February 10, 2014
Tightness of the hip flexors is a common problem. Copley Athletic Trainer Vin Faraci explains that hip flexors are a group of muscles located in the front of the hip. “These muscles tend to get tight because many of us spend our day in a sitting position, which shortens these muscles, allowing them to tighten over time,” says Faraci. Prolonged tightness of the hip flexors can contribute to low back pain, knee pain and bursitis of the hip.
Stretching will help lengthen the muscle. Faraci notes that stretching is more effective when performed after a light warm up. He suggests a brisk walk, light jog or a few minutes on a stationary bike. When stretching, the goal should be to hold the position for 20-30 seconds and performing 2-3 repetitions for both sides of the body. While performing these stretches you should feel a sensation of pressure, or light pulling. Stretching should not be painful. If you experience pain when stretching you are doing too much and you should back off on the intensity of the stretch.
Faraci offers the following examples for both kneeling and standing stretches:
* In this version you can also use a second chair in front to help maintain balance.
Faraci is a Certified Athletic Trainer at Copley Hospital. He provides both land based and aquatic orthopedic rehabilitation. Vin also works closely with area schools to ensure our student athletes are receiving the proper prevention and injury care to keep them on the slopes, fields and courts.