Testing Hip Mobility: How to Help Reduce Your Back or Knee Pain
Updated: Aug 14
Experiencing low back pain? Knee pain? How good is your hip mobility?
We at Rehab United take a comprehensive approach to addressing your injury and dysfunction. We assess all potential sources and search for the root cause of your pain/dysfunction. The majority of the time, the location of the pain is not the true issue.
Did you know that your lack of hip mobility can directly correlate to back or knee problems? Whether sitting at work or being an athlete, the amount of hip mobility you can go through is huge. When you have “pain,” let’s say your low back, usually, it is compensating for lack of mobility or strength somewhere else. If we want to reduce this pain, we need to reduce the stress at this segment by allowing the joints above or below to function properly.
Here is a way you can test how much hip internal rotation you have side to side. If you feel, or see, that you have a deficit on one side, here are a couple of exercises you can do to increase this mobility and improve your body's efficiency:
Find a seat where your legs are hanging above the floor, and rotate the foot out as far as you can comfortably. Does one side feel more tight or painful?
If one leg feels more limited, take the opposite leg and walk it around rotating over the more limited hip. You should feel this deep in the standing leg, around the hip joint. You can floss through this about 10 times multiple times a day.
You can also do this to a step as a variation, or if you don’t feel the stretch in the first video.
Then sit down, and retest to see the improvements! This is something you can do daily, take a break from work, and do this quick routine to improve your back pain.
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Dr. Stephen Garner PT, DPT, BFR-1 is a Physical Therapist at Rehab United Carmel Valley. As a graduate of the University of St. Augustine's Doctor of Physical Therapy Program, Dr. Garner has always emphasized the implementation of treating the whole body as one, using Applied Functional Science, and developing an individualized plan for each person. Stephen specializes in sports rehabilitation and injury prevention. Throughout his four-plus years of experience, Dr. Garner has treated many high-level athletes and people of all walks of life to return to what they love pain-free.