/ Super-tight hip flexor help

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kathrync - on 09 May 2014
I have an appointment to see my physio next week - I was just looking for some advice in the meantime.

My right hip flexor is super-tight at the moment. Tight to the point where standing up straight or lying down flat is painful and I am walking with a weird twist to my gait to avoid tugging on it. It hurts when I stretch it, but it also hurts at the upper insertion point if I raise my right knee (it's ok if I use my hands to lift my knee).

The problem seems to have been brought about by inactivity - I have had a kidney infection for the last couple of weeks which made me quite ill so I was spending a lot of time in bed or on the sofa in awkward positions to avoid putting pressure on the sore kidney. The hip was fine before and I noticed it was sore as I started feeling better and moving around more. I already had my GP poke at my abdomen and declare that the problem is not related to lingering infection anywhere in there.

So, anything I can do to loosen it up? I tried having a go with a foam roller, but I lasted about 10 seconds before I had to stop because I was seeing pretty flashes of light. I have a selection of hip flexor stretches I usually do after running, but right now just getting into the position for any of those is impossible - lying flat on the floor is only just tolerable.

So, suggestions, stretches, comments, sympathy??

Thanks :o)
kathrync - on 09 May 2014
In reply to kathrync:

Bump for the evening crowd - I'll make do with just the sympathy :-)
Bloodfire - on 09 May 2014
In reply to kathrync:

I've had a lower back pain for some time which I couldn't root the cause of. I thing everything is screwed up. iliotibial, hip flexors, hamstring etc. I've been building up the stretches over the last few weeks and its definitely helped. I couldn't sit, or exercise before. Now I'm away again!

It's frustrating, I totally sympathise and can only recommend that you persevere, start small and build up. support your body on the roller first then lower yourself more and more. At times I've used a rolling pin which is harder but I can control the pressure more.


kathrync - on 10 May 2014
In reply to Bloodfire:

Thanks, at least I am not alone :-)
SteveCarter - on 10 May 2014
In reply to kathrync:

Leg swings (stand on one leg and swing the other backwards & forwards), preferably holding onto something.
Mark Torrance on 10 May 2014
In reply to kathrync:

Rollering. Get a foam roller and / or tennis ball. Find the place that hurts most in the general area where you are tight. Make it hurt a lot more.

This has the major advantage of being easy to do (compared to stretching) and the major disadvantage of really, really hurting.

Ah, sorry, I've read the rest of your post now. I still think rollering is the way forward. You can, of course, vary the amount of pain / nausea / flashing lights depending on mood by varying the extent to which the roller takes your weight.
Ben Sharp - on 11 May 2014
In reply to kathrync:

Rolling is great but you can just use your hands as well if it's too sore, also means you don't have to hit the deck every time and you can just do it regularly throughout the day.
Climbing Pieman on 11 May 2014
In reply to Bloodfire: & OP

> At times I've used a rolling pin which is harder but I can control the pressure more.

If you get a rolling pin with handles it is so much easier to use and control the amount of pressure since the handles do not revolve. I use one when a roller is just too much! Of course it is always better to get someone else to do the massage as you do need a fair bit of pressure to get to the problem.
Milesy - on 11 May 2014
In reply to Climbing Pieman:
Put the rolling pin back in the kitchen and get using the foam roller in every way possible. It's not enjoyable and I'm sure is a form of medieval torture but it's the way to go.
Post edited at 13:05
Timmd on 11 May 2014
In reply to kathrync:
As a non medic I wonder if trying lying on the floor when not doing anything else might help?

As well as more focussed things.
Post edited at 19:36
kathrync - on 12 May 2014
In reply to all:

Thanks for the suggestions all. I have tried most of these and loosened up some over the weekend. I have a physio appointment this morning so hopefully he'll be able to pinpoint the sore spot and target it for me.

In reply to Timmd:

> As a non medic I wonder if trying lying on the floor when not doing anything else might help?

> As well as more focussed things.

Of all the suggestions, this actually seems to have been the most help, along with gentle splashing around in the swimming pool (I'm not going to dignify what I was doing with the word "swimming"!).
kathrync - on 13 May 2014
In reply to all:

So I went to the physio yesterday and he found a really tight spot at the top of the hip flexor, deep in my abdomen. He was pushing through intestine to release it - very bizarre sensation and all sorts of squishy noises! It does seem to have done the trick though. No amount of rolling would have released that, but now I know where it is and that I'm not going to hurt myself doing it, I can do it for myself :o)
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Alex.rh - on 15 May 2014
In reply to kathrync:

I find using a lacrosse ball is the most effective method of reaching a tight spot in the hip (or anywhere else in fact)-
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zT657soclws


And some stretching exercises work quite well-
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JBHzXF-mVjY

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