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At some point, everyone will experience some type of hip flexor pain. You may even ask these questions: What is a hip flexor? Why does it hurt? And what am I supposed to do to get rid of it? If you have ever asked these questions, stay tuned, because I’m about to reveal to you a few different stretches to help eliminate the pain as well as prevent it from returning.
You have a set of muscles that lift your leg up while walking, or running. If you’re doing sit-ups, once the shoulder blades are off the ground, you primarily use your hip flexors to continue the journey. If you climb stairs or ladders, you use your hip flexors to get your knees up.
If you do too much strengthening of the hip flexors, you likely will start to get low back pain, because the muscles attach to the low back. If you sit too long, you tend to create a form of atrophy in the muscle group and then when you stand up or exercise with a shortened muscle, you have a tendency to strain the muscles and viola, you hurt.
That is a great question. If you are trying to stay in control of your lifestyle and not surrender it to realm of an injection or medication, then the following steps are just for you.
These can be addressed by performing a few different stretches. The first and least aggressive stretch that I recommend is done by standing with the uninjured leg forward and the injured leg behind making sure that you have your pelvis turned so that you are facing forward. Have the rear foot turned slightly out. While keeping your rear leg straight, bend your forward knee and lower yourself like you are trying to sit down. You will want to hold that position for about 5 seconds and then stand back up. You’ll need to repeat that stretch two more times on the injured leg, and then switch to the uninjured side.
The next level of stretch moves to the floor. In this stretch you will need to kneel on the injured side one knee, with the uninjured side propped up on the foot. Make sure that the foot is a few inches away from a wall. While holding onto the wall, lean forward trying to touch the uninjured knee to the wall. To increase the level of difficulty, grab the foot of the injured side and lift it up while leaning forward. Hold that position for 5 seconds and then repeat 2 more times. You should definitely feel the stretch right in your hip flexor. Make sure that you perform this stretch on the other side as well to keep everything in balance.
The last, and most aggressive stretch, should only be performed when the previous 2 stretches are no longer noticeably stretching the hip flexors. It is an advanced level stretch that if done at the wrong time, can potentially cause injury. Please be mindful of this as you are ultimately the one responsible for your health. This stretch is performed by bringing your injured leg up against the wall and prop the foot up so that the top of your foot is resting flat against the wall. Make sure that the other leg is positioned forward as seen here. The next part is basically leaning forward slightly. Please do not get too aggressive with this one as the hip flexors are under a tremendous amount of strain. As with the previous exercises, you will need to hold each position for the count of 5 and then relax. Repeat two more times and then switch sides.
Too tight of hip flexors can wreak havoc on the lower back and is often confused for spinal misalignments. Do your back and legs a favor and make this stretch a regular in your routine.