Are Hip-Opening Exercises Effective For Relaxing Tight Hips?
Although the earth's weight rests on your shoulders and hips, it is your hips that carry you around the day. You can squat, walk and climb stairs with their support. The hip joints allow you to turn from left-to-right and go forward, backward and sidesways.
The power of your hips allows you to accomplish amazing feats. However, if you sit a lot or wear the wrong shoes, your hips can become weaker and cause tightness.
If you feel tightness for some time, chances are you have searched every hip-opening exercise or hip-opening pose on the internet. Do you still feel that pigeon poses aren't helping, no matter how much you try? You are correct in your instincts.
Chad Adams DC, Chiropractor, discusses why just hip opening exercises will not help tighten hips, and how you can improve your workout routine.
Anatomy Of The Hip
According to Dr. Adams, in order for you to alleviate any problems with your hips, you first need to understand their structure and function.
Many people don't know what the hip looks like, what it does, and how to help it. So, without going too deep into the anatomical science side of things, the hip is made up of the upper leg, which is the femur, and where it attaches to on the pelvis."
He says that the hip joint has been classified as synovial.
Dr. Adams states that synovial joint make up 75% to 85% of all your joints. Synovial joints are extremely mobile and can be moved through three dimensions.
"What is interesting about these joints? Deep within the articular surfaces is what is called a synovial Membrane'. That membrane produces synovial fluid that lubricates and facilitates movement.
But, movement is the only way to stimulate synovial membranes. The membrane stops producing synovial fluid if we do not move in the right way.
Why do we experience tight hips?
The femur, if we go back to anatomy of the hips, is round. The "acetabulum" is the socket where the pelvis meets the femur. It actually stands for "cup".
Dr. Adams explains further.
What is commonly called a socket and ball joint, is made up of the femur as well as the pelvis. As you can see, the cup is shaped like a ball and socket joint.
It would be easy to assume that this joint has primary ranges of motion because of its round shape. But, in normal life, for the majority of human beings, is it ever necessary to turn our hips full circle?
It is interesting to recall the synovial membrane. This membrane cannot be stimulated with any type of movement. You might wonder why your hips are so tight if you're very active and never sit still.
Dr. Adams says that most daily activities don't enable you to move your hips enough to stimulate the synovial membrane. If you do not move your hip joints properly, your body may stop producing synovial liquid and reduce blood flow.
"Can someone do a lot of activity and not actually move their hips?" "Yes, 11%," Dr. Adams says.
He continues, "Let us take the older person, who is sedentary, has arthritis, and maybe a bit more senior." The person might work a 9-5 at home or in an office with good chairs. Although they might have good posture, if we are seated it can restrict our movement and force us to stay in certain positions," he said.
Guess what? You are most likely to find yourself in the same position every day regardless of what you have.
Dr. Adams warns us that if we look at our hip joint structure and determine what needs to lubricate it, it becomes clear that sitting or doing other activities daily makes it difficult for our hips to move effectively.
We are not able to access the synovial membrane and we don't create any fluid. It's a simple 'use it, or lose it' rule that governs the body's operations. The body will say "There is nothing happening there" if it doesn't have access to the full 360-degree motion ranges. We need to stop allocating resources in those areas. When it does that, the body starts experiencing decreased synovial fluid and reduced blood flow. Now, we literally are dying on the vine.
Sometimes the problem might not always be obvious
Dr. Adams emphasizes that hip tightness and pain can be a sign that something's not right. However, if there is no pain it doesn't necessarily mean everything is fine. Dr. Adams says repetitive movements can lead to "unconscious" injuries or injuries you don't know about.
Imagine someone working in a machine-shop. There's a good chance that this person, even though they do heavy lifting and are well-trained, will continue doing the same tasks over and again throughout their day. According to Dr. Adams, this could result in what's known as 'cumulative repetitive injuries' (CRI).
This isn't a conscious injury, as if you fell from a ladder or broke your hip. Your body will compensate for repetitive injuries over time as they accumulate. Then, one day, you notice your hips starting to hurt. You don't remember what caused it. The feeling seems random.
It could also be part of your problem.
Both repetitive actions and systemic inflammation could be contributing to hip issues you may have. According to Dr. Adams, wearing the wrong shoe can also contribute to hip problems.
Let's say someone has suffered an injury that causes them to have a different walking style. The hips will eventually wear out, so the injury won't last for long. Dr. Adams said.
High heels can cause a woman to feel uncomfortable. It was never designed for shoes. According to Dr. Adams, this could lead to hip issues.
It is possible to reverse tight hip muscles. But it is possible.
Dr. Adams advises that you start from the beginning and work your way upwards. Adams suggests that if you aren't very active, the movements you include in your routine should not be too strenuous. Keep moving and start with something simple.
You can't lose your body if it doesn't get used. All you have to do is move. You can start by exploring your hips to see what they can do. It doesn't matter if your knees hurt when you move your knees towards your chest. This is not a warning to stop doing it until you feel it. He says, "Start where you are able and work your way up."
Dr. Adams recommends that you see a chiropractor if you are experiencing discomfort, pain or pinching. There's a chance that there is more to it.
The most interesting part is that often low back pain can be directly related to hip dysfunction. When the hips are not functioning at their full potential, this is called low back pain. Long-term hip problems can include range of motion, swelling and fibrosis. These issues can last for years, and they may not be aware of it.
Here are some hip-opening exercises you can do at home
Dr. Adams does not advocate yoga or hip-opening poses. Dr. Adams believes that these movements are acceptable and can even be beneficial to your daily routine. However, it's better to include hip-opening stretches or yoga poses in your routine.
The majority of hip stretches involve only linear motions, according to a study. This means that we are unable to express the rotational part of our hips. It will keep on degrading and will tighten.
CARs, or controlled articular rotations are movements that enable your hip joints and synovial membranes to express fully. CARs are recommended daily by Dr. Heinz to relieve hip tightness. However, he warns that it is unlikely you will get rid of the problem overnight. It will take some time.