The hip flexors are a powerful group of muscles located deep in the front of the hip. They connect the leg and pelvis and, as the name suggests, are the main muscles that flex the hip forward. Unfortunately for those of us that sit at a desk all day, the hip flexors become very tight from being in a shortened position. Turns out, that tight hip flexors is a common cause of low back pain and can lead to postural changes that may increase the risk of knee, ankle, and foot injuries!
The hip flexors are so important that I will check these muscles on nearly every patient I see that presents with low back pain! Part of my advice to these patients is to be sure to stand up every 20 to 30 minutes. Sit-to-stand desks are also gaining popularity and can make a big difference by the end of the work day.
In addition to taking postural breaks, routinely stretching the hip flexors is very important to keeping your low back strong and healthy. Try this simple hip flexor stretch shown below! While kneeling on a soft surface, lean forward and bend your front knee until a stretch is felt in front of the right hip. Hold for at least 30 seconds and then switch!
Written by: Dr. Rav Nagra