As it always seems with physical dysfunction, the area that causes issues never seems to be the area that most people feel discomfort. Something that has come up with low back pain is the prevalence of tight hip flexor muscles, namely the Psoas Major muscle.
Things that can cause the muscle to shorten can be
-Overuse: weight training, running, games like hockey, cycling, running
-Shortening over long term: sitting or similar positions
-Spasm due to disc bulge on a nerve, locking of joints in low back or pelvic joints
The muscle begins on the bodies of the vertebrae of the low back and attach to the inside of the upper inside part of the femur.
The issue with a tight Psoas Major (hip flexor muscle) is that it can pull the low back vertebrae to the same side and forward misaligning the spine. Neutral position of the spine is key to reducing wear and tear of the rear joints of the vertebrae and unnecessary pressure on the disc causing bulging and pressure on the nerves. It is very important to keep this muscle stretched. It is not an easy muscle to stretch and it is probably my least favorite stretch to do, but I know that I need to do it. For me, it is at the end of bike rides that I know that I need to do it.
I decided to post this as I am at a pivotal part of my rehab. It is typical for most of us that we rehab like crazy but when things start to do better, the rehabbing starts to decrease. So I need to keep it up, even though I am not feeling the symptoms any more, if I want to experience permanent changes. I have been looking around for a good yoga class to keep everything stretched out and keep my core strong and firing when it needs to be.