HIP FLEXOR TIGHTNESS
The role of the hip flexors:
The hip flexor muscles include the iliacus and psoas major. Together these muscles act to lift the thigh up closer to the abdomen, which is the movement known as hip flexion. Excessive tightness of the hip flexor muscles is more likely to occur in certain people. It can lead to biomechanical abnormalities and be a source of pain.
People that are more prone to hip flexor tightness:
People that have occupations that involve prolonged periods of sitting are prone to hip flexor tightness as the hips are in a sustained flexed position during sitting. People that engage in regular exercise such as running and cycling are also more prone to tight hip flexors. Sportspeople playing kicking sports such as soccer and football are also more likely to experience excessive flexor tightness as the kicking motion involves repetitive hip flexion movements.
The consequences of tight hip flexors:
Tight hip flexors can be a local source of pain around the hip joint which can be present during prolonged periods of sitting or during sporting activities that utilise the hip flexor muscles. Excessive tightness of the hip flexors can change lumbo-pelvic posture as it pulls the pelvis into an anteriorly tilted position. Increased anterior pelvic tilt increases the curve within the lumbar spine (lordosis) which in turn can cause the facet joint of the lumbar spine to be compressed more and tighten up surrounding back extensor muscles such as the erector spinae; this can lead to associated lower back pain.
Tight hip flexors and altered alignment of the pelvis can also lead to over-activity of the hip flexor muscles and altered neuromuscular activity of the gluteal and core muscles which can further be a source of hip pain.
What can we do to reduce hip flexor tightness?
Our experienced physiotherapists at Capital Physiotherapy can help to reduce hip flexor tightness and associated aches and pains through various treatment options which include:
- Massage and trigger point release
- Gluteal and core strengthening to improve lumbo-pelvic stability
- Neuromuscular training
What can you do to reduce hip flexor tightness?
To manage tight hip flexors stretch the hip flexors daily, try and stand up every 30-60 minutes to avoid sitting for prolonged periods.
Drop down into lunge position. Tilt pelvis backwards to activate glutes. Then lean forward at the hips, keeping the back in a neutral position. A stretch should be felt near the groin/front of the thigh. Hold for 30 seconds. Repeat up to 4 times a day. Stretch at least once a day.
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Want to know more about Melanie – Our Hawthorn Physiotherapist?
Our physiotherapist, Melanie Lim, has a Bachelor of Physiotherapy Graduate from the University of Melbourne.
With her wealth of clinical experience – in both public and private systems, Melanie is contactable at Capital Physiotherapy’s Hawthorn Physio clinic to provide you with the best physio treatment in the Hawthorn and for the surrounding suburbs.
At the Hawthorn physio clinic, Capital Physiotherapy offer bulk billing for their patients. Get in contact with Melanie today and book an appointment for a one on one session with her! She has completed advance training to specialise in a range of physical therapy treatments such as sport, dance, pre and postnatal, and dry needling. With a keen interest in treating and educating her clients (and YouTube audience), she aims to create custom pain treatment management plans for the Hawthorn community, and Melbourne at large.
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Keeping in mind these tips/advice are of general nature and do not take your injuries/history into considerations. If you are experiencing any pain or would like an individualised tailored program to help improve your dancing, I highly recommend you speak to any one of your physiotherapists to guide you through your rehab journey.
Here at Capital Physiotherapy, our women’s health physiotherapists are the experts in helping you to fix your issues as well as all the discomfort that comes with it!
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