How to Reduce Hip Pain
Your back, hips, knees and feet play an important role in supporting your body. Together they bear most of your weight, which means the joints in these areas are the first to degenerate with age. Even though degeneration happens for us all, learning proper body mechanics will allow you to distribute your weight more effectively, taking stress off your hips and preventing hip pain.
What is Hip Pain?
Hip pain refers to any type of pain in or around the actual hip joint. There are many causes of hip pain, including hip injuries, arthritis, overuse, poor posture, faulty movement patterns, and inflammation. The first signs of hip pain often include stiffness, inflammation, and soreness. Fortunately, learning proper body mechanics now can help you avoid hip pain in the future.
What Causes Hip Pain?
Hip pain can arise for a variety of reasons. It can be caused by an impingement, inflammation, or an injury. Here are some of the most common causes of hip pain:
- Labral tear of the hip
- Hamstring strain
- Hip flexor strain
- Groin strain
- Hip impingement syndrome
- Snapping hip syndrome
- Iliotibial band syndrome
Arthritis is one of the most common causes of hip pain as we age, as wear-and-tear can contribute to degeneration of the joint. Other causes of acute or chronic hip pain can come from other parts of the hip joint, including hip impingements, an inflamed tendon (tendonitis), or a labral tear due to lost hip cartilage.
Ways to Resolve Hip Pain
A lack of hip mobility and flexibility can lead to muscle imbalances, postural issues, and injuries. Poor movement patterns can contribute to accelerated wear and tear and influence pain in the hip. To avoid hip pain or to resolve current hip pain, MoveU recommends learning how to properly move your body. Massages and stretches can provide temporary relief, however, to really understand how to move your body so you can live a pain-free life, we advise checking out our MoveU membership.
Our membership offers programs that focus on different areas of the body, so you can learn how to properly align, and move, your entire body to promote even forces on the body’s joints and muscles. Our membership guides you to move better, to feel better and to live better.
Mobility Exercises for Hips
A lack of hip mobility can affect your joints and lead to injuries. Having full range of motion in your hips decreases your risk of injury and improves your flexibility, stability, and strength. Here are 4 mobility exercises for your hips:
Mull Stretch or 90/90 Hip Stretch
- Sit down on the floor/yoga mat and get into a 90/90 stretch facing the front of the mat by placing your right knee in front of your right hip and your left knee straight out from your left hip–both knees at 90 degrees.
- Gently press your left hip forward to try to square your hips to the front of the mat. Breathe.
- Slowly lift your left knee and continue to twist your left so that the left knee becomes the front knee and the right knee is to the side of the right hip. Breathe.
Note: Keep your core tight and your body as upright as possible. You can place your hands behind you to help. Ideally you will work up to doing this without using your hands. If your hip joint is not mobile or flexible then your body is likely compensating for this immobility in another area of your body such as your core or knee, which can contribute to core or knee pain.
Hip Cars (Conntrolled Articular Rotations)
A hip CAR takes your hip joint through its full range of motion. Here are the steps on how to properly execute this exercise:
- Stand with your feet hips width distance apart and hold onto a bar or wall for support with your left hand.
- Activate your abs and lift your right knee up to about hip height into hip flexion, keep your toes pulled up towards your shin.
- Bring your right knee out to the side as far as you can without letting your hips rotate.
- Turn the sole of your lifted foot up to the wall behind you (you are now in internal hip rotation).
- Press the knee back as far as comfortably possible, then slowly lower it underneath the hip completing your hip’s full range of motion.
- Reverse the motion and then repeat it on the left side.
The bear sit stretch can help to improve the external rotation of your hips. Here’s how to do it:
- Sit on the floor with your knees wider than your hips and bent at 90 degrees.
- Hold your ankles and allow your knees to fall open (your soles will turn in).
- Sit up tall, finding a neutral position.
- Hold for 60 seconds as you breathe and slowly work to drive your knees outward, making this stretch more active.
The butterfly stretch targets the adductor muscles. It is a seated hip opener that relieves hip tightness and improves hip flexibility. Here’s how to do the stretch:
- Sit on the floor/yoga mat with the bottoms of your feet touching. Ensure you sit up tall with an elongated spine.
- Hold this stretch for between 30 seconds and 2 minutes. Breathe.
- Try hinging forward at the waist to enhance this stretch.
- Move your feet farther from your body and bring them closer to your body to vary the stretch.