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How to Break Away From a Desk Job With a Good Stretch

By Sandy Schroeder

We all know that sitting takes a toll on our bodies, but the hips pay the biggest price. When we sit all day, the muscles surrounding the hips are all trapped at a 90-degree angle for way too long. Even when we take frequent breaks and change positions, tightness and stiffness can take over.

Finding a good stretch is critical to reverse the impact, and  may have done just that with belly button lunge, and standing and butterfly stretches from Donna Flagg, a dancer and stretch instructor.

How the Hip Flexors Become a Problem

WellAndGood explains that the hip flexors start in the lower back and insert into the top of the femur. In addition to being uncomfortably tight in the front of the hips, they can trigger lower back pain. The hip flexors are a cluster of muscles that help your hips and lower body move. When they tighten they can cause stiffness and pain. These are the muscles that help you walk, bend, lift, and kick and let your hips twist.

Signs of Problems

You may have hip flexor tightness if you notice these problems.

  • You develop an ache in your lower back while standing
  • You have trouble when you try to stand up straight
  • You have pain in the glutes
  • Your neck tightens and hurts

As always, before you start exercising to correct the problem, check with your doctor and your chiropractor to identify the issues. Then consider exercises like these.

Butterfly Stretch

  • Sit on the floor with your back straight and knees bent
  • Let knees fall open, putting soles of feet together
  • Hold your feet or ankles with your hands
  • Hold for 20 to 30 seconds
  • Remember to breathe as you stretch

Belly Button Lunge

Doing a lower lunge on the floor can help the hip muscles, but they really get a workout when you pull your belly button in when you start the lunge. That catches the top of the muscle and gives you a full stretch. Once your belly is engaged you maximize the stretch. 

Standing Stretch

WebMD supplies a standing exercise for the hip flexors.

  • Stand with toes forward, feet about hip width apart
  • Hold the right foot with the right hand and gently point the knee toward the floor. Hold onto a chair for balance.
  • Hold for 30 seconds and the switch sides.

Finding the right solutions for a job that requires lots of sitting and triggers complaining hip flexors is not easy, but stretching has many of the answers to help.

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Goodyear, Ariz.

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