As a conductor of forces between the upper and lower body, a facilitator for movement of the legs, and as power points that are connected to a lot of muscle, the hips are the cornerstone of quality movement. This means that they also have a heavy hand in the development of injuries and conditions in the lower back and knees, because dysfunction in the hip joints (among the largest in the body) necessitates other regions such as the lower back to pick up the slack. We know that we should be lifting and rotating with the hips rather than the lower back, but how do we get back to a point where this kind of movement is second nature, as when we were children?
Luckily, it’s not as difficult as it may seem and the sooner you start the better! What we face is a question of mobility and, more specifically, a lack thereof that is perpetuated by sit heavy lifestyles and repetitive forces that shorten our hip flexors and destabilize the lower back. At Scorca Chiropractic Center, we can help with a coordinated response that involves strengthening and stretching. For example, simple hip strengthening and stretching exercises reverse the tightening that occurs as you sit at work, decreasing your risk of injury from basic motions.
- Bridges: arms at sides, feet on floors with knees bent. Press into heels, squeeze your glutes, exhale and lift hips off the floor establishing a straight line between knees and shoulders. Inhale and return to starting position.
- The classic butterfly: sit on the floor with back straight and soles of feet together in front of you, knees bent to the side. Pull your heels toward you while relaxing knees down to the floor. Hold 10-30 seconds and feel the stretch in the inner thighs and hips.
Stretching requires only minutes out of every week and it can make a huge impact on range of motion and our experience with pain and stiffness that comes with age. For help on extracting your tight hip flexors from the clutches of a sit-heavy lifestyle give our office in Fremont a call and schedule an appointment today.
Dr. Francis Scorca, D.C.