Thursday, September 9, 2010

Hips Don't Lie

As Shakira once so wisely said, my hips don't lie. Why everything in the body needs to be connected is beyond me, but apparently the children's song about the knee bone connected to the thigh bone is true, and it's even more complicated than that. Most of the the muscles are also connected.

Which is why although my back is improving, my hips are much too tight for my body to move well right now. For those who haven't been reading this blog from the beginning, my recent back trouble isn't part of my whole RSI/posture problem history. I hurt it when we moved house earlier this year in May. To read the background story, click here.

It's rapidly improving and I was even cleared by Super Physio to start swimming again last week, but I went to see her yesterday and although the back itself is much better (and my abdominal muscles have regained their lost strength) my hips are too tight, which is a problem.

Basically, our large hip flexor muscles are connected to our lower backs (I know, right?). If your back gets stiff it can affect how you move and your hips can tighten up as a result. Unless you stretch out those muscles and get the necessary length back into them, ironically, your back is likely to stay stiff. That's because everything in your body is connected and you compensate for muscle weaknesses and tightness in other parts of your body when you walk, sit or stand.

So I'm doing hip stretches every two hours for two minutes (one minute on each side). At least it's a really good excuse to get up from my desk (sitting at your desk does not help to loosen your hip flexors).

Next time you don't want to exercise, or feel like it's just another chore to get done, think of me and my hip stretches. Appreciate the fact that your body is well enough that you can throw any old exercise at it. Hopefully soon I will be able to go back to yoga class or Zumba or whatever it is I fancy, but for now I've got to stretch out those hip flexors -- and they don't lie.

(I know that doesn't really mean anything, but I really like the way it sounds.)

2 comments:

  1. As soon as I read this, I stood up from my desk and did my hip stretches. I have a timer on my computer that goes off every 30 minutes reminding me to get up and stretch, it is fabulous. So, thanks for reminding me!

    I thought the strength, or lack thereof, in your abs is also a factor in whether you have a stiff lower back? Or am I wrong?

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  2. You are correct! That was why SP knew that my hips were still tight as I had already built the strength back up in my abs (that I had lost due to the acute back injury). Doing 30 crunches quite comfortably now. So the stiff hips are the missing link. I'm actually feeling loads better already, even after doing the stretches for only two days. I guess they really work!

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