Question: I have tight hip flexors. I have lower back pain too. Can tight hip flexors cause lower back pain?

Dr. Press: Tight hip flexors can absolutely be a major part of lower back pain.

Anatomical drawing of the hip flexor muscles on the pelvis and lower back.

Sometimes, the iliopsoas or hip flexor muscle becomes too tight or shortened. When this happens, the increased pressure on the lower back can irritate or inflame the joints of the spine. Often times, tight hip flexor muscles are not the only reason for pain. By the age of 40, most people have some type of abnormality in their spine. If there is some degeneration in the spine from a pre-existing injury, disc herniation, or congenital abnormality (something you are born with), tightness in the hip flexors can compress and irritate these existing issues causing pain that would not otherwise happen. This is a component of so called “Lower Crossed Syndrome” and is one of the most common causes of lower back pain in the US.

Lower Crossed Syndrome, is the name for a collection of muscle imbalances. It involves tight hip flexors, tight lower back muscles, weak glutes and weak abdominal muscles. It usually involves very tight hamstrings as well.

Fortunately, most of the time it is a pretty simple issue to fix with some simple stretches and exercises. Dr. Press specializes in the treatment of lower crossed syndrome and can work with you to fix the problem with some in-office treatment, home exercises and some simple ergonomic changes. Call (201) 569-1444 to make an appointment today!