FLEXIBLE HIPs…..HAPPY SPINE
Could the limited movement in your hips be the cause of your back pain?
A lack of movement, sitting down all day at a desk, an old injury, even limited movement at the ankle can all play havoc with your hips.
Tightness or limited flexibility in the hips can lead to improper use of the spine. Many people suffer back pain, it is said 80% of the population will have a back problem at least once in their life. For most this is non specific, with no primary cause as the reason.
Could lack of mobility around the hip joints and a lack of strength in the muscles supporting the pelvis and hips be the reason your back hurts?
Common things noticed when people come to us with back pain are
- Poor Posture
- A lack of flexibility around the hips
- Imbalances in tone in the soft tissue supporting the hips
- Decreased body awareness
The deep ball and socket hip joint is strong and injuries here or imbalances in the tone of the soft tissue will often show up as a problem somewhere else. This somewhere else regularly seems to be the low back.
The hip joint has a big range of movement, you can sweep the leg around in quite a big circle, and a healthy hip when the foot is grounded can move quite a bit.
Try it for yourself.
Some kind of symmetry here, may also lead to a stronger Pelvic Floor. Many muscles and ligaments surround the area, connecting, and transferring forces and information up and down the body. If something becomes tight or injured, these forces are not distributed in the same way, and your back might start to do more than its fair share of the work!
Perhaps you sit at a desk all day, or drive long distances?
You just forget to stand up and stretch. Maybe you ran a little too far and had a niggle in your hip that eventually went away but you didn’t go back to your original running pattern?
The muscles and ligaments around the joint adapt, reducing the range of movement. A lack of movement leads to reduced strength in the muscles supporting the joint. Over time this reduced range and strength mean the forces get distributed differently, possibly further reducing our hip flexibility. Now every time you get up from your desk, out of the car, or go for a walk, instead of the hips being open and lubricated and the pelvis responding, your back has to take on more work!
I have noticed many of my clients are unable to sit like the photo. Is this you?
Simple things that might help.
- Becoming aware of your posture.
- How easy is it to stand up?
- Do you notice tightness or strain anywhere?
These might be the key areas that you need to stretch or strengthen.
Hip Rolls or Bridging can help to open the front of the hip, strengthen the muscles at the back of the hip and massage the spine. Doing this exercise should free tight or restricted areas. You might not be able to move very far to start with.
Can you draw your knees into your chest? How far and what does it feel like?
This stretch is to stretch the glutes and can help to free the hip.
This stretch to release the hip flexors can help to free the front of the hip
Can you move into all these positions?
What does it feel like to sit on your heels?
How does the spine feel as you curl it?
What do you notice in the hips and back as you move into spinal extension?
Remember movement is one of the best gifts you can give your body.