Most of our daily activities require the use of our hips. Normal, everyday activities, such as walking or standing, get taken for granted if you are among those who don’t experience daily pain, especially hip pain.
For those who do deal with chronic hip pain, simple tasks can become agonizing chores. Whether you suffer from arthritis or bursitis that causes the hip joint to become inflamed and painful, there are some simple stretches you can incorporate into your routine to help alleviate the pain such as:
- Using a foam roller – Lying face down, place a foam roller under and slightly below your right hip. Put your left leg to the side and bend the knee at a 90 degree angle. Place your forearms out in front of you to help support some of your weight, making the stretch less painful. Gently stretch your right leg straight back with the top of your foot against the floor and toes pointed back. Slowly move back and forth over the roller. Do this for up to 30 seconds then switch sides and repeat.
- Pigeon stretch – Start out on hands and knees like a table position. Bring the right knee forward and put it behind the right wrist. Place your right ankle in front of the left hip and straighten your left leg behind you. Ensure the left knee is straight and toes are pointed. Try to keep your hips squared and gently lower down to the ground and stay for 10 seconds. To release, put your weight on your hands and push legs and hips back into a table top position. Change sides and repeat.
- Hip flexor stretch – Kneel on one knee and put the opposite foot on the floor with that knee bent at 90 degrees. Slowly push your hip forward. While keeping your back straight, lean your torso forward and hold for up to 30 seconds. Do this on each side a few times, trying to deepen the stretch each time.
- Butterfly – Sitting on the floor, bring the soles of your feet together. Pull your heals as close to your body as you can comfortably. Keeping your back straight, lean your torso forward. Hold for up to 30 seconds. To deepen the stretch, gently press your thighs down with your elbows.
- Squat stretch – Get into tabletop position on the floor. Gently lower your elbow down and make sure your knees are a 90 degree angle. Slowly move your knees apart as far as you comfortably can. Lower your chest onto your forearms and pull your hips back and down. Hold this position for up to 1 minute.
- Chair stretch – Sit on a chair keeping your back straight. Place your right ankle on the left knee and gently fold your chest forward until you feel a slight stretch. Hold here for up to 1 minute. Switch sides and repeat.
Stretching the hips not only helps to relieve chronic hip pain but can also help prevent injury and decrease the risk for severe or long term damage. If a stretch is causing excess pain, stop immediately and consult your doctor if pain persists or worsens.