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Is Your Chair Making Hip Flexor Pain Worse?
Hip flexors are responsible for more than you think. They support various structures in your body and are what enable you to move your legs.
Unfortunately, sitting down for long periods of time can be very harmful to your hip flexors. So, as a result, you must find a way to take care of them. Although you could try things like stretching more or working out more frequently to keep your hip flexors active, finding an ergonomic chair could be your next best solution!
What Do Hip Flexors Do?
Hip flexors are a group of muscles that are responsible for most movement in your lower extremities.
They’re attached to the top of your femur bones and then to your groin, hips, and lower back. The muscles included as part of the hip flexor involve the pectineus, iliac, sartorial, psoas major, and rectus femoris. This group of muscles working together helps keep your lower body in balance.
Your hip flexors are engaged while standing, moving, sitting, or laying down and primarily are involved in bending -- both at the waist and at the knee. Sitting for extended amounts of time can lead to shortened hip flexor muscles over time.
Weak hip flexors can be a big issue because hip flexors are responsible for supporting your back and core. Your core is like the muscular center of your body; nearly everything is affected by its strength and health. As a result, hip flexors are just as important to take care of, so they can do their job properly in supporting the core and allowing you to move freely without pain.
Hip Flexor Pain: How Does It Happen and Could Your Chair Be Responsible?
Hip flexors are under the most duress when your knees and waist bend continuously and at elevated rates. For instance, when running, dancing, or playing sports like basketball, tennis, soccer, football, gymnastics, wrestling, or martial arts, your hip flexors undergo quite a lot of stress.
Under these repeated actions, the hip flexors can accumulate strain and become injured. Often such injuries aren’t severe and only need a few weeks of rest, but they can sometimes be misdiagnosed as hamstring injuries.
Hip Flexor Pain
Although overuse is a leading cause of hip flexor pain, there are other reasons why your hip flexors could be in pain.
Common Causes of Hip Flexor Pain
- Overuse or underuse leading to chronic irritation (sports, exercise, etc. or sitting too much and lack of motion)
- Trauma (sudden moves like falling or twisting
- Pre-existing health conditions (arthritis or other issues with your joints or surrounding muscles)
After being injured, it is likely that you will be in pain and that your hip flexor pain will get worse while being seated statically for a long time, when bending at the knee and waist, going uphill or downhill (or stairs), or having a sudden change in direction with emphasis on one leg.
However, there are many other symptoms that can help you diagnose a hip flexor injury.
Symptoms of a Hip Flexor Injury
- Swelling and tenderness
- Lowered range of motion
- Sharp pain in pelvis and hip
- Not being able to bend your knee or from the waist without pain
- Constant discomfort in upper legs
- Tugging feelings in groin muscles with general weakness
If the hip flexor pain is caused by a minor strain or pull, the pain will likely only last for a few weeks at most. If the pain is more serious and severe, caused by something more traumatic, a bone may have been broken, and sometimes surgery could be needed.
With hip flexors, there are three different types of tears:
If your hip flexor pain lasts more than a week while resting, it is recommended to go and see a doctor to see if your pain is due to something more serious than a minor strain.
Chair-Related Hip Flexor Pain
When seated, your hip flexors are at their shortest possible length due to your knees being bent. If you sit like this for hours on end, your hips, hip flexors, and leg muscles will stiffen and start to hurt. If you continue these actions, it could lead to general weakness in the joints and muscles.
If you have arthritis or other pain (back pain, for example), the pain can be more severe, and prevention of future pain becomes even more important than treating current pain. Luckily, both can be helped with similar actions.
Sitting with proper posture and alignment can help both your back and hips. Proper posture is achieved when your back is straight and not leaning forward, your hips are slightly raised above your knees while sitting, and the pelvis is either in a neutral position or is tilted down slightly.
Additionally, your feet should be able to rest on the floor firmly but shouldn’t be stretched out in front of you or crossed. Keeping your elbows in a ninety-degree position when working at a desk can be helpful in reducing the risk of nerve pain.
Other than posture, getting up to take breaks and engage your core and hips is important. You can stretch seated, standing, and laying down, but it's typically more helpful to stretch in the opposite position of what you are stagnant in. In other words, if you sit often, stretch while standing. If you have a standing desk, it can be beneficial to stretch while seated in order to get a wider range of motion.
Proper equipment can help with chair-related hip flexor pain as well. This could include getting a suitable chair for your needs, wedge cushions for your hips, and well-cushioned, sturdy shoes for your feet.
How Do You Treat Hip Flexor Pain?
Hip flexor pain will usually only last a few weeks at most, but those few weeks can be aggravating, especially for active people or those who have to sit for long periods of time.
As mentioned, proper posture and equipment can help hip flexor pain while seated, but there are a few other things you can try as well.
Icing the area is good when the initial pull or trauma happens to help reduce inflammation and swelling. Later, heat is very beneficial to alleviate pain due to the muscle stiffening. Heat can relax the muscles and make moving around or sleeping much easier.
Halting your more lively physical exertion is important as well, so as to give the hip flexors a rest and prevent further strain. Compressing the area can help as well, as can pain medications.
Preventing future strain is very important, especially for those most susceptible to hip flexor pain (like athletes). To do so, regular exercise with lots of stretching before and after is best for injury prevention. Try to do exercises that specifically target strengthening the hip flexors if you can.
Our company wants to help your hip flexor pain, and we believe our BackStrong chair is the way to do it.
The all33 chair uses patented technology that enables you to sit with perfect posture while also allowing your body to be in constant motion. The chair moves with you and cushions your hips, helping you sit pain-free for extended periods of time.
By allowing for constant subtle motion, your hips won’t stiffen and are stretching in the way they need to be. You’ll be helping prevent future hip flexor strain and alleviate any current pain you feel now.
You shouldn’t have to live with pain, and we at all33 are here for you!
Challenge Your Hip Flexor Pain With the Right Chair
Hip flexor pain can be annoyingly easy to obtain, but it can be just as easy to prevent!
With something as simple as a change in a chair, your posture, blood flow, flexibility, and back strain can dramatically improve -- thus leading to relief from hip flexor pain and helping prevent any future pain that could be in store for you down the road.
After all, habits are hard to change, but chairs are easier to swap.