Stretching your Hips for Low Back Pain

Here is a great post written by Dr. Rebecca about lower back pain and how and why stretching your hips for low back pain is important!

Last time we discussed how sitting can cause tight hips and your low back pain, also known as lower crossed syndrome. You can find that article here

Stretching your hips is a great way to address hip tightness and low back pain. In these videos we are targeting two of the major muscles that can cause tight hips: rectus femoris and psoas.

Here are some common questions when it comes to stretching:

1. Should stretching be painful? No! Focus on going to the point of tension when you just start to feel the stretch. Holding the stretch with this amount of tension will teach the muscle to relax. When you overstretch to the point of pain, the muscle doesn’t relax, defeating the purpose of what we’re trying to do.  

2. How long should I hold the stretch? A general rule of thumb is holding the stretch for 30 seconds! It’s not uncommon to feel the tension decrease as you hold a stretch, usually around the 15-20 second mark. At this point you can move a little deeper into the stretch, again just to the point of tension.

3. How often should I stretch? As often as you like! Stretching is a good self-treatment when you’re having pain but it works even better as a preventative measure. If you commonly experience episodes of low back pain, regularly stretching your hips could help prevent the low back pain from developing.

A few reminders about stretching

  • Go very slow
  • Do not do it if you’re injured
  • Stop if you experience pain
  • Support yourself if you feel off balance – either with a wall or a stable surface

If you’re in doubt or wondering if these stretches would be appropriate for you, please don’t hesitate to contact BAC Wellness or schedule an appointment. These exercises are a great ways for you to take care of your body at home but don’t take the place of the care provided by a medically licensed professional with expertise in diagnosing, examining or treating medical conditions of any kind, or in determining the effect of any specific exercise on a medical condition.

Disclaimer: The painting’s not crooked – I promise! Spent many minutes adjusting it before I realized it was the camera angle

Video links for stretching exercises:

Hip Flexor stretch 1

Hip flexor stretch 2

Pineapple Upside-down Cake

I have never made any kind of upside-down cake, nevermind pineapple upside-down cake. While I have heard of it before it is kind of an older idea I associate with the 1970s or 80s. Well what is old is new again. I gave this one a shot and WOW. So good. Simple and pretty and amazingly tasty. You can use fresh or canned fruit and it can really be any fruit you like though I think watery things like raspberries would go mushy so be careful. Pineapple, pear, peaches would all work well!

I got this recipe from a patient, thanks Susan O.! Susan had told me that she had made it from an older cook book she had and it was so good. So here is the modified recipe for upside down cake from an old Ontario cookbook called Food that Really Schmecks by Edna Staebler. Btw this also appealed to me because the word shmecks is German for tasty or yummy and my family grew up using it because of the German heritage on my moms side. And it didn’t disappoint – schmeckt gut for sure.

pineapple upside-down cake
pineapple upside down cake – I mean look at that! Gorgeous!

Ingredients for Pineapple Upside-Down Cake


1/3 cup of butter

3/4 cup brown sugar

slices of fresh or canned fruit to cover bottom of cake pan: pineapple, peaches, apples, pears all work well. Edna suggests large pitted prunes (ummmm not sure), peach or apricot halves, apple slices, or blueberries – even raspberries but they would be softer.


1/2 cup butter (unsalted)

1 1/2 cups of white sugar

2 eggs

2 1/4 cups of all purpose or cake flour

1/2 teaspoon of salt

2 teaspoons of baking powder

1 cup of milk (I used skim but any is fine)

1 teaspoon vanilla

Directions for Upside-Down Cake

Pre-heat oven to 350F. I used a round silicone baking pan – this made it super easy to flip out with no stick but if you don’t have one make sure you grease the cake pan especially the sides. Also important to note if you just want a moist white cake with no topping you can skip the topping part.

Ok for the upside-down part of the upside-down cake start by melting the butter for the topping and mixing in the brown sugar and pour into cake pan and arrange slices of fruit on top of it in a pattern – make it pretty or not whatever floats your boat. You can also toss in some nuts be we are nut allergic around here so that one is a no-go. Ok now set the pan aside.

In a separate bowl add melted butter for the batter and add sugar and mix. Add the beaten eggs and use a mixer to beat until fluffy (you can also do this with softened butter instead of melted but I tend to forget to take out the butter earlier and then am either in a rush or kinda lazy – worked well with melted butter too so whatever!). Now you are supposed to sift the flour, salt and baking powder together (which I never do – again, lazy, so I just mix together) and add in alternating bits with milk and vanilla and beat well after adding a bit of each until it is all mixed in.

Finishing touches

Now dump the batter, which will be thick, on top of the fruit and topping mix and spread carefully so as not to disturb the fruit. Bake at 350F for around 45 mins. Make sure you have a platter or cake plate big enough nearby – when you take this out of the oven and it is still hot (but cooled a few mins) place cake plate upside-down on top of the cake and flip out of the pan. You can serve cool but also amazing while still warm with ice cream … honestly this one was a huge hit at home – give it a try!