Do You Have Low Back Pain, or Tight Hips?

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A common cause of back pain is in the tight hips. How do you loosen the hips and ease the pain?

Do you have low back pain, or tight hips?

I see many people who have low back pain. One common problem with all of them is tight hips. Your hips are a synovial ball and socket joint. Your hip moves in flexion, extension, Internal rotation and external rotation, abduction, and adduction. There is a lot of movement in the hip joint, and it’s designed to move with stability. When your hips are not moving as designed, this restriction will influence another body part. Today we will discuss the lumbar spine known as the low back and how your lack of hip motion is causing your low back to overwork and creating stiff and sore low back muscles.

Here is a picture of the pelvis and hip joints. The head of the femur is round, and it fits into the socket, which is the acetabulum. You can see the ball is round and how it can rotate around inside the joint, creating movements in many directions. What causes hips to get stiff and lose range of motion is repetitive movements, sitting positions for long hours, and lack of physical activity.


Lifestyle will change your hips range of motion. Sitting or remaining in fixed position for hours at a time will reduce the hips’ ability to move in multiple directions. The muscles and ligaments begin to shorten and tighten, and movement becomes more challenging. This can affect your walking gait, your ability to bend forward, turn your feet to the inside or outside, and eventually change the position within the hip joint and begin wearing down the head of the femur. This is how hip replacements become necessary.


How does this influence your low back?

The spine is a gliding joint. It has the intervertebral disc joint in the front and left and right facet joints in the back. Your spine can flex, extend, rotate left or right and it can glide from one bone to another. It’s easy to see how tight hips can create more work for a lumbar spine. The hips lose range of motion, and the spine picks up the extra work. One slight problem, It’s not designed to do the same work as your hips. Your hips decrease their ability to move, and the spine takes over. Next thing you know, low back pain.


The best solution I know of is additional movement in the hips and pelvis and strengthening your postural muscles enough to use your hips properly and take the extra work off your low back. Below is a short video with postural movements to begin increasing range of motion in your hips. Try out the exercises and see how you feel. If you want to learn more about how to reduce low back pain and increase function, make an appointment for a free postural assessment in person or on Zoom. We can meet anywhere in the world using Zoom. Call or text now for your free assessment. 702 354-8269 or


Video for tight hips

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