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Stretching for Pain Relief and Rehabilitation - Hip and Thigh

Posted by Judith Winer on

Muscles of the Hips, Thigh and Buttocks

The hips and buttocks are comprised of a number of both large muscles (e.g., gluteus maximus) and small muscles (e.g., piriformis). These muscles are primarily responsible for hip stabilization and lower leg movement.

The muscles around the hip and buttocks, along with the structure of the hip joint, allow for a large range of movement of the lower leg; including flexion, extension, adduction, abduction, and rotation.

Stretching

Hamstring injuries, hip arthritis, hip bursitis, thigh muscle strains .... hip and thigh pain is common and is often associated with trigger points. 

Simple stretching routines may help prevent the development of active trigger points; accelerate the healing process, and provide pain relief.

We generally try to recommend stretches that are easy to perform just about anywhere. Here are some of our favorite stretches for the hip and thigh.

Always start slowly, work within your limits, use common sense, and don't forget to ask your therapist about trigger points!

 

TFL Trigger Points

 

TECHNIQUE

Stand upright and cross one foot behind the other. Lean towards the foot that is behind the other.

MUSCLES BEING STRETCHED

Primary muscles: Tensor fasciae latae. Gluteus medius and minimus.

Secondary muscle: Sartorius.

INJURY WHERE STRETCH MAY BE USEFUL

Trochanteric bursitis. Iliotibial band syndrome.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION FOR PERFORMING THIS STRETCH CORRECTLY

If need be, hold onto something for balance. This will allow you to concentrate on the stretch, instead of worrying about falling over.

 

Biceps Femoris Trigger Points

 

TECHNIQUE

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Bend forward and reach towards the ground.

MUSCLES BEING STRETCHED

Primary muscles: Semimembranosus. Semitendinosus. Biceps femoris.

Secondary muscles: Gastrocnemius. Gluteus maximus. Iliocostalis lumborum. Spinalis thoracis. Interspinales. Multifidus.

INJURY WHERE STRETCH MAY BE USEFUL

Lower back muscle strain. Lower back ligament sprain. Hamstring strain. Calf strain.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION FOR PERFORMING THIS STRETCH CORRECTLY

This position puts a lot of stress on the lower back muscles and the knees. 

Piriformis Trigger Points

 

TECHNIQUE

Stand beside a chair or table for balance, and place one ankle on your opposite knee. Slowly lower yourself towards the ground.

MUSCLES BEING STRETCHED

Primary muscles: Piriformis. Gemellus superior and inferior. Obturator internus and externus. Quadratus femoris.

Secondary muscle: Gluteus maximus.

INJURY WHERE STRETCH MAY BE USEFUL

Piriformis syndrome. Snapping hip syndrome. Trochanteric bursitis.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION FOR PERFORMING THIS STRETCH CORRECTLY

Use the leg you are standing on to regulate the intensity of this stretch. The lower you go, the more tension you will feel.

 

Hip Adductor Trigger Points

 

TECHNIQUE

Kneel face down with your knees and toes facing out. Lean forward and let your knees move outwards.

MUSCLES BEING STRETCHED

Primary muscles: Adductor longus, brevis, and magnus.

Secondary muscles: Gracilis. Pectineus.

INJURY WHERE STRETCH MAY BE USEFUL

Avulsion fracture in the pelvic area. Groin strain. Osteitis pubis. Piriformis syndrome. Tendonitis of the adductor muscles. Trochanteric bursitis.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION FOR PERFORMING THIS STRETCH CORRECTLY

Increase the intensity by lowering yourself towards the ground.

Hip Adductor Trigger Points

 

TECHNIQUE

Sit with the soles of your feet together and bring your feet towards your groin. Hold onto your ankles and push your knee towards the ground with your elbows. Keep your back straight and upright.

MUSCLES BEING STRETCHED

Primary muscles: Adductor longus, brevis, and magnus.

Secondary muscles: Gracilis. Pectineus.

INJURY WHERE STRETCH MAY BE USEFUL

Avulsion fracture in the pelvic area. Groin strain. Osteitis pubis. Piriformis syndrome. Tendonitis of the adductor muscles. Trochanteric bursitis.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION FOR PERFORMING THIS STRETCH CORRECTLY

Keep your back straight and use your elbows to regulate the intensity of this stretch.

  

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This trigger point therapy blog is intended to be used for information purposes only and is not intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment or to substitute for a medical diagnosis and/or treatment rendered or prescribed by a physician or competent healthcare professional. This information is designed as educational material, but should not be taken as a recommendation for treatment of any particular person or patient. Always consult your physician if you think you need treatment or if you feel unwell. 

  


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