Tight Quadriceps – How they Relate to Low Back Pain
Are your quadriceps muscles tight? If they are (as they tend to be in most people), they may be creating a chronic posture problem that includes pain related to tight lower back muscles. Overly tight quadriceps muscles may alter the placement of your pelvis by pulling on it. They may also (indirectly) result in weak hamstring muscles, which are the muscles located at the back of your thigh.
All of this affects your pelvic alignment, which is an important key to a pain-free lower back.
Here’s what happens:
The quadriceps muscles are the big, bulky muscle group (made of 4 separately muscles that work closely together) located at the front of your thigh. Like the hamstrings at the back of your thigh, the quadriceps are often referred to as “2 joint muscles.” In reality, though, only one of the 4 – the rectus femoris attaches both at the hip and near the knee. In this way, their work not only influences the individual joints to which they attach –- the hip and the knee –- but also regionally by means of a phenomenon that kinesiologists call the kinetic chain. The kinetic chain refers to the way in which the movement of one part of the body affects other areas of the body. The idea of the kinetic chain plays out in a lot of ways, but two spine related examples are described below:
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