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Pain from sitting all day?

Do you feel sore after sitting for hours? Do you find yourself constantly leaning forward when you walk? Do you get tired of hearing, “Your hips are tight!” Your yoga instructor, running coach, or massage therapist will tell you that your hips are tight. Your hip flexors are the most common problem. This group includes three main muscles: the iliacus (psoas), rectus femoris (rectus femoris), and the psoas (psoas). All muscles attach to the femur, cross the hip, attach the pelvis, or, in the case of the psoas, the low back.

If you spend most of your life sitting at a computer, plane, car, or bike, you are in constant hip flexion and rounded shoulders. Moving out of a flexed position makes it challenging to pull your lower back and pelvis forward. As a pulley string, tight muscles can cause your bones to move in the opposite direction, pulling your lower back forward.

What can you do to avoid injury, chronic low back pain, and improve your posture? First, move your body differently than the way you move throughout your work day. You will notice a difference in your mood and body by standing up and doing a few quick, easy, and feel-good movements. You can do the following exercises simultaneously, alternate depending on the day, or use pandora to associate some moves with your favorite song. Second, establish a routine and cue to follow a healthy stretching regimen. It’s easier, less painful, and cheaper to incorporate an hour of movement [stretching (dynamic and static), resistance training, and conditioning] every day than it is to treat an injury later.

Here are some images of stretches that lengthen the rectus and iliopsoas in the three principal planes of motion we use throughout our lives. Of course, stretching your muscles in multiple directions is better than holding one position until you feel your eyes water.

Exercises:

1. Sit to Stand- this is a very simple exercise to do when working at a desk all day. Best thing about this is you just need a chair (wITHOUT wheels) and yourself. Simple Stand up and sit down anywhere from 5-15 times to get movement for the body!

2. Shoulder Shrug and Retraction- This is another simple exercise that doesn’t require any equipment. Simply shrug your shoulders 15-20 times. After that, squeeze your shoulder blades together for an additional 15-20. times.

3. Pec Stretch at the Door. Get into a staggered stance. Grab the door frame and step through the door frame until you feel a stretch in the pec (upper chest). It should be a light stretch.

Author

Dr. Tyler is a physical therapist and founder Scottsdale Physical Therapy & Performance in North Scottsdale, Arizona. He see golfers, MMA athletes and active adults. His focus is offering one-on-one sessions for 1 hour focused on developing individualized programs to get you back to your goals.

If you have any questions about online programing or want to stop in for a visit, please reach out by hitting “request appointment” in the top of the page.

– Dr. Tyler PT, DPT, FAAOMPT, TPI-2

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