The Hip Flexors & Lower Back Pain
Since our fast-paced, modern lifestyle chronically triggers a state of fight or flight, the sympathetic nervous system perpetually keeps the psoas tight. In turn, the muscle eventually shortens, which can cause low back pain, sacroiliac pain, sciatica, disc problems, scoliosis, hip degeneration, knee pain, menstruation pain, infertility, and digestive problems. Furthermore, a tight psoas puts pressure on nerves and hinders the proper movement of fluid, while also impairing diaphragmatic breathing. Sedentary lifestyles — sitting for hours on end at our desks, watching television or driving in cars — are a disaster for the psoas. And our health.
I see this a lot in clients who come to see me and complain about lower back pain. Often times the tension is found in the front, through the hip flexors, as opposed to in the back where the pain is. When the hip flexors are tight, they create an anterior pull on the pelvis, known as anterior pelvic tilt. This causes everything to be pulled forward, and can create pinching in the lower back.
If you know you have a tight psoas, there is a great little 2 minute yoga stretch at the bottom of this article.