After a long day of sitting at your desk, it can feel like your hips are never going to again be able to handle the weight of your body. Many people develop what is known as “sitting disease,” which is a fancy way of saying that they spend so much time sitting that their hips begin to develop pain and become worn down from the repetitive motion.
This can lead to hip pain known as “postural syndrome.” Sitting for long periods of time can put a lot of pressure on your hips, which is why it’s so important to have exercises to help alleviate this stress. Thankfully, there are plenty of ways to get rid of hip pain after sitting.
Signs You Have Hip Pain After Sitting
You may not realize it, but when you sit down, your hips automatically go into what’s called flexion. This is because your legs go into a bent position to support your body weight. The pelvis and hip joints also go into flexion, which puts pressure on the joints and causes pain if they’re not strong enough. The following are signs that you have hip pain after sitting.
- Pain that gets worse after sitting
- Rectal or lower back pain
- Achiness or tightness in the buttocks
- Cramping in the muscles in your legs
- A decrease in range of motion in your hips
Causes of outer hip pain after sitting
Thankfully, there are many factors that cause outer hip pain, which makes it easier to identify the root of the problem. The following are some of the main causes of outer hip pain and how you can avoid them. Read on to learn more about this.
This is by far the most common cause of outer hip pain. A hernia occurs when abdominal organs protrude through a weak spot in the muscles or the abdominal wall. This can often happen after a heavy lifting session, especially if you have weak abdominal muscles. The protrusion can then rub against the outer hip, causing pain.
- Muscle Strain
Muscle strains are common in the hip flexor, but also the glute, hamstring, and quadriceps muscles. When these muscles become overworked and irritable, they can become strained. A common way to strain these muscles is by sitting with a bad posture for too long. This can lead to the front of the hip flexors being put under excessive stress and strain.
- Bone Stress
Any load that is put on the hip bones can lead to bone stress. This is because the hip bones are connected to the outer hip muscles. This can be due to osteoarthritis, which is the degeneration of the cartilage in the joints. Osteoarthritis can cause pain and inflammation in the outer hip and the thigh.
- Tight Hip Flexors
When the hip flexors become tight, they can cause pain in the outer hip. This is because the muscles go from the pelvis all the way to the knee. The most common areas that these muscles are tight are the lower back and the outer hip.
- Loose Hip Flexors
The opposite condition to tight hip flexors is loose hip flexors. When these muscles become too loose, they can cause the outer hip to become overworked. The hip flexors assist with bending and sitting movements. When they become too loose, they can cause the outer hip to be put under excessive stress and strain.
Treating outer hip pain after sitting
If you have hip pain after sitting, the first step is to see your doctor. He or she can do a full health evaluation to rule out other causes for your pain, such as a back or hip injury. Your doctor can also tell you what causes hip pain after sitting and how to prevent it. Your doctor may recommend trying one or more of the following treatments.
Make sure you’re getting the proper amount of rest
The most important thing you can do to get rid of hip pain after sitting is to make sure you’re getting enough sleep. Yes, you read that right. Your body needs sleep to function properly and, trust us, your hips will thank you for it later.
If you’re not getting the recommended 7-8 hours of sleep each night, your muscles will be chronically sore and you will not be able to get rid of hip pain after sitting. While you don’t have to go to bed at midnight, you do have to make sure you’re getting some shut-eye. If you’re not sure where to start, try a hip pain treatment program that can help with sleep.
Walk it out
If your hip pain after sitting stems from your lower back, one of the best ways to get rid of it is to walk it out. Yes, we know that walking out may not be an option for some people, but even if you have to move just your legs while sitting down, it will help to decrease the pressure on your lower back. Next time your hip pain gets to be too much, try gently moving your legs and hips in small circles while sitting.
Get up and move around during your lunch break
You’ve probably spent a long shift sitting at your desk, and now you’re hungry. While it is important to eat a healthy, balanced lunch during your desk shift, it is also important to break up the time you spend sitting as much as possible.
That is why we recommend getting up and moving around during your lunch break. Many people will walk around the block or go for a quick walk when they get hungry, and this not only helps to keep your blood sugar stable but gets your body moving.
Do some light cardio
If you have been diagnosed with postural syndrome and have been told that you need to increase your activity level, you should know that this is not as difficult as you may think.
The best thing you can do is to start with something that you can do comfortably and that doesn’t put too much stress on your joints. We recommend doing some light walking or jogging, or even gentle yoga or pilates.
Strengthen your abs and core
Another important way to get rid of hip pain after sitting is to strengthen your abs and core. You can do this by doing sit-ups or crunches while sitting on the edge of a chair or on the floor. If you cannot do sit-ups or crunches because of your back, you can do hip extensions.
Keep your hips elevated while sitting
We know it’s a tedious thing to do, but you need to keep your hips elevated while you’re sitting. How do you do this? While sitting in your chair, place a small pillow or stack of books between your legs. This will help to keep your hips from sagging, which can put extra strain on them.
Talk to Your Doctor
If you’ve been suffering with hip pain for a while, you should talk to your doctor. It is possible that your pain is caused by an underlying medical condition and should be treated. Your doctor can help you to identify the root cause of your pain and refer you to a physical therapist if needed so that you can get the most out of your workouts.
Once your doctor has helped you identify the source of your pain, they can help you to come up with a plan to get rid of it. This could include making sure that you get enough rest, practicing the stretches and exercises we mentioned above and consulting with a physical therapist if needed.
If you’ve been dealing with hip pain for a while and are still struggling to get rid of it, it’s important to talk to your doctor about it. Your doctor can run a variety of tests to rule out any underlying conditions and can help you to come up with a plan to get rid of your pain.