Hip Mobility for Back Pain Injury Prevention
Dr. Dunaway's Top 5 Drills
Tons of attention surrounds the topic of Hip Mobility, and for good reason. Locked up hips will wreck the low back and lead to significant injury to the lower lumbar spine especially. Also, when the hips are blocked, the body will respond by gaining more mobility below by requiring more lateral shift and rotation at the knee. These scenarios lead to degenerative meniscal tears, and loss of joint cartilage. So, ya, hips are a pretty big deal.
Keep these keys in mind when performing the stretches.
NOT EVERY HIP IS THE SAME. It's very possible that not all of the drills listed in this newsletter will be appropriate for you. That is why my suggestions with any at home stretching routine is to expand your comfort zone, don't push your limits! Also, with all of these stretches you should start by moving into and out of these stretches slowly, focusing on breathing and alignment. Hold the end range of the stretches for a max of 3 breath cycles until you begin to get comfortable in the end ranges. Then you can begin adding time under tension or load to these stretches!
With all of that said, the following hip mobility drills will be appropriate for a large percent of the active population.
1: Hip Flexor with added torso rotation and lateral flexion.
2: Hip Internal Rotations
3: Tactical Frog
4: 90/90 Transitions
5: Shin Box Get Up
The videos below will discuss how to perform these drills!
1) Hip Flexors are a combination of muscles that extend both down to the knee and up into the lumbar spine. When this complex is tight it can lead to "crunching" in the knee and compression of the low back.
2) Hip Internal Rotation is one of the most neglected range of motion is most people. This motion is critical for gait and running. With out this motion the foot will turn out during gait and put the knee in danger.
3) Tactical Frog is an extremely versatile drill. It can be used to train hip flexion without rounding the back, it can stretch hip capsules, adductors, and hamstrings as well as internal active internal rotation of the hips. So if you're not currently doing this stretch on a regular basis, start today!
4) With 90/90 transitions, we start to get into more active range of motion while in stretched positions. This is a little more advanced and needs to be done carefully. But once you can get into these positions and move through these movements with fluidity, you can rest assure, hip mobility is NOT your problem!
5) The Shin Box Get-up is a squat prep must. It's much more than just mobilizing hips though. The correct way to apply this drill is to focus on a quality brace during the movement while focusing on not loosing this brace throughout the movement.
For more information on treatment or online programming for sustainable exercise and pain relief, visit www.ChiroStrength.com or call the office 931-321-1414 to schedule your FREE consultation with Dr. Dunaway