Not all low back pain comes from the spine. Well, not exactly. An often-overlooked culprit is an incredibly powerful muscle known as the Psoas. This muscle is our primary hip flexor, that is to say, it raises your knee. It is able to do this because the muscle originates on the surface of all 5 of the lumbar vertebrae, passes down through the abdomen, and attaches to the top of the leg just below the hip. When you consider that your legs make up 30-40% of your total body weight, it takes a lot of strength to climb the stairs!

When this muscle becomes tight/tense/hypertonic it shortens. This means that you are left with 2 options, either sit down or bend over. Think about it for a moment. How many people do you see who are bent slightly at the waist when they stand “upright?”  If you lay flat on your back does your low back pain increase?

Rather than blaming the all-encompassing Boogie Men of arthritis or old age, perhaps it’s more likely that you’re having a Psoas contracture, and either Dr. Cenk or I am more than happy to help.

PS. On a personal note, last year I stopped at the Oakmont Bakery before work. When I got out of my car and tried to stand up, I couldn’t. Instead, I looked like the embodiment of Darwin’s Theory of Evolution as I slowly straightened with every step. However, when I was standing at the counter my Psoas began to contract and bend me forward. All I could do was gasp for air as the spasm continued. The young lady at the register asked if I needed a doctor. “That’s the irony, I’m a Chiropractor!”

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