When an area gets impinged, most often the joint space is compressed and tissues get squeezed. We talked about this in our last blog post on shoulder impingements and how it can be compared to a tube of toothpaste. You can click here to read more about it.
As our joint space gets compressed, many times the muscles and tissues that travel through this area get squeezed,, almost like they are getting strangled. That's why when you move in certain directions or press on the area it hurts. You are just closing what little space is left.
In the case of the hip, the hip flexors tend to get blamed for this pain as they can pull the pelvis forward and close down the area in the hip joint. Other areas that could cause the impingement may be poor joint control and weakness of the hamstrings.
Pressing down on the area may not help as you are just squeezing it more, leaving foam rolling as a less effective option. If the hip flexors are actually causing the problem, then we can release them by shutting down their activity and giving the hamstrings a chance to strengthen at the same time.
Below is a simple way we can potentially open up the hips and reduce the pinching in the front by using an active couch stretch where the hamstrings activate to shut down the hip flexors. Just passively stretching the hip flexors may not work because they will just contract more in an effort to prevent the stretch. By using the hamstrings, we can support the hip joint with an opposing muscle to combat the stiffness of the hip flexors.
Give this one a try for 2-3 sets of 10-15 squeezes and see how you feel. You should not push your butt back into the block. You want to squeeze the block with your heel to get the hamstrings on. Sometimes standing closer or further away may help depending on your stiffness.
If you still are struggling with hip pain or impingement syndromes, don't let it linger. Shoot us a text at 401-702-0293 and we can help get you started on the path of pain free hips!
Dr. Peter Dionisopoulos is the owner and founder of Dynamic Performance & Rehab. He has worked with many high-level athletes and military personnel, but his true passion is to help active adults maintain their lifestyle by providing information and potential solutions to their aches and pains so they can continue with the activities they love.