Low Back Pain

Common Questions About Low Back Pain

  • How can massage therapy help me with my low back pain?
  • What specific bones or muscles are causing my low back pain?
  • What can I do to avoid hurting my back in the future?

Muscles Involved


Quadratus Lumborum

Erector Spinae muscle group

Illiocostalis Lumborum

Internal and External Obliques


Gluteal muscle group

Common Causes for Back Pain

Tension in the illiopsoas and secondary hip flexor muscles. (see pictures below):

There are many different variables that can contribute to back pain. In my practice I have learned that the hip flexor muscles are a very popular source for low back pain. The hip flexor muscles allow us to bend at the waist and assume a seated position.

Picture a muscle running from the lumbar spine to the front of the upper thigh. After a long period of time in a flexed or “seated” position, the psoas muscle can sometimes get “glued” in place by collagen and other myofascial connective tissues; making it more difficult to stand up straight without getting pain in the low back, or in the upper thigh.

A severe case of an impinged or tense psoas muscle could likely place someone in a walker or a behind a cane. Desk workers, hikers, cyclists, truck drivers, and couch testers are all more likely to experience iliopsoas related pain.

If laying on your stomach gives you a tense sensation in your low back, or if standing up after sitting down for a while results in pain, you may need to seek out treatment options to remobilize your hip flexors.

The psoas muscle originates from the thoracic vertebra “T12” and down through the lumbar vertebra “L5”, as it then inserts at the lesser tubercle of the femur. In many cases with herniated or bulging disks, the psoas muscle can pull on the lumbar vertebra that may be involved in the herniation.

I see a number of clients who have already had low back surgery, and have not had any physical therapy to rehabilitate their bodies.

Ask your doctor about massage therapy for treatment. A neuromuscular massage therapist has the understanding of where these muscle or nerve impingements occur, as well as the ability to target and manipulate these tissues in order to restore their functionality.

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