3 min read

Janny Chan

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Test Your Hip Mobility

How tight are your hips?
Test your hip mobility with these simple exercises.

Stiff hips may be an early indicator of arthritis.
Here’s what you need to know.

It’s estimated that roughly 10% of the population experiences some form of hip pain, increasing as we age. Hip stiffness is often the first sign of impending hip pain.

Understanding the characteristics of tight hips and what you can do to help is the key to preventing pain.

5 Ways To Test Your Hip Mobility
Here are a few movements you can do to test your hip mobility.

These movements are best reviewed with a physical therapist, chiropractor, or massage therapist. Doing the tests yourself will give you an indication of your hip’s mobility and stiffness.

Squat Test: sink into a squat, and attempt to shift side-to-side. You may find one hip feeling more tension than the other.

Internal Rotation: lay on your back, bring your knees to a 90 degree angle, and rotate the feet outwards. This is the internal rotation of the hip. Compare range and feel side-to-side.

External Rotation: lay on your back, and bring one knee to a 90 degree angle. Keeping the thigh still, rotate your foot inwards. This is the external rotation of the hip. Compare range and feel side-to-side.

Flexion: lay on your back, with your legs flat. Bring one knee towards your chest. This is flexion of the hip. Compare range and feel side-to-side.

Extension: lay on your stomach, legs flat on the ground. Keep your knees straight, bring one leg off the ground. This is a hip extension. Compare range and feel side-to-side.

3 Common Reasons For Hip Stiffness
The hip is a highly mobile joint that relies on cartilage, bone, muscles, and nerves to work together. Each one of those components may contribute to feeling stiff in the hip.

Nerves: the ability to rotate the hip, and move it into adduction and abduction is limited by the mobility of the major nerves of the hip and thigh. Issues with major nerves of the hip build up over time due to movement, postural habits and/or a lack of mobility.

Muscles: your muscles and tendons are the most common sources of hip stiffness. Many office workers and athletes may complain of “hip flexor” stiffness or “glute stiffness”. The stiffness here may coincide with weak muscles, decreased range of motion in certain directions, and pain with use.

What starts off as stiffness and a pinch can become a chronic issue if not appropriately addressed. Hip pain can often feel like a pulling, cramping, or sharp pains at the front, back, and side of the hip. These will often be aggravated by general movements like sit-to-stands, side-to-side movements, running, or even walking.

Joint: cartilage damage (e.g. labrum of the hips) or surface degeneration of the articulating bones, “wear-and-tear” at the hip joint leads to significant reductions in the range of motion..

With joint issues, hip stiffness and pain are often felt deep in the groin. This pain is not palpable, meaning massage (or any other similar intervention) brings no temporary relief. There may be clicking, locking, or a feeling of “catching” at the hip. Athletic movements and stair climbing get more and more difficult.

Those with arthritis feel stiffness in the morning, continuing with aggravation and groin pain throughout the day, making a simple walk very difficult.

What Can I Do About My Hip Stiffness?
Regardless of the causes of your hip stiffness, understanding which movements are restricted or painful and what activities are limited is important to know moving forward. Thankfully, movement and exercise routines deliver amazing outcomes for hip stiffness.

Physical therapy can guide your hip mobility, and start creating movement goals. Along with massage therapy and chiropractic treatment, manual therapy techniques such as joint mobilizations and myofascial techniques provide relief for hip stiffness.

Want To Have FutureProof Hips?
Book a session with me! I’ll assess your movements and set you up on a FutureProof plan to increase your mobility, reduce pain and prevent injury.

Book your session today

3 min read

DIY: Avoid Muscle Aches During Your Flight

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DIY: Avoid Muscle Aches During Your Flight

Is it officially travel season yet? Well, we can’t wait and we say it is now! Grab your suitcases, sunglasses, and dreaded muscle aches..?

Everybody loves to travel, but who loves the stress that comes along with it? All the multiple line-ups, overnight layovers, and long airplane rides can take a huge toll on your body – you’ll be broken before you arrive at your destination. So, we came up with four great tips to help with muscle pain relief that will have your body ready for take-off!

1. Stay Hydrated

Airplanes have very low humidity and can lead you to become dehydrated. So drink lots of water the day before and while you are on the flight. Avoid alcohol and caffeinated beverages before and during the trip since it will dehydrate you.

2. Pump Your Ankles

Pump your ankles from side-to-side and up-and-down to avoid stiffness, and swelling, and twisted ankle pain. Since you’re sitting for extended periods of time, the muscles that are responsible for pumping blood and fluid back up our legs are not being used at all, which can lead to pooling of fluid and blood in our lower leg over time. The swelling itself is not dangerous, but it can cause blood clots which are very dangerous and can potentially cause death. So pump away!

3. Movement is Medicine

It’s never good to stay in one position, especially sitting for long periods of time. We all heard the phrase, “sitting is the new smoking”, and you can guarantee you will be sitting and sleeping in an uncomfortable position on the plane. Your body will take a beating and cause many hip problems, spine pain, shoulder injuries, and pain in your neck muscles. So how do we combat that? It’s simple – move. Get up and walk every 30 minutes, if possible.

4. Stuck in your seat? Let me introduce you to Pandiculation!

What is the Pandiculation definition? It’s the natural stretching that occurs when you first wake up in the morning. When you’re yawning and reaching up towards the sky with your arms and hands to stretch. This stretch is done to every single part of your body even within limited space such as an airplane seat. So reach your hand up towards the sky, extend your legs, move your neck, contract and expand your chest and move your body in all directions to ease out any area that you feel is restricted. The key is to slowly do these movements and feel where your body naturally wants to go to relax tension. Just remember, not to bump into your neighbour.