As its name implies, the hip flexors are a group of muscles that are primarily responsible for flexing the hip. However, their role in your overall health and well-being extend far beyond just that. If you suffer from lower back pain, it is possible that your hip flexors are the culprit behind those symptoms. How can the hip flexors contribute to lower back pain, you ask? Tight hip flexors often result from long periods of sitting, which ultimately shorten your hip flexors and pull your hips out of alignment. This leads to extra strain being placed on your lower back that will never go away until the actual source of the problem (the hip flexor) is addressed. One of the best aways of alleviating tight hip flexors is with the kneeling hip flexor stretch.
Here is how you can perform a variation of this stretch if you are really tight or new to stretching:
- On a soft and steady surface (i.e. a yoga mat or carpeted flooring), kneel on both knees, then place one foot forward into a lunge position.
- There should be no knee pain present in your back leg when performed correctly. Ensure that you are resting your back leg on the femur and not the patella.
- Strive to create a 90 degree angle at the hip and knee while keeping your torso upright.
- If a 90 degree angle is too intense, listen to your body and perform within the flexibility range that you are capable of. Overtime, slowly strive to increase the stretch you apply.
- When performed correctly, the majority of the stretch should be felt in the hip flexor of the back leg.
- Hold this position for 20-45 seconds, then rest. Perform on both hip flexors 1-3 times. Ideally, try to perform this routine 1-3 times per day.
If you are looking to take this stretch to the next level, you may want to try increasing the difficulty by:
- Going beyond 90 degrees
- Holding the position for 1-3 minutes, then resting.
- Performing the stretch 2-5 times per day.
At the advanced level, you can challenge yourself by:
- Holding your back leg up with your hand
- Propping your back leg up on a chair
- Increasing the time you stretch
If you are interested in learning more, please make an appointment with Dr. Wendy and she would be happy to have a consultation with you. Be sure to follow us on Facebook to stay up to date on our business.