When I am lying down on my back with my feet together and knees apart and press down on my knees, my hips pop. It feels really good. However, now when my hips don't pop, they hurt, and my lower back starts to hurt as well. What do I do to get them to pop, and is it even healthy?
It's possible that your iliopsoas is overly tight, and you are feeling the pop when the iliopsoas tendon passes over a boney area. The clue you gave me was when you said that your lower back starts to hurt when your hips don't pop. A chronically tight iliopsoas is often a symptom of lower-back problems. Focus on stretching your iliopsoas, and make it the stretch you do multiple times a day for a few weeks. Here's a recent article on dance-teacher.com that demonstrates a super iliopsoas stretch.
After a few days of doing the lunge stretch, notice if your hip-popping lessens and how your lower back feels. Popping in and of itself is not healthy or unhealthy—it's simply a sign that you need to investigate why the joint is being noisy. Hip-pops with accompanying pain should always be evaluated by a doctor in order to rule out more serious problems. Since you aren't having hip pain with your pops, it can't hurt to do a few weeks of focusing on releasing tension in the iliopsoas and see if that resolves the issue.
To your success,
Director, The Body Series
Got a question for Deb? E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, and she may answer it in an upcoming web exclusive.