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From the Desk of Dr. Len

DIY Test for Tight Hip Flexors and Low Back Pain

Dr. Len Lopez - Friday, November 08, 2013


  • diy test for tight hip flexors;do it yourself test for tight psoas,low back pain and tight hip flexors;back pain and tight psoas muscles;dr len lopez;therapeutic exerciseIs your low back pain getting better?
  • Has your health care provider checked your hip flexors?
  • Do you know what activities and exercises to stay away from?


Here is a simple DIY test to see if your hip flexors are part of the problem.



This is a great test to know if you are a personal trainer or massage therapist because if your client hip flexors are tight - there are some specific exercises and movements you want to stay away from so as not to make the psoas any tighter.  Otherwise it could lead to low back pain and cause someone to miss a workout.


FYI...It's also good to know that if you want to relieve some of that back need to direct some of your physical therapy towards  the psoas - and don't simply rub the low back in hopes that it will relieve the tension.


It's also important to know if you are a yoga or pilates instructor because you don't want to over-stretch those psoas muscles and have them tighten up even more than before.


The hip flexors are commonly tight and shortened by most people, especially those who sit a lot. It doesn't matter if you sit or bend at the waist at a desk, recliner, plane, car or sleep in that fetal position with your legs curled up.

When you look at the psoas muscles you can quickly see how these muscles attach to the front of your spine. The point is, if your hip flexors are tight they will begin pulling your spine, specifically the discs and vertebrae's out of position, which attributes to back pain and sciatica. This is again why chiropractic care and spinal adjustments can be helpful, but it is also VERY important that you re-adjust the length and tension of the muscle and this comes about with trigger point therapy, golgi tenden activation and therapeutic exercises.


I'll go into more detail about the therapeutic exercises in another post, but you probably need to find a skilled health care provider who knows how to calm down those tight hip flexors.


FYI...If you have tight hip flexors there are some specific exercises and activities you want to stay away from


Leg raises, hanging leg raises, V-ups, 6-inches

  • Long bouts of cycling - the riding position keeps your hip flexors shortened.


FYI......90% of the time, tight hip flexors equal tight hamstrings...keep that in mind.

  • Hope this helps, and if you need help let us know.



Penny commented on 22-Aug-2014 02:21 AM
So, I just cannot use the newly bought roman chair (45 degree hyperextension bench) to work on my lower back ? I bought that chair because others told me that I get back pain from cycling due to weak lower back (?). So there is no way to work on the lower back ?

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