Let’s talk about hip flexors!
There are a few muscles that flex the hips. The most problematic is the iliopsoas. The iliopsoas is actually 2 muscles that combine at the tendon and attach to the femur (leg bone). The first muscle is the psoas major which originates on the front of the spine; the second muscle is the iliacus which lies of the front of the pelvis. When this muscle is tight, it causes excessive arching in the low back. It also causes excessive low back movement with walking and running activities. We (as physical therapists) do not like this!
Let me tell you why- excessive arching and rotation causes more force on the low back vertebral joints than it is equipped to handle. Over time the joints can start to break down, discs may herniate, and even stress fractures can occur. This arching in the back is dangerous, especially with any lifting, squats, running, etc. I actually had stress fractures in my low back from tumbling and cheerleading over many years with tight hip flexors- IT IS NOT FUN! I could barely walk 5 minutes without tears. I started stretching my hips and going to physical therapy and have yet to have issues again (knock on wood)!
Anyone can be a victim of tightness in the hips, especially those who are pregnant, lifters, runners, or whose who spend most of their day sitting due to their job/student lifestyle/disability. So let’s prevent this from happening and stretch those hip flexors out!