Hip stretches are essential for maintaining flexibility in the muscles of the hips. Lack of movement in the hip joint will place undue stress, not only on the hip joint itself, but also the muscles of the lower back.
This stretching sequence is an excellent way to progressively release tightness in the gluteals, piriformis, and deep hip rotator muscles. Using Active Isolated Stretching, as opposed to Static Stretching, allows for a much more thorough release of these muscles.
When it comes to muscular compensation and lower back pain, the muscles of the hips are the chief stabilizer.
In other words, when we have lower back pain, the body is constantly attempting to figure out how to move without stressing the back further.
The frequent result is that the hip muscles - the gluteals, piriformis, deep hip rotators, hip flexors, and tensor fascia lata - can be forced to overwork in an effort to prevent movement in the lower back.
Over time, the hip muscles can then become chronically contracted. When this occurs they become their own problem. Chronic muscular contraction leads to ischemia (low blood flow), fatigue, and soreness.
This is why I recommend daily stretching to all my clients suffering from back pain. I even recommend it to those who aren't experiencing back pain because maintaining hip flexibility is a wonderful preventive medicine.
A strong muscle is a muscle which is flexible and resilient, not one which is short, tight, inflexible, and tired. Preventing lower back and hip pain begins with maintaining flexible, resilient muscles.
For many of us who are not always able to get as much physical exercise as we would like, it's essential to have strategies to counteract the effects of long days of sitting.
The following sequence can be done in any chair. It will be most effective if your pants are loose enough to allow freedom of movement.
I recommend performing these stretches several times throughout the day, especially after you've been immobile for long periods of time.
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