Hi I’m Dr. Steve Mew
and today we’re going to talk about hip flexors and how
they affect the low back and the hip We’ll take a look at how we
treat them in the office and we’ll show you a couple of exercises
that you can do at home to keep your hip flexors from
causing you low back or hip pain. The hip flexors are a set of muscles
that start in the pelvis or spine and attach onto the femur
these muscles allow you to bring your knee to your chest. Due to their
structure and their function they can have a effect on the low
back or hip. One of the most common causes of hip flexor problems
is prolonged sitting. Sitting in a desk keeps the hip in a flexed
or shortened position Over time the hip flexors weaken and lose
their flexibility. Eventually this will present as low back or hip pain.
In the office we use a variety of techniques to treat hip flexors, including
active release techniques chiropractic manipulation
and kinesio tape although each injury is slightly different
the goals of the treatment are the same we want to restore proper movement
correct alignment and of course reduce pain.
Susan is a volleyball player that came in with low back and hip pain.
Through our examination we’ve determined that she’s got tight hip flexors
We’ll start by working on the hip flexors With this technique we’re going to take a
firm contact through the abdominals and into the hip flexors.
Next, Susan’s going to move her leg through the entire range of motion.
We’ll do this three to five times or until the muscle releases.
Depending on the injury we may need to move down to the rectus femoris
or the upper quad. We’ll treat this in a similar fashion to the previous
muscle, but this time we’re going to have the knee bent
to target the upper quad. Next, we’ll adjust the low back and the hip
Freeing up any restriction through the lumbar spine and correcting alignment in the hip.
To complete the treatment process it’s important to have an active
component to help reinforce the work we’ve done in the office.
Now here’s some exercises you can do at home help keep you
from injury. We’ll start with the hip flexor stretch
we’re going to start on one knee, the upper body is going to be fairly neutral
The back knee is going to be turned in very slightly, and then we’re
going to lean forward and turn the body away
We’re going to hold for 30 seconds twice on each side.
So next we’ll do an upper quad stretch It’s going to start similar to a regular
quad stretch, but the knee’s going to be bent Susan’s going to grab her back foot
and bring it to her butt. And we’ll add some extension in the hip
to focus on the quad. Once again we’re going to hold
for 30 seconds and we’re going to do it twice each side.
Finally, we’ll do a bridging exercise this is a great exercise for low back
and hip stability as well as opening up the hip flexors.
We’ll start with Susan lying down knee’s up, feet about shoulder
width apart and arms to the side. Before every rep we want to
engage the core muscles to help stabilize the trunk.
Next, we want to focus on the glutes and slowly raise the pelvis up
The legs and the trunk should be in a straight line, and then
slowly down. Every rep should be controlled
and then slowly up, and then slowly down. We’ll want to do ten reps and two sets.
I hope you enjoyed these stretches and exercises that you can easily integrate into
your daily routine to help loosen your hip flexors and strengthen your low
back and hip.