Los Angeles, CA -- (SBWIRE) -- 12/20/2013 -- One of the most common injuries and dysfunctions seen by physical therapists is limited hip mobility. It doesn’t seem to matter the age or physical condition of a person, physical therapists across the board consistently report patients coming in with low back or hip pain that all seems to be related to hip mobility. To treat this common ailment, they recommend a series of stretches and fascia massages to aid in external rotation and flexion of the hip joint for full movement, pain relief, and full athletic performance.
The hips are made up of fascia and soft tissue which can become hard and inflexible if not stretched or massaged regularly. One of the best things trainers and therapists recommend is foam rolling the sides of the hips, glutes, and fronts of the quads a few times a week. A therapist can teach the technique, but this is an exercise one can do on their own after purchasing a roller for home. If the hips are extremely tight, a softball can be used to narrow in on the smaller areas of fascia and rotator muscles. When rolling on either a foam roller or a softball, experts recommend putting as much body weight into the device as possible, and holding the stretch or pressure until the muscle completely relaxes before slowly rolling forward to the next area.
One stretch that can be done at home for tight glutes that limit external rotation is to use a resistance band to hold the muscle in a stretched position. If a resistance band is not available, the foot of one leg can be crossed over the knee, and from a hands and knees position the muscle can be stretched by using the opposite thigh as resistance.
The Spiderman stretch is also helpful for stretching external rotators and improving active flexibility. From a plank position, step one foot forward into a lunge outside the hands and shoulders. Press the body weight into the outside leg, letting the knee turn out to stretch the rotators. Hold for 5-10 second then switch sides.
Hip mobility can affect functionality of the spine, legs, and even shoulders. It’s important to stretch and care for these delicate muscles to ensure the body is pain free, and performs at top capability for any activities one may engage in.
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