6 Imbalances That Cause Pain—and How to Fix Them
Hurting when you exercise? Something could be uneven (and it's probably not what you think)
Lower-back tightness? Might be your hips.
As with knee pain, back discomfort often isn't a back problem at all, Brooks says. If one side of your pelvis is higher than the other, it can result in back pain, hip pain, groin pain, or even knee pain.
"If you try to do a lunge, the knee on the high side will cave in and the hip will angle inward,” Brooks says. The repercussions of this change over time can be knee pain, a patella tear, a medial meniscus injury, or hip bursitis.
But back to your back—the unevenness of your hips can pull on your lower back, causing that tightness while sitting all day.
Fix it: If you notice your hips are uneven, try this hip abduction exercise. Lie on your back with knees bent and feet flat on the floor, hip-width apart (the classic sit-up position). Wrap a small resistance band around your knees so that it’s already a little tight while your knees are together. Now press out against the strap to separate your knees until they form a V-shape, holding at the outermost edge of the press for a few moments. This move helps to fix the hip imbalance because “in the lying position, the muscles that are causing the pelvis to be out of alignment are shut off,” Brooks says. Repeat for 2 sets of 20 reps, 3 times per week.