What Can You Do To Help Prevent Or Reduce Your Risk For Tight Hips
It may not be possible to prevent tight hips, but you can reduce your risk for hip pain:
- Get up and move around every hour or so if you sit at a desk for long periods of time.
- Warm up properly before any workout.
- Stretch at the end of every workout.
Stretching and massage can also reduce your risk for muscle tightness and pain.
Massage helps relieve tight hips by:
- stretching tissues that cannot be reached by foam rollers
- breaking down scar tissue
How Should I Sleep With Hip Flexor Pain
Managing hip pain at night
Symptoms Of A Hip Flexor Injury
What begins as tight hip flexors can eventually give way to:
- A sharp or sudden pain in the hip, pelvis or groin area
- Cramping, tender or sore muscles along the upper leg
- Swelling or bruising on the hips or thigh
- Pain in an adjacent muscle group, like your glutes or core
- Muscle spasms in the hips or thighs
- Reduced or a lack of mobility when you attempt to jump, kick or run
- Stiffness or tightness after youve been sitting for a long time
- Lower back pain
- Tightness around the neck
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How The Hip Flexor Can Be A Source Of Low Back Pain
Far too many of us have been there at some point stubborn low back pain that just doesnt get better no matter how much we stretch and foam-roll our hamstrings. While the hamstrings can play a roll in low back discomfort, there is a much more likely culprit: the hip flexor, or more specifically, the psoas major. Unfortunately the front of the hip is often an over-looked area when it comes to the diagnosis and management of low back pain. In this post Im going to break down just how exactly the hip flexor can potentially wreck havoc on the low back.
Can Hip Flexors Cause Lower Back Pain
The hip flexors and lower back are very close structures, but what is the connection between hip flexors and lower back pain? And is it really possible that tight hip flexors can cause lower back pain?
The answer is yes. Hip flexor muscles can contribute to lower back pain. If the hip flexors happen to be tightened or shortened, the lower back can suffer consequences such as pain or discomfort. The main reason is the influence of the hip flexor on the position of the pelvis, which leads to the anterior pelvic tilt. Such pelvic position is unfavorable for the lower back and is usually the result of muscle dysfunction in the pelvic region.
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How Long Does A Lower Back Strain Take To Heal
According to Shoreline Orthopaedics, back muscle strains can heal within a few days up to a few weeks, typically between 3 to 4 weeks. While these symptoms typically heal with time, its best to refrain from vigorous activities too quickly as it may cause re-injury, which can be worse than the initial injury.
The best thing to always remember is that staying consistent with physical therapy is the key to solving the problem once and for all. Be sure to listen to your doctor or physician for the best outcome. At the end of the day, your health is your number one priority.
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Symptoms Of Lower Back Pain
Image sourced from afcchiropractic.com
Lower back or spine problems produce pain in the hips, more commonly known as sciatica. Most lower back pain is caused by the pinching of the sciatic nerve. Because this long nerve runs through the legs, you may feel discomfort in your buttocks and the backside of the thigh. You may have a spine problem when you experience:
- Pain in the lower back
- Pain in the backside of the thigh, sometimes down your leg
- Pain becomes worse when sitting or bending
- Pain becomes better when standing or walking
Another common cause for most lower back problems is a herniated disc. Often, a herniated disc is more painful when sitting and relieved by standing or walking. However, to assess the symptoms properly, its best to consult with a doctor or physician, which brings us to…
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Knee To Chest Stretch
The knee to chest stretch is passive, so keep your legs and hips as relaxed as possible. Lying on your back with your feet on the floor, raise one knee and hold your lower leg with your hands. Gently pull your knee towards your chest while relaxing your legs, pelvis, and lower back. Hold for a few seconds, return to the starting position and repeat with the other leg. Perform the stretch 10 to 15 times once or twice a day.
Common Hip Flexor Injuries And Treatments
Read also: Common Hip Flexor Injuries and Treatments
The hip flexor muscles are a group of muscles attached to the hip joint that allow you to both bring your knee toward your chest as well as bend at the waist. In other words, the hip flexor muscles are fundamental to everyday movement. When these muscles are injured, they are painful and limit your ability to live a normal life.
Injuries can occur in either the inner hip muscles, anterior compartment of the thigh, medial compartment of the thigh, or gluteal muscles however, the pain of an injury is rarely felt in just one area. This makes the cause of hip pain difficult to pinpoint.
This article contains descriptions of common hip flexor injuries as well as conservative, at-home treatments for managing mild to moderate symptoms. To accurately diagnose the source of your pain and receive the most effective treatment, contact a hip specialist.
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Contact Dr Hamilton For An Evaluation
While a sharp pain in the hip, groin, pelvis, or thigh is an obvious sign of a hip flexor injury, pain in the lower back and leg are easy to misdiagnose. After all, itâs natural to assume that radiating pain in the leg or lower back originate from these areas. Unfortunately, diagnosing the source of a patientâs pain is not always straightforward. In fact, itâs possible for patients to go years with a misdiagnosed injury.
Only a professional orthopaedist can accurately diagnose hip pain and recommend the appropriate treatment. Dr. Steve Hamilton is a board-certified hip specialist at Beacon Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine who can conduct a comprehensive evaluation of your condition and provide an accurate diagnosis.
Knowing the exact source of your hip pain can provide you with peace of mindâbut receiving the right treatment is even better. Let Dr. Hamilton provide you with both peace of mind and relief from your symptoms. Schedule an appointment with Dr. Hamilton today. For your convenience, he is available at Beacon East, Beacon West, or Summit Woods in Ohio as well as Beaconâs Northern Kentucky location.
Patients can schedule an appointment with any of our 60+ expert physicians at our 20+ locations across the Greater Cincinnati area online or by calling 513-354-3700 to speak with a live representative whoâs available 24/7/365.
The Hip Flexors And The Stress Response
Tension in the hip and flexors is also commonly associated with emotional stress. The hip flexors are major muscles of movement and are primed for motion by the flight or fight response. Yet, they also pull the knees into the stomach to curl us into a fetal ball when the freeze response is activated. Thus, relieving chronic stress can help the psoas muscle to relax.
One of the easiest ways to do this is deep relaxed breathing, like that done in yoga, taichi, or qigong.
For this type of meditative breath, you should breathe all the way down into the pelvis. If you place your thumbs in the belly button, and cross your hands over the lower abdomen, you should feel your tummy expand all the way to this area when you breathe in, and should feel your hands sink in as you breathe out.
Deep breathing like this will both alternately stretch and compress the psoas muscle as well as activate the vagus nerve. The vagus nerve is the rest, digest, and recover system that acts to counter the flight, flight, or freeze response, both relaxing the muscles itself, and the body overall.
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Hip Flexor Release Piriformis Release And Deep Hip Rotator Release
When the piriformis muscle, hip flexor muscle group, and other deep hip rotator muscles are injured, irritated, or tight, they can place pressure on the sciatic nerve and cause hip, back, and leg pain. While various factors can cause tightness of the flexor muscles, it is often due to muscle contraction. For instance, if you sit in the same position for hours every day or habitually cross your legs in the same way, the flexor muscles get tight and contract over time.
When your muscles contract, they typically won’t respond the way you would like them to. They will often want to return to the position they have become accustomed to, which can inhibit mobility and cause you pain. While stretching these muscles is typically involved in physical therapy for sciatica, it is often necessary to first relax or release the piriformis muscle, the hip flexors muscle group, and deep hip rotator muscles.
The most effective way to release tension in the area surrounding the piriformis, iliacus, and psoas muscles is by applying direct, prolonged pressure to the affected area.
Prolonged direct pressure with the Hip Flexor Release Ball can help relax the muscles and surrounding connective tissue. Not only does this method usually provide immediate relief for sciatica pain, but it also enables the muscles to relax so that you can begin to address the underlying issues through stretching and exercise.
Elastic Band Side Squats
- Loop an elastic resistance band around your thighs, just above your knees, with enough tension to keep it from slipping
- Stand erect, knees soft, feet shoulder-width
- Contract your core and maintain a straight back as you step to the side and perform a squat
- Return slowly to your start position
- Squat to the other side
- Alternate right and left for 10-15 repetitions
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How To Sit With Lower Back Or Hip Pain
All content and media on Office Solution Pro is created and published online for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice and should not be relied on as health or personal advice. This post contains affiliate links.
Did you know that four out of five adults experience lower back or hip pain at one point in their lives? Dealing with lower back or hip pain can be a pain in the butt, literally and figuratively, especially when you have to sit at work. Its not going to take long before the aches and discomfort start to kick you in the behind.
But wait, are these two problems the same, or are they two different things? Before learning how to sit with lower back or hip pain, its important to understand the differences between the two. By doing your part to assess the symptoms, you are helping your body heal while staying productive at home and in the office.
What Causes A Tight Piriformis Muscle
Perhaps the most common reason for the piriformis muscle to be tight is the excessive amount of sitting we do each day. Sitting places the hip flexor muscles on the front side of the hip into a shortened position, where they become tight and inhibit the ability for the glutes and other hip muscles to activate and function properly. This has a chain reaction effect where many of the hip rotator muscles, such as the piriformis, become tight as they are forced to work harder to help stabilize the back side of the hip.
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What Is The Fastest Way To Heal A Hip Flexor Strain
Some common ways to help treat hip flexor strain are:
If You Are Reading This You Probably Currently Have Have Dealt With In The Past Or Know Of Someone Close To You Who Has Experienced Chronic Low Back Pain
In fact, it is estimated that up to 80% of the population will experience low back pain at some point in their lifetime . If you have low back pain you may have even gone as far to get checked out by a doctor, only to find that you have no structural damage and are left with the advice to strengthen your core and stretch more. Despite doing this you may have had no relief from your symptoms or by chance they have become even worse.
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How You Can Alleviate The Pain Now
If you have not yet found relief, this website is geared for you. It encourages a structured, safe, easy and effective method to address your tight flexors. There are many exercises that can be learned throughout this site. For are more comprehensive and effective program, please read the program page. It offers a real alternative to simply copying the movement of models and athletes or other professionals who merely study pain and have yet to struggle and overcome it.
Spend the time to go through the many pages and informative suggestions. Here you can find numerous pages and illustrations available to provide much-needed help. It is worth the investment.
Hip Flexion Range Of Motion
To test hip flexion, you need to lie on your back and lift one leg. Then bend your leg at the knee and bring your knee closer to your chest.
The normal mobility of the hip in flexion is 120 degrees when the knee is bent. Dont forget to test your hip mobility with the other leg as well. It often happens that the muscles on one leg are in better or worse shape than the other leg.
If you are experiencing reduced hip flexion, it does not mean that you will end up with lower back pain, but that negatively affects the health of the lower back.
The more specific test for flexibility for iliopsoas muscle is Thomas test.
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Poorly Conditioned Hamstrings Lead To Spinal And Muscular Issues
A lengthened and stronger muscle can extend and flex the legs with minimum effect on the normal curvature of the spine during activity.
Short, tight and weak muscles will exhibit much more pull, tension and fatigue on the lumbar spine and pelvis as they are no longer as efficient at relaxing and lengthening at times needed during exertion.
When hip flexors and hamstrings pull on the spine and pelvis with increased force and tension, the pressure on different sides on the discs increases dramatically and causes degeneration.
This causes too much movement and compression on your spine and discs. They become progressively worn over time and may lead to disc and vertebral problems.
Why Are Hip Flexors Important
With roles like walking and standing it is safe to say, your hip flexors are pretty important muscles. Your hip flexors work in tandem with your glutes to help propel you forward when you kick or run and especially come into play with daily mobility like when you are walking up stairs or up an incline.
As you may recall from previous articles your body is one big connected system. In this case we will focus on the connection of your hip flexors to your hips, lower back, and pelvis.
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Study: Femoroacetabular Impingement And Gluteus Medius Tendinopathy
Another study done in 2020 looked at the hips of 2452 patients undergoing hip arthroscopy for femoroacetabular impingement, where the tranchantor of the femur does not glide smoothly in the socket of the acetabulum. They found that 10.7% of the patients had gluteus medius tendinopathy.
Because the structures of the body are highly interdependent, it is not enough to just treat the locus of pain. It is critical to look for compensation patterns in other areas of the body and treat them as well, to restore total body synergy.
Walk And Exercise Daily
Staying inactive for long periods of time can be detrimental to your overall well-being. Remember, one of the leading causes of lower-body injuries is because of weak muscles and joints. When you sit around all day, not only do your muscles become under-developed, but it may constrict blood flow to the lower region of the body.
Its a good idea to stretch every once in a while during the day. If you work at the office, take a few minutes to walk around. Something as simple as taking a glass of water or greeting your office buddy can make a lot of difference in your overall productivity.
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