Written by: Melanie Talastas-Soriano BA-Kin, CAT(C), ISSA-CPT
Athletic Therapist, Personal Trainer
Hip health is important to all active people of any ages. Our hip is the center of our body that assists in upper body and lower body movements. In all the activities we do from walking, running, squatting, lunging to jumping and twisting the hip play a big role in the success of each movements.
Particularly in sports, hip is the most overuse but under-trained area of the body. When the hips are under-trained, the muscles are not functioning correctly, therefore other muscle groups are over-compensating which may lead to injuries like low back pain, knee pain and hip pain in general.
There are two main activities that are significant in maintaining the health of your hips. They are stability and flexibility, both are equally important for your hip. Too many activities or lack of activity may lead to tight hip which flexibility is much needed whereas being too flexible may lead to poor stability that can also cause other types of injuries. It is important to understand the difference between stability and flexibility and how it plays a role in your active day-to-day activities.
Stability means the ability to maintain control of a joint movement. Very important for walking, standing, running to have the muscles keep the hip together to work synergistically.
Flexibility is the ability to move joints effectively through complete range of motion. Important so that we can squat, lunge, bend down without any pain or discomfort.
Muscles of the hips: These are the major hip muscles and its functions. There are deeper muscles and other muscle groups that crosses the hip joints which is not mentioned on the list.
Muscle groups > Functions
Iliacus, Sartorius, Psoas major > Hip flexors
Gluteus medius and minimus > Hip abductor, internal rotators
Gluteus maximus, Piriformis > Hip extensor, external rotators
Adductors (magnus, longus,brevis, gracilis, pectineus) > Hip adductors
Stability exercises for the hips
2. Hip abduction
3. Single leg bridge
For all the stability exercises, be sure to complete them on both sides.
Flexibility exercises for the hips
2. Butterfly stretch
3. Proposal stretch
There are other stability and flexibility exercises you can perform to maintain your hip health. For advance stability work, you can use mini-bands with challenging resistance to increase strength around the hip joints. Also, for flexibility there are other stretches that can be performed, particularly yoga hip openers to improve hip flexibility. Happy training….Hip, Health, Hooray!!!!!
Written by: Melanie Talastas-Soriano CAT(C) Athletic Therapist, CFT Fitness Trainer
Three simple ways to alleviate piriformis syndrome
Piriformis syndrome is a neuromuscular condition that causes sciatic nerve impingement due to tight piriformis muscle. This muscle is deep into the buttocks which helps with stabilizing the hip when walking. It also lifts and rotates the thigh away from the body. This is why this muscle is important for all lower body movements like climbing stairs, walking, running squatting and lunging.
The sciatic nerve is a thick nerve that is located right under the piriformis muscle. It descends from the low back to the hip, all the way down the back of the knee, which separate into tiny nerves to the foot. Imagine how much of your lower body is affected when a major nerve root is injured or impinged?
Tight piriformis muscle are caused by prolonged sitting, long distance running, prolonged standing, climbing stairs, lunges and /or trauma to the muscle. Whether your daily routines are sedentary or physical, you may be prone to developing piriformis syndrome.
The signs and symptoms for piriformis syndrome are tenderness on the buttocks, numbness or tingling on the buttocks and radiating pain down the back of the leg. These signs and symptoms are identical to the condition called sciatica.
The difference between sciatica and piriformis syndrome is that sciatica is a compression of the sciatic nerve caused by herniated disc or other spinal injuries from the lower lumbar vertebrae. Whereas, piriformis syndrome is a compression of the sciatic nerve caused by a tight piriformis muscle.
Here are three ways to help you alleviate your tight piriformis muscle:
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