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What is Hip Mobility, and What are the Ways to Improve it?

Ever wondered why you feel a sharp pain when you sit for long hours on your bed or couch? This is something related to hip mobility, and we will tell you how in this article.

During the quarantine where everyone was forced to stay at home, people spent most of their time on the internet. This resulted in prolonged sitting and reduced physical activity. 

Hip flexors are one of the most powerful muscles that bend and flex whenever you sit. Physiotherapists claim that if you sit idly in a certain place for long hours, it will cause hip muscles to tighten. Once they get tightened, you feel immense pain that starts from your lower back that moves towards your hips and knees.

Now let’s shine a spotlight on our main question of the day – what is hip mobility?

What is Hip Mobility?

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Hip mobility describes the ability of your hip joint and surrounding muscles to work smoothly and demonstrate a complete range of motion flexibly. There are about 15 muscles that constitute the hip area. Enhanced hip mobility allows more effortless movements and prevents stiffening and tightening of muscles. 

Why is Hip Mobility Important?

Many of you can relate that the hip joint is the most powerful joint of your body. It works 24/7 to help you with basic physical activities, including sitting, standing, and walking. Moreover, it is far more stable and brilliant shock-absorber than any other joint. Its mobility is really important if you want to keep yourself healthy and overall active.

In any scenario, if your hip mobility is impaired, it can give rise to many other bone illnesses and diseases. These may include impaired or weakened knee joint and lumbar joint, which is in the lower back. It is the center of your body movements (that’s the reason it is in the middle) and supports all your internal structures. Thus, it is crucial to maintain good hip mobility for improved and better bodily functions. 

Why do you Have Reduced Hip Mobility?

When you constantly drive vehicles or sit in front of your desktop trying to balance out the sheets, you might tighten up your hip joints in the process. There are many other reasons for your decreased hip mobility. Some of the factors are modifiable, while the rest of them might need proper treatment by a registered physiotherapist or osteologist.

The signs for which you need expert consultation include stiff hip muscles with an onset of fever with pain intensified pain, swelling, or warmth or pallor area around hips. The non-modifiable causes for poor hip mobility comprise:

Hip dislocation 

At times, due to severe injuries or accidents, the hip joint might dislocate, which causes poor hip mobility. 

Hip fractures

Hip fractures are another reason that contributes to poor hip mobility. Hip fractures are often a result of minor falls or injuries. 

Underlying infections

There are a variety of infections that can cause impaired hip mobility. These infections include rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, sepsis, or sepsis-related arthritis. 

Wear and tear of tissues

Labral tear of the hip may also cause decreased hip ROM.

Congenital factors

Last but not least, congenital bone deformities or disorders can also cause a decline in hip range of motion. Example: Cerebral palsy.

We would recommend you see a doctor to treat underlying diseases and bone deformities and do these exercises to improve the overall hip range of motion. These exercises will help rebuild stamina and strengthen the joint. 

What are the signs of poor hip mobility?

Raise your hands if you ever feel pain in your lower back when you stand up after a prolonged sitting period. This could be one of the signs which indicate poor hip mobility. Other than that, there are a few more signs that are concerning and need your attention.

  • 1- Tightness or pain in your back or knees in a standing position.
  • 2- Poor gait on walking, climbing stairs, or running.
  • 3- Hunch posture or if you can’t stand straight.
  • 4- Neck pain or rigidity.
  • 5- Pain in your lower back, knees, or pelvis when exercising (especially squats)

How to improve your hip mobility?

We questioned the world’s best physical therapists, and according to them, the best way to improve your hip mobility is to train your hip joint and muscles. Now the question is, how can we train it? The answer is (drumroll): stretches. Take out your quills and take notes of these enchanting spells – we mean exercises to strengthen your hip joint.

4 Exercises to Increase Hip Mobility

Rotations 

Lay on your back and flex your knees. Now, put an ankle on your other knee and start moving side by side. Perform this exercise 10 times and then switch the legs.

Piriformis exercise

Cross your legs one over another. Bring the crossed leg (upper one) towards the opposite shoulder. Keep it stretched for a few seconds and then repeat 10-15 times. Then, switch your legs and repeat. These are best in cases where you feel tightness by sitting for long hours. 

Butterfly exercise

Sit straight in an upright position. Now bring your feet together and put your knees down so that they are touching the ground. Bring your groin near to your heels. Strech for some seconds and then repeat.

Glutes stretch

Put your hands and feet (facing outwards) on the ground and sit in a frog-style position. Now, stretch your knees as far as possible and move forward and backward. Do this ten times and then repeat. 

Takeaway

Hip mobility has great importance in keeping your body’s overall health. It balances out your movements and helps to keep a strong and erect gait and posture. If you feel unexplainable pain or tightness in your lower back, knees, or neck, it probably indicates poor hip mobility.

There are a variety of exercises that help in enhancing and strengthening your hip joint. Patients have reported less pain and excellent mobility after performing these stretches regularly. We hope that these exercises work for you too to improve your hip mobility. 

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