Can tight hip flexors cause lower back pain? -
Back Pain
Lower Back Pain

Can tight hip flexors cause lower back pain?

11 Answers

Ryan Neuwirt
I Help people acquire the skills and confidence to move and play freely to live without limits

Hey Mason!

Bummer about your back pain. Short answer: Yes.

In my experience though, low back pain is caused more by inactive glutes and core muscles than it is by tight hip flexors. Hip mobility is also a potential cause but lets start with the former.

The psoas gets a lot of attention because it is literally attached to the spine so it makes sense to say that if it's tight, it's pulling on the spine and causing pain. We tend to blame sitting but when most people sit, they sit with a posteriorly tilted pelvis which basically means: Ya slouchin. sitting with "good" posture actually shortens and asks more of the hip flexors than "bad" posture because of the tension required to stay upright.

In general, you want to be aware of WHEN your back hurts. Is it after sitting for a long time?- Probably do some core activation.

Simply lay down on your back and bring your knees towards your chest until you feel your abs turn on. This is a reflexive activation that we are born with and happens automatically. Then, roll your tail bone up off the ground to get a little more, and breathe into your stomach. If you can't breathe, back it off a little bit. We don't need a ton of tension here. Our backs don't hurt because they're weak, they hurt because they're doing all the work.

Does it hurt more after standing?-probably look at glute activation. Because larger glutes are the evolutionary adaptation that allows us to stand upright. Ever seen a monkey's butt? Not a lot of junk in that trunk.

Just lay down on your back, squeeze your abs, press your feet into the ground and do a glute bridge. There are plenty of videos on youtube for this. if you still can't feel your glutes, Try foam rolling your inner thigh and calves and try again. Still nothing? Find someone who does Neurokinetic therapy and they'll help you turn them on. It'll blow your mind.

Hope this helps!

Costa Chiropractic provides care services for chiropractic, acupuncture, physical therapy, and massage therapy.

Hi Mason,

Tight hip flexors can create multiple different ailments. We've found that this can be a leading cause of lower back pain. You should see a chiropractor, physical therapist, or massage therapist to help you determine the root cause of your pain.

Angela Shaver,OTR, RCST
We offer transformative retreats, workshops, and individual sessions to help people like you to recognize, release, and reorganize

Yes, the psoas muscle is a big culprit for causing back pain. This muscle can become very tight with prolonged sitting or with emotional stress and tension. Myofascial release and Craniosacral therapy can be successful in treating a tight psoas.

Christian A. Gonzalez LMT

they are actually one of the leading causes. with Strong hip flexors you increase the curve in your lower back. which will lock down the spinal columns and put pressure on the nerves and disc.

Debbie Ulrich
Do You Want To Feel Better? Debbie's NRG Balancing Can Help!

Absolutely, You may need a massage, Myofacial unwinding (release) and don't forget to consider chiropractic care. An Energy Kinesiologist can also help loosen the muscles to restore homeostasis.

Carolina Gutierrez
I approach each patient as a whole person, always listen to their particular necessities, pain, and complaints. The first visit with each patient includes a detailed, thoroughly evaluation.

Yes they can. The best way to address this problem an many other pains is Myofascial release (The John Barnes approach) You can find a Massage therapist, a physical therapist (my recommendation) or other specialist in your area at

Over the years, I have developed and continue to hone an adept skill of physical analysis determined from the information you share and the actual reading of your tissue

The Tensor Fascia Latae (TFL) can play a large role (as well as the other hip flexors - iliopsoas combo) The TFL blends with the Glute Major into the Ilio Tibial Tract/BAND (ITT or ITB) which is a very strong sheath of fascia that provides lateral support for the legs. It is a "Y" formation. The TFL and other hip flexors are usual suspects in low back pain (LBP) and lateral leg pain due to our lifestyles of extended sitting (work). The hip flexors are shortened and stay shortened for long periods of time. Forward lunges help stretch the hip flexors, but there could be embedded trigger points or stubborn fascia that could be restricting the stretch and making it less effective. Massage therapy can help rid the trigger points and release the myofascia. Heating the tissue before stretching can help relax the fascia. A good practice is to rise from the chair at least every 30 minutes to stand and move around. It is easy to change things up with a timer!

Gregory Hoeper

Tight hip flexors can cause an anterior pelvic tilt. An anterior pelvic tilt dissociates the core/diaphragmatic musculature during normal breathing. Over time, this can lead to a paradoxical breathing pattern, where the diaphragm moves upward instead of downward during normal respiration. This is seen very often in "chest breathing".

Normally, the diaphragm moving downward during inhalation creates reactive contraction of the core musculature due to intra-abdominal pressure. However, in a paradoxical breathing pattern the diaphragm moving up disengages the core musculature. This leaves all of the stabilization to the spinal erectors, intrinsic spinal muscles, and the spine/discs itself.

This is why most people "throw their back out" doing simple tasks, and not during heavily engaging weight-lifitng exercises. Engaging in these exercises forces the person to concentrate on the exercise at hand and the core is normally stabilized.

Andrea Presse
Welcome to my business page. I have been assisting clients to discover their true selves since 2008. Book your 1st 30 min session for free

I see many patients in my massage practice with lower back pain. Once cleared for massage treatment by their medical doctor, I use a neuromuscular technique on the bilateral QL’s (quadratics lumboram and the Iliacus and Psoas muscles). This technique usually relieves the pain in one session.

Gina Champagne
A Reiki session can help ease tension and stress and can help support the body to facilitate an environment for healing on all levels.

I agree with Dave DeCoursey. In my yoga class, and I only do one a week where we do a combination of yin and hatha yoga, our yogini seems to intuitively know when we need hip work. Boy does she work us. Our hips are an important element in our overall health, and the flexors (by the way, the most difficult to exercise correctly) are impacted by our daily routines. If you sit a majority of the day, as I do, it is important to stretch those flexors so they do not stay contracted. I myself have scoliosis, was born with it, but growing up, my sister and I were both very active. Swimming, court sports, softball, all these things kept us very limber, for me even into my 30's, then I started to slow down and didn't do as much to exercise my whole body, and my hips and my back were where it was felt. So, walk, do some yoga, you might even want to consider a chiropractor. I see one every couple of weeks, and it makes a difference in how my back, neck, and sciatica feel and operate. Yoga has been a wonderful addition to get me moving more frequently. I do try to do some at home, but that's more difficult. Good luck.

I Can Help You In Different Situations.

It is possible that the hip flexors are causing lower back pain. What I've discovered is that a weak core is the number one cause of lower back pain. And remember, your core starts just below your chest and goes down to the knees, and both front and back (sides too).

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