Could Tight Hips Be Contributing to Your Low Back Pain?

Hip Stretching for Low Back Pain

Do you have back pain and suspect your hips are tight too?  According to the Journal of Sports Physical Therapy those with low back pain are more likely to have decreased hip range of motion, compared to those without low back pain. The range of motion that is lacking is hip extension; the motion performed as you push off of your foot. The picture associated with this blog shows two simple and classic stretches for improving hip extension mobility.  Here are instructions on how to perform each of these stretches:

Picture One:  Standing.  Stand next to a sturdy object.  Grasp one foot behind the buttocks as seen in the picture.  Make sure to keep standing straight, not leaning forward.  Keep your abs tight and do not let your low back arch.  Hold 30 seconds, and do 3 reps on each leg.  This stretch should be performed 3 times per day.  

Picture Two:  Kneeling.  Kneel on something soft to protect your knee.  With your abs tight, and avoid low back arching, shift your weight forward as in the picture.  Keep your body upright, not leaning forward.  Hold 30 seconds, and do 3 reps on each leg.  This stretch should be performed 3 times per day.

References:  Roach SM, San Juan JG, Suprak DN et al.  Passive hip range of motion is reduced in active subjects with chronic low back pain compared to controls.  Int J Sports Phys Ther.  2015:2;10(1).

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