Chronic Hip Tightness

1 August 2023

Probably everyone would like to have a tight tush, but tightness in the hip joints can prevent activities that we enjoy or just ordinary acts around the house. The acetabulofemoral joint (its real name) is between the head of the femur and pelvis. It supports the weight of the body when standing or moving. It is a critical joint that can take a lot of punishment if we are not careful.

If they are not functioning properly, an individual may experience back pain or sciatica. There are a number of causes for this condition in addition to an injury or birth defects. These causes can be:

  • Poor core strength
  • Imbalance in muscle development
  • Bad posture especially in the seated position
  • Lifestyle like being stationary for long periods of time

The main purpose of the hip joint is to ensure lower body mobility and stability. As a weight-bearing joint, if they start to give, you can experience difficulty with the spine, knees, and leg muscles.

The good news is that you don’t need to become a gym rat just to increase hip mobility. There are some very good exercises that you can perform in the privacy of your own home. Like most exercise, start slowly with only one or two of these options with few repetitions. If they seem to work, gradually increase and be sure to continue with the program to keep those joints free and lubricated. If you experience undue pain or feel something pop, stop immediately. Check with your medical team before you start.

Windshield Wipers

Sit on the floor with your feet flat on the floor, legs spread wider than hip distance, and knees bent. Place your hands behind your back or hips for support and balance. Gently move your knees from side to side, keeping your hips as still as possible. You may need to experiment to find the best balance point and still be comfortable. Your knees don’t have to touch the floor. Do this for 5 to 10 repetitions or 30 seconds. If you need to make it a bit easier, lean back slightly. If you feel you want to make it harder, add a resistance band.

Criss Cross

Sit on the floor with your legs crossed (like criss cross applesauce) right leg over left. Gently drape your body over the legs and stretch your arms forward along the floor. Move both hands together to the left side and breathe focusing on the right hip. Hold for a count of three. Return hands to center. Move both hands together to the right side and breathe focusing on the left hip. Hold for a count of three. Return to center. Roll the spine up into a seated position. Repeat with left leg over right.

If getting up and down off the floor is problematic, try this. Sit in a chair with your feet firmly on the floor hip width apart and back straight. Put your right ankle across the left leg just above the knee. Hold for a count of three. You should feel some stretch in the hip. If not, keeping your back straight, bend forward at the waist. Repeat with other leg.

Runner’s Lunge

Stand with your feet under your hips. Step the right foot back behind your body and, at the same time, bend your left knee to a 90 degree angle. Be sure to keep your knee aligned and your back straight. If possible, touch your fingertips to the floor. Breathe. Repeat with the other foot.

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