Hip pain is a common problem, and a common complaint. But, before you reach for that bottle of pain reliever, try stretching the pain out. Stretching the hip is a great way to relieve hip pain, eliminate future onset of pain, and increase the flexibility of your hips and body as a whole.
Leg raises are common, and very easy stretches that you can do to help strengthen and relieve pain in the front portion of the hips. This area is medically known as the hip flexors, and is a common source of pain. Stretching it properly and often can help to reduce pain, and reduce the frequency that pain occurs.
To do a leg raise, lie flat on your back on a slightly padded surface. Yoga mats or similar mats are recommended to protect the spine. Position your arms and hands at your sides. Choose which leg to start with, and bend the resting leg, placing your foot flat on the ground. To start the stretch, raise the still extended leg, keeping your toes pointed upward. Raise the leg until you reach a 45 degree angle, or as close to it as you can get. Leave this leg lifted and extended for two seconds before lowering it once again. Do 10 to 15 repetitions on each leg. If you have hip pain on only one side, this stretch can be used on just the one side. However, doing the exercise on both will help to work the hip and prevent future pain. You can also schedule an appointment with an Eau Claire Chiropractor Today!
The hip rotation is a stretch that is meant to assist in regaining and improving the range of motion in one or both sides of the hip. Like the leg raise, the hip rotation starts with you lying flat on the ground with your arms and hands resting at your sides. Choose the side you’d like to work with first and bend that leg, placing your foot flat on the ground. The opposite leg (on the side you are not currently stretching) should be flat on the ground with your toes pointing upward. Once you are in the appropriate position, move the bent knee slowly, rotating it out away from your body. Bring it as far out as possible, but do not bring it out any further than is physically comfortably. Once it is as far out as you can go, hold the stretch for five seconds or so and then release. Repeat in 10 to 15 repetitions per side.
Like the hip rotation, the hip flexion works to improve the range of motion in the hips, and helps to relieve pain due to stiffness. To start this stretch, lie flat on your back with both legs extended out and toes pointing upward. To begin the stretch, choose the side you’d like to stretch and take the next steps with that side. Bend the leg at the knee, and pull the knee up to your chest as far as possible without experiencing any pain. If you experience pain, stop pulling the knee in and let it rest where there is no pain. Once in the optimal position, hold the pose for five to ten seconds and then release and repeat.
Gluteal squeezes are a great exercise for the muscles in the inner thigh, as well as in the hip. These are important as they will build strength in order to reduce any pain associated with weakness. Before beginning this stretch, grab a towel and roll it into a nice tight cylinder. To complete a gluteal squeeze, lie with your back on the floor and your legs bent at the knees with your feet positioned flat on the floor. Your arms and legs should be lying flat by your sides. Take the towel you rolled earlier and place it between your two bent knees. Squeeze your knees together, thus tightening your inner thigh muscles and buttocks. Hold the squeeze for three to five seconds and then relax your legs. Repeat this action for 10 to 15 repetitions.
This last hip stretch works on increasing overall hip flexibility, and increases the ability to move the hip in directions further from the body. This increases the overall range of motion, and decreases pain associated with bringing the hips away from the body’s center. Lie flat on your back, legs stretched out, and your toes pointing upwards. Choose the side you’d like to stretch, and extend that leg out to the side (away from your body), keeping the leg straight while doing so. Hold this extended position for 5 seconds and then bring it back in and repeat.