By Dr. Peter Le, D.C.
The pandemic has hit everyone in different ways. It closed our favorite shops, shuttered the best restaurants, and padlocked our beloved gyms. Without a designated area to workout, people have turn to home gyms, home yoga, home Pilates and of course their stationary bikes. Recently, many of the patients coming to the center suffering from lower back pain have all shared a common similarity. These patients have recently increased their level of cycling, either at home or on the street. Additionally, walking, hiking and stair climbing. People may not realize, but these activities tend to overwork and tighten a certain group of muscles. My patients certainly did not know. So what muscle group am I referring to? The Hip Flexor!
What Are the Hip Flexors?
This group of muscles consist of the Psoas, the Iliacus, and the Tensor Fascia Latae (TFL). They flex the hip and bring the front of the thigh closer to the body. In cycling, this is when the leg is brought back up to prepare for another push down on the pedal. The Psoas attaches to the front of the L1 to the L5 vertebras, runs down and across the Sacral Iliac Joint (SIJ) and connects to the front of the thigh. The Iliacus is attached to the inside surface of the pelvis and runs across the pelvic floor and connects to the front of the thigh. The TFL attaches to the front of the pelvis and connects to the Iliotibial (IT band).
What Are the Symptoms of Hip Flexor Tightness?
When these muscles become tight and short, patients can develop low back pain, SIJ pain, lateral knee pain and/or groin pain. Some describe the pain as a dull ache to a sharp stab to the affected areas. Others describe the irritation to the muscles as a burning pain or even a crushing sensation to the spine. Patients have been known to have difficulty standing up straight. Other activities that increase the tightness of the hip flexors could be stair climbing, elliptical, hiking, running and sports like soccer.
So How Do I Treat This?
Treatments for hip flexor tightness can consist of massage, soft tissue mobilization (foam rolling, stick rolling, Graston techniques, etc.), Active Release Technique (A.R.T.) and/or myofascial release.
- Massage and Myofascial Release
Massage and myofascial release treatments to reduce muscle tension and inflammation, which contribute to spinal stenosis and pinched nerves.
- Non-surgical spinal decompression
The DRX 9000™ delivers advanced, nonsurgical spinal decompression. The DRX 9000™ is a computerized, integrated spinal traction table that helps create space in your spine which relieves pain and allows greater blood flow to those injured areas. In addition to that, it extends the hip joint and stretches your hip flexors.
In addition to your in-office sessions, exercises and stretches to practice at home will help. A daily exercise regimen helps reduce pain and improve hip flexor flexibility.
- Inversion Therapy
Inversion therapy can help stretch your spine, increasing the space between your vertebrae and reduces the effects of gravity and aging on your skeletal system including spinal discs. Inversion also helps extend the hip joint and stretches the hip flexors.
Click on the link below for more information on the DRX 9000™!
DRX9000 Spinal Decompression
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