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Stiff Low Back Pain to the Crest of the Hip

Trigger point pain post includes

  • how people describe this problem
  • activities that create or aggravate the trigger point
  • links to relief through self-care, anatomy, and massage notes

Want to skip ahead?
Here’s a link to my post about
getting relief on your own.

How People Describe This Pain Pattern

People reach back to touch the crest of their hip and say, “My low back hurts here.” Sometimes they trace up their low back and complain of tightness all the way up to be base of their ribs.

When this is mild, it seems stiff, tight, and achy. They are not as limited in their activity but need “to loosen” their low back.

On the other hand, when this is acute, they complain of symptoms related to other low back muscles. It can be fragile and interfere with daily activities for fear that Their “back may go out.”

I had a lot of problems with this in my 20s and would seek help on an emergency basis. I saw lots of chiropractors and visited the Emergency room a number of times. It would practically immobilize me for 2-3 days.

However, this is more common in people in their 40s, 50s, and above. At this point in development, the sacroiliac joint is fusing. Consequently, the joints of the low back are forced to work harder while bending forward. Additionally, the muscles closest to the spine become less responsive and take longer to recover. This further burdens this muscle, which lays in the layer above those intrinsic spine muscles.

How You Activate and Intensify This Pain Pattern

Of course, this can be injured in an accident but there are two ways that are most common.

Twist and Reach

In younger or more athletic bodies, this tends to get injured by reaching and twisting. For example, changing a high light bulb, painting the edge of the roof, or putting a serving dish back on a high shelf. Additionally, turning awkwardly with a shifting balance makes this injury more likely. The quick adjustments to posture recruit and overwork less active muscles and joints.

In more sedentary bodies, this can be activated by some unusual spring cleaning that involves “getting under things” and “giving them a good scrubbing.” Those activities also create more stress on these muscles that erect the spine.

Chronic Slouching

In older, more sedentary bodies, this is often a problem with a chronically slumped posture. Leaning forward for long periods has two problems. First, it over-stretches low back muscles that are slow to recover. Secondly, the leaning indicates that your back fatigues and may need strengthening or support.

One More Thing…

As I mentioned earlier, I had lots of problems with this in my 20s. Changing my diet was the key to getting long-term changes. Certain foods irritate the gut lining and create changes in this area of the back where nerves connect to the internal organs. This is a subject worth exploring in another post. However, if you’ve had indigestion, constipation, or other irregularities in your digestion, they may be the key to lasting relief. It was for me and many of my clients.


The Musculoskeletal Anatomy Behind Your Pain

anatomy for longissimus of the erector spinae

Musculoskeletal Anatomy

About these Illustrations…

This post on anatomy contains the standard information about origin, insertion, function, and innervation. It also includes information on functional considerations and anomalies. This is also the place to find all posts related to this muscle.

Getting Relief on Your Own

Clinically Proven
Self-Care Strategies

This post has strategies for getting relief on your own. Explore how to change your activities, stretch, ice, and more to relieve the pain associated with this trigger point.

Therapy Notes for Massage and Bodywork

Better Bodywork
Through Shared Expertise

This post has techniques, tips, treatment routines, and anatomy illustrations to improve the bodyworker’s approach.

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Tony Preston has a practice in Atlanta, Georgia, where he sees clients. He has written materials and instructed classes since the mid-90s. This includes anatomy, trigger points, cranial, and neuromuscular.

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