Massage Can Help With Hip Flexor Rotation
This article was originally published by LiveStrong.com.
Tight hip rotators can place unnecessary stress on the joint between your pelvis and sacrum known as the sacroiliac joint. Over time, this stress can adversely affect your spine, causing back pain and spine problems. Keeping your hip rotators flexible supports your spine and helps prevent injuries. Massaging the muscles involved in hip rotation can help reduce tightness. You can visit a professional massage therapist or perform self-massage techniques.
Your hips possess four groups of hip joint muscles that work together to allow hip movement -- gluteal, lateral, abductor and iliopsoas. The muscles involved in hip rotation are known as the lateral rotators, or the "deep six." These six muscles are situated deep within your buttocks, known as the gluteus maximus, and allow for external and internal hip rotation. Massaging the deep six is a good way to loosen your hip rotators.
Some massage therapists prefer to use the forearm technique to massage the hip rotators. Forearm massage is a good method for hip rotators because they are located deep in the glutes, holistic health practitioner Shari Auth says. Your massage therapist will use her forearm to work deep into the hip rotators, releasing energy in all directions. If you are particularly tight, you might experience discomfort, which should subside as the massage continues. Tell your therapist if you experience sharp or shooting pain.
Using a foam roller to massage your hip rotators is a safe and easy technique, according to Dr. Karl Knopf, author of "Healthy Hips Handbook." This technique is performed by sitting on the foam roller with one leg bent and one leg straight. You will need to lift the straight leg about 2 inches from the floor. Place your hand behind you for balance and then glide forward and backward on the foam roller. You will feel the roller working your hip rotators, but ease up if it becomes particularly painful.
The tennis ball technique is another good method of massaging your hip rotators. This method might cause minor pain initially. However, the pain typically subsides within 30 seconds, author Knopf says. It's best to perform this technique on a hard surface, such as the floor. During this exercise, you lies down and places a tennis ball underneath yourself in the middle of your hip bone. Bend and hold one knee while keeping the other leg straight, and use the other arm for balance. Once you feel steady, rock slowly from left to right. This helps relieve tightness and release tension in your hip rotators.
To learn more about how massage can help you, check out our Massage Therapy blog.