Tight Hip Flexors? Why Stretching may not help…

Tight Hip Flexors? Why Stretching may not help…

I’ve been getting a lot of questions lately about tight hip flexors and what to do about them.

Here are my thoughts…

When it comes to feeling stiff and immobile, tight hip flexors are the second most common complaint I hear – right after tight hamstrings. These are common SYMPTOMS of another problem. Yes, I said Symptoms, which is why you are not getting relief because you are not getting to the root cause of the problem.

Tight hip flexors are annoying, achy, and they often contribute to lower back or thoracic pain, glut pain, and adductor pain. When your hips are tight, it can be painful or uncomfortable to walk, run, play golf, exercise, and even sitting!

Typically, the recommended treatments for this problem include lots of stretching, foam rolling, massage, dry needling and myofascial release, ART.

When people come to our office, they have tried everything including above, yet they cannot get back to running, sitting, playing tennis, dancing, or whatever they want to do to be active.

Why are they still having problems even after all those treatments?

Like I said it usually is because you are treating the symptom! If you do not get to the source, you will always have problems and get Frustrated that you are not back to living your life.

It is the most frustrating area of the body because most healthcare providers do not know what to do with you. Imaging never show problems or show inflammation around the hamstring tendon or a labral tear which probably is not the problem. You have tried so many different healthcare providers without results. I know because we see it all the time.

What is the true problem?

More than likely it is a Hip mobility problem (not a muscle flexibility problem). The muscle tightness that you get is the SYMPTOM of the hip not moving very well. If you do not get the mobility back, you can not get the stability (muscle strength). The muscles will not fire correctly or at all.

We have patterns that we move in regularly. For example, we have sitting jobs (keeping our hips in a bent position for long periods of times). We run or cycle again bending our hips. We bend down to clean or do yardwork.

You get the point… This creates pathways (like a trail that has been hiked on) in our joints and you start to get protection and pain in her quad, adductor, knee glute muscles, and even the back)

How do you get resolution?

You need to get an evaluation from a specialist like our Physical Therapists. I know what you are saying, but that does not help me. Isn’t there an exercise that will help now??

We specialize in finding motion that is best motion for you. The hip moves in lot of directions and we must take baselines of strength, ROM in the hip and back, and functional baselines of activities that you have problems with.

We use the baselines to guide us in the direction that is best for you based on how your baselines improve, stay the same or get worse. It all gives us information on what to do next.

It is not just throwing exercises at you and see if it sticks which is why an evaluation needs to give you the exercise that is best for you. We could be giving you something that could be making you worse…

Once we know the direction that will open up the hip which will help to release the tightness that is the symptom, then we have to work on the stability. Working on parts of the hip that have been weak and work on changing your movement patterns.  

But here is the deal, because of that we offer a FREE TALK TO A PHYSICAL THERAPIST to help you make a better decision about your health whether you come here or not! We want you to be confident in your decision to come in here. What other healthcare providers will do that? You have nothing to lose…

If you would like to set up a time to talk with one of our Specialist, CLICK HERE to start the process. But do not delay, as we only open 3 spots a week for this type of appointment and they fill up fast…

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