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From Hip to Heel: How Tight Hips Can Cause Knee, Foot Pain


Posted on Sep 30, 2012

As members of a modern society, we sit. A lot. We sit to work, sit to watch TV and sit to browse the Internet. All this sitting is bad for many reasons, one of them being tight hips. 

According to Jim Thornton, president of the National Athletic Trainers' Association, sitting for long periods of time can actually change the length of important ligaments in the hips.

"When we sit all day, the hip flexors shorten," says Thornton. "When they're shortened, it impacts how we perform and can cause all kinds of problems, from our lower backs down to our feet."

The Hip Flexors Important Roll

If your hip flexors are tight, the rest of your body won't move properly. In order to compensate for the tightness in your hips, your foot may hit the ground heel first.

"The muscles that control the arch of the foot are going to be inhibited because the hips are tight," Stated Thornton. "As your foot rolls forward, it will pronate (roll inward). That can cause shin splints and plantar fasciitis."

Stretch Those Hips

It is important to warm up and stretch the hips before exercising. Thornton suggests doing lunges or using a foam roller to gently warm up stiff hip flexors. Another simple exercise uses only your bed. Sitting on the edge of the bed, lie back, your hips and legs hanging over the edge. Hold this position for 15 to 20 seconds, sit up, and repeat. 

Our Wayne, NJ foot surgeons hope that the information in this article will help improve the health of your hips, knees and feet. 

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