Many of us have experienced the pain caused by tight hips, along with the clicking, popping, and lack of a full range of motion. The causes of tight hips are numerous, and the discomfort and lack of function might be a very short-term issue or a more severe and long-term condition.
Even when maintaining a healthy weight and staying active, tight hips can still become a problem. However, it is possible to prevent tight hips as well as find much-needed relief!
1. Get Answers!
Tight hips or stiffness in your hips is likely due to tight hip flexors, those muscles that bring your knees up while you are bending at the waist. This tightness is easily remedied and is typically a short-term issue. However, several chronic diseases are often linked to tight, stiff hips.
These include various types of arthritis, including ankylosing spondylitis, juvenile idiopathic arthritis, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis. Bursitis is another culprit for causing tight hips, as is Lyme Disease. Because severe but treatable conditions can cause tight hips, you need to know precisely why your hips are tight.
A thorough but gentle massage of the entire hip region can reduce pain and loosen the stiff, tight muscles. While seeing an expert such as a registered massage therapist is ideal, it is possible to get great results through self-massage.
How to release tight hips with massage? Where do you massage for tight hip flexors?
What I love most about self-massage techniques is the simplicity. I can find relief anytime and anywhere, with just the exact right amount of pressure. I can also target any particularly troublesome areas. In addition, using a quality self-massage product such as a ball or a muscle roller stick makes it possible to improve and increase your hip’s flexibility, reduce your pain, and get back to moving.
3. Muscle Balance!
Having some muscles stronger than others is common, but this is a muscle imbalance. When one side of our body, or the front and back of our body, is stronger than the other side, a muscle imbalance can cause you to have less mobility, pain, and even instability.
The hips are a prevalent location for such an imbalance, meaning that your hips are tight, and the muscles in your buttocks are weak. To avoid tight hips and lower back pain, be sure that your training program includes strengthening exercises for all muscle groups, as well as loads of thorough stretching.
For many people, tight hips are the result of sitting for too long. When we sit, our hips and thighs form a ninety-degree angle; the hip flexors become tight when we maintain this angle by sitting. As a result, the iliopsoas muscle becomes shortened and tight!
If you are seated for much of your day, stand up and move around for several minutes each hour. Add in hip stretches! Yoga is a great activity to maximize your hip’s performance.
Athletes, such as runners, who repeatedly lift the leg up can also be prone to tight hips. When was the last time you did a solid core workout? A weak core can also lead to tight hips as they have to help stabilize the spine when the core cannot.
5. Stretch!Taking the time to stretch your tight hips will help you function better during your daily activities and sports. There are dozens of great hip stretches. Many of these stretches can be done while seated, while others will need to be on a comfortable floor. Consult with an exercise specialist to be trained in specific stretches. Or, search online on how to stretch hip flexors that will target your hip flexors or join a yoga class.
After a thorough warm-up, perform any hip-related movements slowly to avoid a painful stretch or tear. I have found that my workplaces are incredibly accommodating for taking a few moments to complete these and other wellness activities. After all, a worker that is not in pain is one that is at work!