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Hip Flexors: What Are They?

What are Hip Flexors | all33

Your hip flexors connect to the lower back, hips, groin, and femur, the largest bone in the body. If you’re not familiar with them, it’s not surprising. They’re the unsung heroes behind your body’s mobility.

There are multiple hip muscles that allow a person to move. These include the iliac and psoas major muscles (iliopsoas) and the rectus femoris, which is part of your quadriceps. The psoas minor supports the curvature of the spine. The psoas major comes from the anterior (frontal) surface of the lumbar vertebrae and moves over the pubic bone, pushing into the femur’s lesser trochanter (one of the two bony protuberances attaching muscles to the thigh).

The psoas major helps support the hip while affecting the lordotic curvature of the lumbar vertebrae. The rectus femoris attaches to the acetabulum (the deep, cup-shaped structure that encloses the head of the femur at the hip joint), which is critical for hip flexion and leg extension.

What is the Purpose of Hip Flexors?

Hip flexors help provide balance to the posterior pelvic muscles, which are absolutely essential for movement. They are activated when sitting still or moving, and they provide support to our hip muscles and lower back, enabling our body to function properly. Because of the demands of daily life, the iliac, psoas major, and rectus femurs often become tight. This can eventually lead to a condition known as hip flexor strain, which is exceedingly common as we sit more and more.

What is Hip Flexor Strain?

What are Hip Flexors | all33

Hip flexor strain is distinguishable pain at the front of the hip. This strain occurs when you use your hip muscles and tendons too much or too intensely. Another - more common - cause of hip flexor strain is sitting still for a long period of time. This could easily occur in people who sit at an office desk, people who are working at home and sitting in uncomfortable chairs, or gamers.

Too much or too little hip flexor use causes the muscles and tendons to become inflamed, leading to soreness. Hip flexor injuries are associated with hamstring strains as well. There are several other symptoms associated with hip flexor injuries.

Signs of Hip Flexor Injury

  • Sudden sharp pain
  • Increasing pain when lifting your thigh to your chest
  • Pain as you stretch your hip muscles
  • Muscle spasms at your hip or thigh
  • Tenderness to the touch at the front of your hip
  • Swelling or bruising in the hip or thigh region

A hip flexor strain creates a tear in the muscles, ranging from mild to severe:

  • A grade one tear is a minor tear in which only a few fibers are damaged, and nothing is majorly damaged.
  • A grade two tear means a significant amount of muscle fibers are damaged, and you have a moderate loss of hip flexor function.
  • A grade three tear means the muscle is fully ruptured or torn, most often causing you to walk with a limp.

What Does This Mean for Me?

Because hip flexor strain is easily caused by sitting for long periods of time, many of us struggle with it. Luckily, there is a way to avoid it.

First of all, you can help your hip health by making sure to get up from your desk every once in a while. Sitting for too long in one position can really wreak havoc on your body, and may be what’s leading to those tight hip flexors. However, sitting too often isn’t the only cause of tight hip flexors - athletes and people who are frequently active can experience issues with their hip flexors, as well, simply because of the strain they endure.

In this case, stretching is key. Try out poses like sitting butterfly style, the pigeon stretch, and crescent lunges. If you do these when you get out of bed in the morning and before you go to sleep, you will be well on your way to healthier hip flexors. You should also try to stretch out your hips before and after intense physical activity, to ensure that they’re fully warmed up and cooled down to prevent strain and injury. Just be careful not to overdo it, so you don’t cause further injury.

If you already have hip flexor pain, you might want to try treating your symptoms by alternating heat and ice. This isn’t a fix, but it can really help make you feel better when you’re struggling with the pain.

You also don’t have to give up your desk job for your hip flexor health. Invest in a cutting-edge office chair that will allow your hips some relief.

What is the all33 Chair All About?

What are Hip Flexors | all33

all3 chairs are a wonderful way to sit at your desk and move at the same time. We designed our BackStrong chair to have a rocking bucket seat that allows you to move throughout the day, preventing future pain (and future health care costs).

By moving while you sit, you protect your hip flexors from underuse. If you’ve ever felt a tightness in your hips after getting up from a long day at your desk, your body needs more movement. Our all33 BackStrong lets your pelvis and hips move freely, therefore helping prevent hip flexor strain and a host of other health problems caused by sitting still.

Moving Forward

Hip flexors support us; so do the chairs we sit in. The chair we sit in matters because it can save us from potential damage to our physical bodies and free us to move how we want, when we want. In this fast-paced world, you need a chair that will move with you while you move forward.

Now that you understand hip flexors and hip flexor strain a bit more, you can see how your daily life can be affected by hip flexor issues. We strive to empower you to maintain a healthy posture and a healthy life. We know that what you do is important, and so is the chair you sit in. The all33 chair is an investment in your health; you’ll feel the radical difference after you get up from work and realize your hips feel great.

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