Do you suffer with that tight feeling at the front of your hips? Or that clunking when you rotate your hip outwards?
I find this a brilliant way of looking at the body and how it should move:
Neck – Stability
Upper back/Thoracic Spine – Mobility
Lower back/Lumbar Spine – Stability
Hips – Mobility
Knees – Stability
Ankle – Mobility
If you have lack of stability or mobility in any of these areas mentioned above, it could be causing a knock-on effect to the joint above or below.
From the perspective of mobility, it is crucial to maintain good mobility in the mobile areas. When we lose mobility in these areas we will often compensate and try to become mobile through stable joints, which will likely lead to pain, dysfunction and decrease physical performance. The body will try to re-order itself and force joints to do a task they are not optimally design for.
But Why Are Your Hips Tight?
Your hips are the centre of all movement in your body. They are required to offer mobility to allow for your upper and lower body to move.
The main muscle group around your hips are collectively called the hip flexors:
– Rectus Femoris
– Tensor Fasciae latae
The hip flexors connect the upper leg to the hip, these muscles allow you to bend at the waist and raise your leg. Most cases of hip tightness is due to increased muscle tightness in the hip flexor muscles.
Many people have tight hips. From people who spend several hours a day sitting to regular gym-goers and professional athletes. Some people are more prone to tightness in that area of their body, too. Tight hips may put you at a higher risk for injury due to the increased demands on tissues that aren’t moving properly.
How Do You Know If Your Hips Are Tight?
Pain and discomfort from tight hips is normally felt in the upper groin area. You may also experience lower back pain or hamstring strains. Tight hips often lead to issues in the lower back, knees, and sacroiliac joints.
A simple way to assess flexibility of the hip flexor muscles is called the Thomas test:
– Lie on your back on the floor, a bench, or another stable, flat surface
– Bring both knees to your chest
– Hold your right knee against your chest
– Straighten your left leg
– Lower your left leg as far as possible
– Repeat with the other leg
Hip flexors are considered tight if either leg cannot completely lower to the surface you are lying on.
What can you do to prevent or reduce your risk of 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
– Increasing blood flow to tissues
– Releasing endorphins to reduce pain
– Relaxing the muscle through heat generation and circulation
Here at Comfort Health
If you are suffering from any of the points mentioned above, don’t hesitate to get booked in today to see one of our practitioners at Comfort Health to get some advice and manual therapy.