Are you experiencing hip pain?
Looking for hip stretches and exercises?
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STANDING STRETCHES FOR HIP PAIN
|You may not think that the muscles in your thighs and lower legs would have much effect on your hip, but they do. Thigh muscles affect the hip by affecting the movement on the hip. The hip is a complex joint, so if the muscle cause a twisting action, the torque can cause hip pain. Even feet issues can affect the hip and cause hip pain. More on this later. First, lets show some leg stretches.|
Quad Stretch FOR HIP PAIN
If you have hip pain and tight quads, stretching the quads should help your hip pain. To stretch tight quads, stand near a wall. Steady yourself with your right hand on the wall, then lift your left foot and grab it with your left hand. If you find it difficult to reach your ankle, you can use a strap around your ankle to extend your reach.
Pull your left ankle toward your buttock and hold for three breaths. Turn, and repeat on the other side. Do three sets of this stretch.
TFL Stretch FOR HIP PAIN
The TFL is a hip stabilizer. Tight TFL muscles can cause hip pain. To stretch the muscles on the outside of your legs (specifically the tensor fascia lata muscle and the iliotibial band that run from the hip to the knee), stand within an arm’s distance of a wall. Steady yourself by placing your right hand on the wall.
Cross your left leg in front of your right leg so your feet are 12 inches apart and parallel to one another. If you find this difficult, stand with your feet hip width apart. Then stick your right hip out to the right while keeping your pelvis and spine straight.
You should feel a stretch in the lateral aspect of your right leg (close to your hip region). If you don’t, make sure you haven’t twisted your pelvis during the stretch. Try sticking your hip more to the right and move your pelvis around until you feel the stretch in the right lateral hip region. Hold the stretch for three slow breaths. With each exhale, you may be able to deepen the stretch. It is more important to hold this stretch than to repeat it, as you should be able to go further into the stretch with each exhale. When you have reached your maximum stretch, switch to the other side.
Lunges for hip pain
Tight psoas muscles can cause a twisting (torque) action on the hip, causing hip pain. Sitting for extended periods tightens your hip flexors (the iliopsoas muscles). To stretch those muscles, get up out of your chair, stand up straight, and then step back with your left leg, bringing your knee to the floor. (You might want to put a mat or pad on the floor to provide a cushion for your knee).
Make sure your right knee does not go past your right foot as you lower into the lunge.
If you are stable, straighten your left leg (your back leg), and keep your right (front) knee bent as close to a 90-degree angle as possible. Keep your back straight and your pelvis pointing straight ahead. Don’t let your right knee go past the front of the right foot. You should feel a stretch in your left groin. If you do not, try moving your pelvis in different positions until you feel a stretch in your left groin.
Hold the stretch for five breaths, and then switch to the other side, extending your right leg backward and bending at your left knee. Do a total of three lunges on each side.
Forward Bends FOR HIP PAIN
These forward bends stretch your hamstrings. Remember flexible hamstrings make for happier hips. Make sure you are feeling the stretch in your hamstrings and not your low back during this stretch.
Begin a forward bend by bending forward at the waist. Make sure you lead with your chest and not your head. If you strain to reach farther, you may harm your back versus stretching your muscles.
Keep your back in a neutral position as you hinge forward at the waist. You may not go as far as I am in Figure 6-7, but if you are feeling a stretch, you are improving the mobility of the muscles you are feeling the stretch in. As you hinge forward, pay attention to where you are feeling the stretch. If you are feeling a stretch in your hamstrings (the back of your thighs), then great! You are stretching your hamstrings!
If you are feeling a strain in your back, you are straining your back. Stop! Come back up and try again.
Aim to reach your hands to the mat (Figure 6-8), keeping your back as neutral as possible, to keep the stretch in your hamstrings.
Figure 6-8: A forward bend with hands to the mat, keeping the back flat.
It may take months or even years before you can press your palms to the mat without arching your spine, but your range of motion will improve in the process. Maybe you can work toward getting your hands to the floor or your nose to your knees (Figure 6-9). Whatever your goal, as long as you improve or maintain over time, you are a success!
Figure 6-9: A full forward bend
In a full forward bend, the low back is stretched with the hamstrings. When you stretch the low back in s full forward bend, the weight of the upper body helps create space between the vertebrae of the low back. If you curve the low back too soon, the weight of the upper back is away from the center of gravity and can compress the front of the discs of the low back. This can injure those discs.
Figure 6‑10: Good versus bad entry into a forward bend
Calf Stretches FOR HIP PAIN
Tight calf muscles can strain the knee, which can lead to hip pain. To stretch the calf muscles in the back of your lower leg, stand facing a wall and put your hands against the wall. Bring your right leg back and stretch your right heel toward the floor (this stretches the gastrocnemius muscle at the back of your calf, connected to the Achilles tendon). Hold for three breaths. Then bend your right knee to stretch the soleus muscle (the deeper muscle under the gastrocnemius). Hold for three breaths.
Repeat on the other side.
Remember, it is not the duration that matters, but the frequency that helps the most. I would rather you do this stretch once every hour versus ten times all at once. Doing this frequently helps break the cycle of chronic contraction of these muscles, which impairs blood flow and lymphatic drainage. That said, if you have time, do three sets of this stretch every hour.
STRETCHES TO PERFORM WHILE LYING DOWNAS MENTIONED in earlier chapters, a strong core and a flexible spine make for a healthy and happy hips. This chapter has examples of stretches for your legs that you can do while lying down.
If you are struggling to find time to stretch, these stretches can be done in the comfort of your own bed before getting up in the morning and again in bed before you go to sleep.
Side Lying Stretch
This stretch is a great way to stretch the muscles that run along the side of the body (the TFL, abdominal obliques, quadratus lumborum, lateral chest muscles, and more).
Figure 7‑1: Stretching the side body
The top side is the side that is stretched with this stretch. To stretch the right side, raise the right arm over your head, drop the right leg back and down, keep your right hip over your left hip (don’t allow your pelvis to tilt back), and reach your right foot to the ground. Hold for three breaths, deepening the stretch with each breath, and then switch to the other side.
Supine Stretches FOR HIP PAIN
To stretch your knee, bend your right knee to your chest (Figure 7-7).
To stretch your glutes (buttock muscles) by bringing your right knee to your left shoulder (Figure 7-8).
To stretch your right hip, bend your left leg with your foot resting on the mat. Then rest your right foot on your left knee. Stretch the right hip by pressing your right knee out with your right hand (Figure 7-9).
To stretch your hamstrings from a seated position, sit with your legs straight out in front of you. Then reaching for your toes (Figure 7-14). Hold the stretch for a few breaths and then relax. Repeat the stretch three to five times.
Don’t worry if you can’t reach all the way to your toes when you start doing this stretch. Just keep trying, and in time you will see that you are getting closer and closer. Celebrate every increment!
STRENGTHENING THE LOWER EXTREMITIES FOR HIP PAIN
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After your first visit with us, you will receive an email with your personalized home stretches and exercise regimen in a Report of Findings. To see an example of one, check out this video: