Hip flexor injuries are extremely commonly seen in sports people. Injuries to this muscle are common in runners as well as in field sports players. While most of us think of the hip flexor as being as the front of the hip joint, which is true, this powerful two muscle group, originates in the lower back and injury to it can sometimes result in lower back pain.
The hip flexor comprises two muscles iliacus and psoas major, sometimes collectively called the iliopsoas. The iliacus muscle starts on the ilium – a bone of the pelvis at the back, while the psoas major starts from your lumbar vertebra in your lower back. Tightness or injury to the hip flexor complex can therefore often present as lower back pain and can mimic symptoms of this condition.
The iliopsoas muscle acts to flex the hip. It is a powerful muscle used to perform a knee drive for fast running and sprinting. It also allows us to do everyday tasks such as climb stairs. The iliopsoas can commonly become tightened in sports people if their day job involves a lot of sitting such as driving or office based work.
There are lots of different stretches that can help stretch a tight hip flexor. These stretches are particularly important if you spend a lot of time sitting at a desk. We’ve included a diagram of our favourite. Happy stretching.
Half Kneel and rotate your pelvis backwards as your hips forward to feel the stretch on the front of the hip. Hold this position.