I used to think hip pain was only something cute little old ladies complained about. But if you’re glued to a desk all day at work, you’re probably familiar with. Spending that much time planted in a chair in front of your laptop surely helps you achieve your career goals, but it doesn’t do any good for your body. Luckily, one expert says combating hip pain with a foam roller is easier than you think.
The causes of hip pain are many, says New York City-based orthopedic surgeon and sports medicine expert Steven Struhl, MD. Sometimes it’s from tight hip flexors that become stiff from being in a seated position for long periods of time, and other times it’s from running, sprains, and strains. Whatever the case may be, dealing with hip pain isn’t fun, and grabbing your trusty foam roller is a simple and effective way to fix it.
“In a nutshell, foam rolling smooths out your fascia—connective tissue that binds and stabilizes your muscles—and is similar to giving yourself a deep tissue massage,” Dr. Struhl says. “Foam rolling is able to release knots or trigger points in muscles and connective tissue, which cause pain. Similarly, it’s able to increase blood flow in the muscles, help with recovery, and enhance joint mobility.”
Dr. Struhl says the best way to go about relieving hip pain with a foam roller is to slowly roll over painful areas of the body. “It helps break up adhesions and scar tissue, resulting in a speedier recovery process and more relaxed muscles which, in turn, helps with muscle pain,” he explains. “When you’re first starting out, use a foam roller on the softer side. Then as you become more comfortable and get used to different techniques, you can begin using a denser roll.”
Try Dr. Struhl’s favorite exercise using a foam roller for hip pain
Hip flexor roll
1. Lie down facing the foam roller, with the roller located a little below your right hip.
2. Move your left leg to the side with the left knee bent at about a 90 degree angle. Support your body weight by placing your forearms on the ground in front of you.
3. Extend your right leg out straight behind you with your toes pointing backwards and your foot flat against the ground.
4. Begin to roll slowly back and forth, with some side-to-side movements as well.
5. When you find a trigger point, stop and hold on the spot for 20 seconds, then continue. Repeat on the other side.
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