The hip flexors are muscle groups that are critical for creating movement in the spine, hips and legs. Tight hip flexors can result not only in chronic pain, but misalignment and injury. Taking care of these muscles with the right combination of stretching and activity is essential for maintaining healthy back and legs and a pain-free life.
This article covers the symptoms of tight hip flexors. How to Unlock Your Hip Flexors? Can stretching your Hip Flexors decrease back and hip pain? If you feel that you may be experiencing tightness in the hip flexors, this article will help you find some answers as to how and why you’re having this trouble. We’ll discuss the function of the hip flexors, symptoms of tightness, and how you can improve these symptoms through simple solutions.
The hip flexors are a group of muscles at the tops of the thighs that connect the leg to the hip and create flexion. These muscles extend from the middle of the spine down into the groin and hips. They help us lift the knees and bend the waist, this is flexion, or, movement. The opposite of flexion is extension.
When the hip flexors spend too much time flexed without extension, the result is “shortened” or tight muscles which can cause strain and pain when they are extended.
You may intuitively be feeling that your hip flexors are the culprit for your tightness. So what are some of the symptoms of tight hip flexors?
Is Your Lower Back Pain A Symptom Of Tight Hip flexors?
The most common symptom is lower back pain. Tightness in the lower back, especially after activity like bending, lifting, squatting and running.
Pain in the upper legs and groin area, is also common, which may result in other symptoms like cramping or limping while walking.
Inability to continue movements of extension like jumping, kicking or sprinting, can also be related to tight hip flexors.
Here’s a small “test” you can do to gauge the tightness of the hip flexors. Simply lying down on the ground, as if you are in corpse pose, notice the space between the lower lumbar spine and the ground. If the spine is able to easily rest flat against the ground, it’s indicative that the hip flexor muscles are flexible, or at least, not “shortened.” If your back is coming off of the mat with significant curvature, this could be indicative that hip flexor muscles are too tight and are not able to reach a full extension.
Symptoms of tight hip flexors are often interrelated with lack of flexibility in other muscle groups, so it’s important not to assume that these symptoms are solely due to your hip flexors.
Causes to consider are related to excessive amounts of time with these muscles in flexion. This looks like too much time spent sitting, like in the car or at a desk. A sedentary lifestyle in general is a huge influence on this problem.
Lack of proper stretching, especially before and after intense exercise can aggravate this muscle group. Neglecting to stretch over a long time can result in chronic pain and problems.
Runners, dancers and people who practice martial arts are among those who most often experience symptoms or injuries from tight hip flexors. Sports like these which require explosive extension can result in injury when these muscles are not properly conditioned and are chronically tight.
A Holistic Approach To Tight Hip Flexor Muscles
There is no one reason for tight hip flexors and there is no one solution. A holistic approach that considers biology and lifestyle and targets the whole body rather than one specific area is most likely to give the greatest relief. When working to create more flexibility or relieve pain, be consistent everyday. At the same time, be patient. Don’t try everything at once, this will likely only stress these muscles even more, resulting in more soreness and tightness. Just choose one or two gentle stretches or exercises to practice and practice it consistently for two weeks.
Featured Video: Tight Hip Flexor Symptoms
Advice for dealing with tight hip flexors: give your body the most range of motion that you can. Incorporate more activity into your daily routines, especially if your circumstances require you to be sitting for long amounts of time. By taking even just one minute a day to stand up, make some circles with your hips, and take a few stationary lunges, overtime will increase your flexibility and relieve tightness and pain.
Hillary is a natural-born wanderer and wonderer. A digital nomad and pilgrim of the heart, she often feels herself a poster child of the Spiritual Millennial. As a writer, health coach and yoga instructor Read More..