Maybe the Most Over-Looked Cause of Lower Back Pain
In a recent blogpost we discussed the dangers that can be associated with stretching your hamstrings…you can find it here http://norwoodchiropractic.com/blog/stop-stretching-hamstrings/. During our investigation of Dr. Google recommendations, we were surprised to see that virtually no articles on the internet suggest stretching the hip flexors to reduce lower back pain.
At the risk of some of you thinking we are contradicting ourselves, we are going to attempt to explain why a lot of lower back pain patients (NOT ALL) may benefit from stretching or mobilizing the hips.
Most of you are forced to sit more than you would like at a desk or during your travels. This prolonged sitting will cause the hip to move into a flexed position and the flexors to shorten.
Stretch for Hip Flexors
In an attempt to describe a 3-D muscle using a 2-D image and words….the hip flexor runs at a slight angle and attaches both to the lower back and near the hip joint. Tension in this muscle can cause compression and shearing in the lower back. A common sign of the hip flexors contributing to lower back pain is pain going from sitting to standing. If you experience lower back pain with this transition, you may benefit from stretching the hip flexors. A classic hip flexor stretch is shown below.
As we often state, part of successful treatment is showing you what to do to help yourself and showing you what not to do and modifying how you do some things. For a lot of patients who are forced to sit for prolonged periods of time, stretching the hip flexors will break the monotony of sitting-which just may be the source of your pain.
Again, we will emphasize that you should be able to accomplish the following prior to stretching:
- Identify the cause of the pain (pain generator)-is the source of pain a muscle, nerve, disc, joint, ligament, tendon, bone, etc.
- Identify the movements that will aggravate the pain generator
- Identify the movements that will help the pain generator
Once these 3 questions can be answered, our treatment is designed to help you accelerate the recovery process to get you back to the activities you love and reduce your risk of future episodes.
Our Cincinnati chiropractors do not take a cookie-cutter approach and you shouldn’t either. To avoid making your condition worse, be certain you can answer the above 3 questions prior to attempting to self-treat.
We want to keep our success rates >90%. To help us keep our success rates so high, we can pre-screen your case with a complimentary phone consultation with one of our doctors. Schedule your complimentary phone consultation today.
Please note: we can’t help every case so often a brief conversation will ensure you’re selecting the right approach.
“The best physicians recognize which cases they can help, but more importantly they recognize which conditions they are not going to help and get them to the appropriate provider.” -Dr. Yost