Two weeks ago my hip started to ache just after I went to bed. That nagging ache just to the side of my spine and over my rather large girly hip. I tried rolling around and dropping my leg off the bed, and it only made me frustrated.
Why now? Why this pain just at the moment I lay down to rest?
I noticed the pain later the next day when I bent over to massage on someone with the same annoying issue! Tight bands around the low back, and pain in the crease of the hip. "It hurts to stand up, but after I walk a bit, it gets better."
Actually I have seen this a whole lot. That is the first sign, in worse cases a constant pain down the leg. In the extreme, falling into your chair and the inability to get comfortable increased. How do we turn the tide?
Losing control is the worst. The question, are you entering a new world of back surgery and walkers? Ironically, once you are in spasm, the despair can keep you from being pro-active and positive about how to get yourself back up and running.
With 3 simple steps you can help move away from confusion and into control. Addressing the source of the problem, coaxing it to behave and treating your movement with respect will lead you to self control and pain free movement. Deep spasms of those structural muscles called the hip flexors can be difficult to locate and present in a random array of symptoms. Let's navigate this together.
At Tsubo we love the hip flexor problem, because it is a straightforward problem that with a little education, a sprinkle of relaxation and gentle stretch or two, can change the way you move and feel for a very long time. How do you start?
1. Notice. Notice when you feel the pain. Is it when you stand up or sit down? Does it come and go? Is it all the time? Depending on how long you have been living with this you may answer more of these questions with a yes. Write down when it comes on, and if you can pin-point it, where.
2. Move. Moving is a part of the solution. Some easy activity like walking tall, will clue your body that you are needing to stop the spasm and get on with the task at hand. The task is easy movement. Your body has a constant desire to help whatever demand is being made, if that demand is consistent easy movement, it will reduce pain to help you move better. Decrease spasm, reduce pain and add freedom.
3. Stretch. The gentle stretch above is a perfect one to add to your day. 45 seconds (or longer) on each side will elongate those hip flexors and create another demand for length not spasm. If you hate to stretch, try this stretch while watching your favorite TV program, it will be the first commercial before you notice youhave been stretching for minutes! Remember it is a GENTLE stretch, just to the point of tightness, until the pain is reduced, then increase the stretch. We want to coax and encourage not rush to remedy.
You may have compensating pain that can be addressed with other stretches, massage, or foam rollers. It is best to stick with it until all discomfort is gone. Don't let impatience with stretching stop you, keep going until you don't remember the pain. Give your body the care and guidance it needs and you can say good by to this mystery forever!