That pinch in the hip!
2 March 2017
Feeling that pinch in the hip / top of the thigh? Irritated with hip flexion (running type movements) and squatting? A common cause is hip impingement – where the joint capsule and/or soft tissues get compressed at the front of the hip.
A fairly frequent condition in dancers as well as athletes in the various football codes. There are numerous factors that contribute to hip impingement. In this article, we will be exploring some of these factors.
If you have recently ramped up your activity, in particular running type and squatting movements, compression at the front of the hip might have resulted in local inflammation. This swelling further exacerbates the compression at the hip. As simple as it sounds, sometimes all the hip needs is a short period of backing off before gradually ramping up your activity again. Backing off does not mean complete rest, but rather an interim of modification of your hip movements to allow things to settle. Local ice and anti-inflammatory medications (please speak to your pharmacist if they are appropriate for you) will facilitate this.
Once the acute inflammation settles, it is crucial to increase the mobility in your hip. Lack of mobility can arise from your hip joint capsule as well as the muscles around the hip. Here are 3 of our preferred stretches to get you started.
Hip flexion lying on your back. Gentle. 10 -15 reps. 3 times a day
Glute trigger point release. Using a ‘spikey ball’ or tennis ball and applying sustained moderate pressure to tight spots in the glute. 30s hold. 3 times per day
Hip flexor stretch. Squeezing glute to have a more targeted stretch. If able, bend the knee of the stretching leg. 30s hold. 3 time per day.
Having an increased lumbar arch (lordosis) and forward pelvic tilt can predispose your hip to impingement. Try achieving a backward tilt in the pelvis while performing the squat and hip flexion drills – this activates your glutes better and decreases the compressing occurring at the front of the hip.
At Ascend, we love being part of your team. We believe that exercise is the best medicine and we want you to keep exercising. Don’t just let pain settle down, get to the core of the problem. Call 9387 2699 to work with our physios to raise the bar higher and achieve your peak performance this year!