Combating Hip Pain and Stiffness with Intense Stretching

Having a painful hip joint is no fun. Depending on the severity of the pain and the extent of your hip disease, hip pain can definitely affect your mood and quality of life. I have been dealing with a bad hip for many years, and I have learned a thing or two about how to modify and eliminate much of the chronic pain and stiffness that is associated with a diseased hip joint. And one of the biggest discoveries that I have made in my search for finding ways to manage my hip pain is good old fashioned stretching.

Yes, stretching! For those of you who struggle with a painful, irritated hip joint, I can attest to the healing properties of stretching. Now, when I say stretching, I am not talking about a few little half-hearted stretches that you perform for a few seconds every now and then. No! I am talking about a concerted, focused stretching regimen that is done for a minimum of twenty-minutes on most days of the week. Each stretch should be done in a slow, controlled manner, slowly pushing yourself to stretch further and further each time you stretch. Many people will scoff at the idea of stretching as a viable tool in your fight against hip pain, but I am living proof that stretching definitely has a palliative effect on a painful hip joint.

And here’s why. Often, when a hip becomes painful and stiff due to hip disease, the muscles and soft tissues surrounding the hip joint will weaken and stiffen from disuse or misuse. The muscles surrounding the hip, in an attempt to buttress and reinforce the weakened, diseased hip joint, will tighten and contract; further limiting movement and resulting in an increased loss of motion at the hip. A stiff hip is generally a painful hip. The more tight and restricted the muscles and soft tissues are around the hip joint, the more irritated and inflamed the nerves become. And this equals pain! A solid stretching regimen for the hip will go a long way towards increasing the range of motion at the hip and relaxing and lengthening the tightened and constricted hip muscles; thereby reducing the amount of inflammation to the nerves and soft tissues surrounding the hip joint. A hip joint that is less irritated and less inflamed is a better functioning hip joint. The types of hip stretches are numerous, but I focus on a series of three basic hip stretches that can work wonders if performed correctly and for an adequate amount of time.

Yoga is the best way to keep your hip in focus so that the stretches help the joints come back in focus and therefore the pain is mitigated to a great extent and the swelling too is reduced, which you can read more about at

Lying flat on your back and bringing each knee up towards your chest independently in a slow, controlled manner is a great stretch to use. For those who have really stiff hip joints or for those who are new to stretching, don’t expect to be able to stretch very far. The important thing is to go slow, trying to go a little bit further each day that you stretch. This stretch is great for relieving stiffness and tightness at the front of the hip. You also have the option of bringing both knees towards your chest together; however, I feel the effects of the stretch are increased when the knees are brought towards the chest independently. Another great stretch I recommend is to lie flat on your back with both feet on the ground and both knees bent facing the ceiling. Slowly allow both legs to fall out to the sides, forming a letter V. You can also do this stretch with one leg at a time; keep one knee up and let the knee of the opposite leg fall off to the side. These are really great stretches that isolate and target the groin area and the deep inner hip area.

Lastly, the final stretch I recommend involves you lying flat on your back with both legs stretched out in front of you. Take the ankle of one leg and place it on top of the opposite leg’s knee, forming an inverted number 4. Slowly press your knee down towards the floor(the knee of the leg that you crossed your ankle over) as far as you can. This can be a very intense stretch, and depending on your flexibility and condition of your hip, you might not be able to go very far. But keep working on it. With time, you will be amazed at how far you can stretch. R

The three stretches that I have described here are a great set of stretches to use for your hip. There are many other hip stretches that can be used, but these three stretches that I have recommended give you a good solid regimen of high quality hip stretches. They all work different areas of the hip joint, and they will ensure that your hip is as flexible and pain-free as possible.

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