Hip pain can result from several causes ranging from injury, sprain, strain, bursitis, and arthritis to inflammatory conditions. Hip pain often leads to decreased range of motion at the joint, reduced hip muscle strength, and limited ability to walk and climb stairs. These limitations result from tightness in the muscles or capsule around the hip joint due to pathological changes. Restricted hip mobility is not only the causative factor of hip pain but also the cause of pain in the knees and the lower back, so managing hip pain is crucial. Hip Stretches form a significant part of hip pain management as they help with the mobility and flexibility of the Hip. Try to hold each of the stretches for 30 seconds and do five repetitions to gain full benefits.
1. Kneeling Hip Flexor Stretch– Kneel with one knee on the ground and the other foot placed in front and knee bent at an angle of 90 degrees. Keeping your upper body straight, place both of your hands on the knee in front of you for support. Lean forward slightly to deepen the stretch felt at the back leg. Hold this stretch for 30 seconds and repeat five times on each side.
2. Piriformis Stretch-Lie on your back. Bend your right knee so that your right foot is flat on the floor. Cross your left leg over your right so that your left ankle rests on your right knee. Use your hands to grab hold of your left knee and pull it gently toward the opposite shoulder. You will feel the stretch in your buttocks and hips. Hold this stretch for 30 seconds, repeat five times.
3. Butterfly Stretch– Sit on the ground with your knees bent and soles of the feet together. Let the knees drop out to the side. Bring your heels as close to your body as you can and lean forward into the stretch. You can also push knees down using your elbows for a deeper stretch.
4. Hip Extension Stretch– Stand holding on to the back of a chair for support. Keeping your knees straight, move your leg backward, do not lean forward. Squeeze your buttocks tightly and hold the stretch. Repeat on the other leg.
5. Side-Lying Hip Abduction Stretch-Lie on your side with your legs one on top of the other. Now, lift your top leg as high as you can. Hold that position for 30 seconds and then return to the starting position. Repeat on the other side.
6. IT Band Stretch-In standing position, cross one leg in front of the other leg such that the pinkie toes of the feet are together and bend down from the hips with knees slightly bent, touch your toes. Try to place your hands across the floor toward the front leg to give more stretch IT band of the back leg. Hold the stretch and return to the starting position. Repeat on both sides.
7. Diagonal Plane Movements– Stand on a stable surface and place your hands on your torso. Now lift your one leg and swing in a diagonal pattern, going forwards and inwards, then moving backward and outwards. Do not move your torso. Repeat five times on each side.
8. Hip Rotation Stretches– Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, then lift your one leg off the floor and start moving it in a clockwise direction to form a circle with your toes. You can take support from a wall with your hand for balance if needed. Do five repetitions each in the clockwise and anti-clockwise directions.
People with severe and chronic hip pain and those who have undergone hip replacement should consult their Physical Therapist before commencing any exercise program.
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