- Jeffrey T. Stenback, PT, OCS
It's "Hip" to be flexible
It is not uncommon to hear complaints of buttock and hip pain. Weekend warriors, sedentary office workers, and even elite athletes can at some point experience buttock and hip pain. Often, we find that the individual has simply overdone an activity or modified their exercise program or intensity. Much of buttock and hip pain is not really a serious condition, but instead is manageable through more conservative care. One of the areas most often involved is the hip external rotators. This is a group of muscles deep in the buttock region through which your sciatic nerve travels down towards your leg. These muscles are often tight and tender and can become inflamed with activities such as prolonged sitting, improper or excessive lifting/exercise and poor body mechanics.
A good basic stretch to address this area can be done in sitting. First, sit at the edge of your chair. Cross one ankle over your opposite knee in a figure 4 and then lean forward over the crossed-over leg as if reaching forward towards the floor. Keeping your back straight, reach forward only as far as you feel a stretch or pulling sensation into the buttock of the crossed-over leg. You will want to breathe out gently as you lean forward and allow your low back/hips to relax further
into the available range of motion. Do not force your stretch or bounce into the range. Try to hold this position for at least 30 seconds. You may repeat this stretch as necessary, comparing with your opposite side to assess your symmetry and for progress.