Do you have a job, a car and a sofa? Congratulations! Your hips are probably tight!
You’re in good company because it’s the same for pretty much everyone these days. Poor hip mobility can contribute to issues like lower back pain, knee problems… and it gets in the way of squats and other stuff you want to do!
Your hips are the center of movement for your body, so the healthier and less restricted your hips become, the more potential your body has for strength, power, and athleticism. Tight hips may put you at increased risk for injury due to the increased demands on tissues that aren’t moving properly.
How can physical therapy help?
If your hip tightness is accompanied by symptoms like pain and is preventing you from accomplishing the activities of daily living, then physical therapy can be a highly effective form of treatment. Physical therapists are experts in the functioning of the body’s musculoskeletal system and are trained in a number of methods that are designed to improve strength, range of motion and overall function.
If you want to know how to release tight hips through therapeutic exercise, take a few minutes to download our app and exercise program. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out!
How these exercises can help release tight hips
The first step to addressing hip tightness is for your physical therapist to perform a thorough assessment of your condition. There can be a wide range of causes for hip tightness, and your therapist needs to assess the specific causes for your symptoms. Factors can include muscle tightness, sprained ligaments, stiffness due to cartilage degeneration and many other issues.
Once your therapist has a better understanding of the specific causes of your hip problems, he or she can develop the right course of therapeutic exercises to release your tight hips. Physical therapy exercises for tight hips are generally designed to accomplish the following goals:
- Increase range of motion through active and passive stretches
- Strengthen supporting muscles through targeted exercises
- Increase stability and flexibility through movement training
In addition to therapeutic exercises, manual therapy techniques can help to release tight hips by mobilizing soft tissue and increasing blood flow to the area.
What causes tight hips?
A sedentary lifestyle can lead to tight hip flexors and hip flexor pain. That’s because excessive sitting causes the muscles to relax and deactivate. They become progressively weaker and shorter, sometimes causing a painful condition called adaptive shortening.
Tight hips may also be caused by:
- standing after long periods of sitting
- a tipped pelvis, which creates a structural imbalance
- postural habits like leaning over into one hip or leaning forward into both hips when standing
- sleeping all night on the same side of the body
- having one leg longer than the other
Tight hips may also flare up when you perform lower body exercises, like squats and deadlifts.
What can you do to help prevent or reduce your risk for tight hips?
It may be difficult 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
HealthQuest Physical Therapy can help!
Your body will constantly let you know by crying out for help. The body is smarter than we give it credit for. It will send signals to your brain asking you to move your tight hips around in every which way in hopes of relieving the symptoms. You have two options, take action or ignore. Don’t ignore this calling because your hips will only get tighter which will cause chain reactions of other potential injuries. We definitely do not want that to happen! Don’t let your tight hips hold you back! See your doctor if you have persistent pain in any part of your body. They can determine if your pain is the result of an underlying medical cause. You can schedule a free assessment at any location and we would be glad to help provide solutions for you!