Your Hips Don't Lie

 
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Keep reading to get some information on what you can do to help get rid of your hip pain

  1. Get Up and Move!

Prolonged hours of sitting can cause your hips to get tight and parts of the joint to become compressed leading to pain and limited mobility.  This tightness and limited mobility can also lead to problems in other areas including your lower back and knees! Simply getting up and moving frequently throughout the day can help to ameliorate some of the negative effects of sitting.  Try setting a timer on your phone to get up every 20-30 minutes and do 2 minutes of movement (try squats, lunges, walking, or even marching in place). If you have the freedom to do so, getting a sit/stand desk is even better so you can split up your day between sitting and standing!

2. Strengthen!

Many people think that pain or feelings of tightness are a sign that they should avoid strengthening.  On the contrary, weakness in a particular area can frequently manifest as a sensation of tightness. It is also important to know that just as the opposite of tightness is not weakness, strength is not analogous to tightness.  A great place to start with hip strengthening is with simple exercises like glute bridges, clamshells, and bodyweight squats.

 

Here’s How…

 

Glute Bridges:

  • Feet hip distance apart

  • Keep knees directly over feet

  • Push into floor with whole foot

  • Keep back flat, do not let it arch

Clamshells:

  • Keep hips stacked vertically—do not rock or roll

  • Keep heels together

  • Perform smooth, controlled repetitions

Bodyweight Squats

  • Feet shoulder width or slightly wider

  • Sit back, keeping knees from going far past toes

  • Keep shoulders back and head in line with body

3. Change How You Sit!

If sitting is an unavoidable part of your day, there are still small adjustments you can make to help decrease hip pain.  The first adjustment is to raise your seat so that your hips are higher than your knees. The second is to add a cushion to get more height under your hips and tilt you forward slightly so that your feet can more easily reach the floor.  These adjustments open up the angle between your hips and torso helping to decrease pressure at the front of the hip.

4. Stretch!

Tightness in a few key areas around the hips can increase pressure on your hips or affect the way you move.  If these deficits in flexibility aren’t addressed, they can contribute to pain that can keep you from being able to stay active.  Some key areas to stretch include the hip flexors, TFL, and piriformis.

 

Here’s How…

 

Hip Flexor:

  • Keep back flat, do not let it arch

  • Stretch should be in front of hip

TFL:

  • Cross leg closer to wall behind opposite leg

  • Push hip forward and toward wall

  • Do not sidebend spine

  • Stretch should be outer front of hip close to wall

Piriformis:

  • In figure four position grab onto shin or back of thigh

  • Stretch should be in the back of hip that is crossed

5. Modify Activity!

If your hip pain has recently started and seems linked to activity, you may need to modify your activities temporarily to allow inflammation to subside.  Avoid higher impact activities like running and jumping in favor of lower impact activities like walking, cycling, elliptical, or swimming. This should be a temporary modification while you work on building up your strength and flexibility.  When you start getting back to your normal exercise routine start slow and build back up gradually.