
How we treat common tight hip flexors at MSK Therapy
We start with clients lying on their front and work into the lower back muscles with deep long stokes up the middle of the back. We then come into the PSOAS/Iliac muscle from the side, trigger point them at their origin point at the spine until the tension releases. We would then use the TheraGun percussive therapy device on these muscles to further release the tension and break down any scar tissue in that area. The Patient would then turn on to their back and we then work deep into the Rectus Femoris muscle and the insertion point of the PSOAS/Iliac muscle so that the full area of the hip flexors have been covered. We then finish off the treatment with some soft tissue release using the TheraGun to further enhance the treatment, increase blood flow into the area and further relax the muscle.
MSK Therapy have been providing Sports Massage Newcastle for over 7 years now and we specifically Specialise in Sports Massage.
For more information regarding TheraGun, please visit their website at www.theragun.co.uk.