We use our hips rigorously every day. Walking, running, or standing in one place for long periods are all routine activities that we take for granted. Because our hips are being strained from the time we learn to walk, most people will experience hip pain in their lifetime. Chronic hip pain can turn the most simple daily tasks into painful chores.
While your pain may result from an injury or arthritis, inflammation in the joint can cause severe pain regardless of the cause. Those who suffer from such extreme pain may fear that surgery or prescription medication is the only way to ease the pain. This is not always the case. There are some simple stretches that you can do on your own to help relieve pain.
Here are 5 of them:
- Side-Lying Stretch : This stretch helps with the hip flexors as well as the quadriceps. Hip flexors are most often responsible for causing stiffness, while tight quads can result in muscle tension in the hips. To perform this stretch, lay on your right side and bend your knees to a 90-degree angle in front of you. With the left hand, grab your left ankle and gently pull your heel towards your left buttock. You can increase this stretch by engaging your glutes as you pull. Hold this position for up to 1 minute and then repeat on the other side.
- Figure 4 Stretch : This stretch focuses on the sides of the hips while increasing flexibility. Start this exercise by lying flat on your back, then cross your right ankle over your left thigh as you bend your knee. Gently pull the back of your left leg to your chest (only as far as you can without pain). Hold here for up to 1 minute and repeat on the other side.
- Hamstring Stretch : This helps hamstring mobility, relieving strain on the pelvic and hip joints. Here you will start lying on your back with your legs extended straight. Hold one leg from the back of the thigh and gently pull toward your chest. Do not lock your knee. Keep the opposite leg flat on the floor. Do this ten or so times on each side.
- Seated Butterfly : Start by sitting on the floor with your knees bent and your back straight. Slowly let your knees fall open and gently bring the souls of your feet together. While holding your ankles, try to drop your knees close to the floor. Hold here for 30 seconds.
- Standing Flexor Stretch : Start by standing arms-length from the wall. Put your hands against the wall and step your right foot back. Keep your right leg straight (without locking the knee) and slightly bend your left knee. Push your buttox and back forward until you feel a stretch in your right hip and thigh. Hold this position for up to 20 seconds and repeat on the other side.
Stretches that increase flexibility, strength, and mobility in the hips, hip flexors, and glutes can significantly reduce the risk of more serious injury while also reducing pain. Consult with your physician if your hip pain increases or lasts longer than a few days.