Feeling the Pain of Sitting? Stretch to Open the Hips
By Sandy Schroeder
See if this sounds familiar? You get up early, go for a run or do a brisk walk, have breakfast, and head off for work? You and your body are in tune with the world, but then you sit down and stay seated for hours. At the end of the day, your bottom may be numb and your hip flexors may be painfully tight.
This kind of tightness may sneak up on you, but it is wise to intervene early. I have been sitting and writing for long periods for some time, but then I started having pain in the left hip and upper leg. Yoga stretches twice a week, and daily stretches at home, helped turn things around to open up the hips.
What Can Happen
If you sit every day all day, you may be overdue for stretches that open the hips. WellAndGood.com says stretching the hips is critical to get control of tight hip symptoms. If stretching never happens, something called "quad dominance" will. The more developed and stronger quadriceps (front of the thighs) will overpower the glutes and hamstrings.
The gluteus maximus, known as the glutes, are the main exterior hip muscles. If they become inactive, the body becomes off balance. The glutes should power a squat, lift or lunge, but if they are too weak the quads do it. This can lead to poor posture and pain in the hips, lower back and knees.
If you sit a lot and want to avoid tight hips, it may be time to take a good look at the situation to pin down the problem. See your chiropractor and your doctor to assess your situation, and to approve any new exercises that you are considering.
As you work on the problem, targeted hip-opening stretches may prove to be great after a long day of sitting or before a workout to energize hips and glutes.
WellAndGood recommends stretches like these from Stephen Pasterino.
Side arm open step - Stand with feet about a foot apart, arms locked in front of you at chest height. Step out and back, putting foot perpendicular to other foot. Rotate back arm toward the 6 o'clock position to open front hip.
Hip stretch open pivot - Kneel with front leg at 12 o'clock. Lift up, open up, out and back, placing the foot at the 7 or 8 o'clock position. Gently lunge into that leg and sit back to open the hip.
When you are ready to assess the situation and move ahead, stop by The Joint Chiropractic clinic near you. Affordable personal healthcare plans eliminate the hassle of insurance. No appointments are needed and weekend and evening hours are available.
To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Tampa, Fla.