This muscle group is important for walking and posture. It is often a part of the cause of low back pain. This group tends to be underused and weak in our society with our more sedentary lifestyles.
What They Do
They help move your hip joint. If your knee is straight, they can help kick your heel back, bring your leg out to the side and rotate your leg so that your toe points toward the midline and also outward. They stabilize your pelvis and are necessary for posture and walking.
Why They Hurt
- You may be underusing them
- You might have a knot or spasm
- You might be overusing them, compensating for another muscle group
- There may be joint dysfunction (restriction in spine)
If you have a problem with your scalenes, you may also experience:
- Low back pain or Leg Pain, due to
- Trigger points - see diagram below
The trigger points (the ‘X’ icons) can cause pain in the colored areas.
What to Do (Treatments)
Depending on which of the above causes you may have, you can:
- Stretch (see below)
- Have your knots treated
- Weight-bearing exercise (see below)
- Have your low back, pelvis, hips, and feet adjusted (as applies to you)
How to: Exercise
- Lay on your back with your knees bent.
- Without moving your feet, lift your hips toward the ceiling, focusing on using only your gluteal muscles.
- Hold for a count of 2 and lower your hips again slowly
- Repeat without resting for the prescribed number of reps.
How to: Stretch
- While lying on your back, lift your knee to your chest.
- With your hands overlapped gently pull your leg further up your chest and hold for 7 to 15 seconds.
- Repeat on the other side.