Basic Exercises for Tight Hip Flexors or Sore Hips – Part Two

We see lots of people who are experiencing tight hip flexors or other hip pain. Last week I wrote about the importance of flexible hip muscles including the hip flexors, hip rotators and hip extensors. That post also included a number of stretches and activation drills to help keep your hip muscles healthy and free from injury.

This week I’ll show you some exercise to help strengthen the muscles surrounding the hips. Remember, when doing these exercises you may feel a mild to moderate stretch but should not experience pain.

Strengthening

Strengthening the hip is important, as this joint is required for many of our daily activities such as walking, going up/down stairs, squatting, getting up from chairs and rolling over in bed.

The exercises below are basic and intended to begin the strengthening process. Initially, your focus should be on the quality of movement not the quantity. Once you feel comfortable performing these exercises, you can increase your repetitions and progress to more advanced exercises.

Bridging
  • Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat (shoulder width apart)
  • Gentle activate TA (see above)
  • Roll your pelvis backwards and squeeze your bottom to lift up your hips so they are in line with your shoulders

 

Leg slides
  • Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat (shoulder width apart)
  • Gentle activate TA (see above)
  • Straighten 1 leg away from your body keeping your back and pelvis still
  • Bring the leg back to starting position and repeat with other leg

 

Dropouts
  • Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat (shoulder width apart)
  • Gentle activate TA (see above)
  • Rotate leg away from body to about 45 degrees keeping other leg still
  • Bring the leg back to starting position and repeat with other leg
Leg Lifts in Sitting 
  • Sitting on chair with feet flat on floor
  • Gentle activate TA (see above)
  • Lift 1 foot off the floor keeping back still
  • Try not to push down with arms for support
  • Bring the leg back to starting position and repeat with other leg
 
Mini squats
  • Standing with feet shoulder width apart, arms out at shoulder level
  • Bend at the hips first – sticking out your bottom
  • Then bend at the knees to continue to squat about 45 degrees down
  • Push up through heels squeezing bottom to stand upright again

 

Got sore hips or tight hip flexors, glutes or hamstrings? Book a physio appointment today.

Some of these exercises can be difficult – if you have any questions or concerns, please come and see our experienced physiotherapists for a detailed assessment and tailored exercise plan. 

Book an Appointment

This post was written by Lucy Beumer, Sports Physiotherapist and Clinical Pilates Instructor at Stafford Physiotherapy Centre. 

Basic Exercises for Tight Hip Flexors or Sore Hips – Part One

Do you experience soreness or tightness in your hips? If so, this can come from tightness in the muscles around your hips.

Some of the main hip muscles are:

  • Hip flexors: Iliopsoas, rectus femoris, tensor fascia latae and sartorius
  • Hip rotators: piriformis, gemelli, obturators
  • Hip extensors: gluteals, hamstrings

Flexible hip muscles are important for healthy hips and also necessary for long-term mobility and stability in your lower back. This blog post includes a range of stretches and activation drills that will keep your hip muscles healthy and help you to prevent pain and injury.

If you have any questions about the following exercises (or if you would like to book an appointment for your tight hip flexors or general hip pain and tightness), don’t hesitate to contact us.

Stretches

Hip flexibility is important because it ensures full range of motion. When performing these exercises, you should feel a mild to moderate stretch and no pain.

Hamstrings
  • Put your foot up on a step or chair
  • Bend your knee slightly
  • Lean forward from your hips, pushing your bottom backwards as your chest goes forward
  • Feel stretch at back of upper thigh
  • Hold 30 sec x 3

 

Hip Flexors
  • Kneel on the floor with affected leg knee on the floor
  • Tuck bottom under and lean weight forward slightly
  • Feel stretch at front of hip
  • Hold 30 sec x 3

 

 

Gluteals
  • Sit down with unaffected leg straight
  • Bend affected leg knee over unaffected leg
  • Pull bent knee towards chest as you turn towards affected hip
  • Feel stretch around bottom
  • Hold 30 sec x 3

 

 

 Piriformis
  • Lying on back
  • Put affect leg foot on opposite knee
  • Pull unaffected leg towards chest
  • Feel stretch around bottom
  • Hold 30 sec x 3

 

 

Activation Drills (Isometrics)

Isometric contractions involve a muscle tensing or contracting without creating movement. These drills target the small, deep stability muscles around the hip and pelvis. These muscles are often inhibited from working properly when you have an episode of hip pain.

These exercises should be performed without pain – it is important that you master these exercises before moving on to harder exercises.

Transversus abdominis (TA)
  • Lying on back, knees bent up and feet flat
  • Gently draw in lower tummy without moving back or pelvis
  • Hold for 5 breaths
Pelvic Floor
  • Lying on back, knees bent up and feet flat
  • Gently draw pelvic floor up and in – like you are stopping the flow of urine when doing a wee
  • Hold for 5 breaths
Gluteus Minimus
  • Lying on your unaffected side with pillow between knees
  • Try to draw the ball of the hip into the socket
  • Hold 5-10 sec x 10
Gluteus Medius
  • Lying on your unaffected side with pillow between knees
  • Imagine lifting top leg slightly without actually moving leg
  • Hold 5-10 sec x 10
Hip abductors
  • Lying on your back with knees bent and feet flat (shoulder width apart)
  • Tie belt around thighs
  • Gently press out into belt – try to keep muscles at front of hip relaxed
  • Hold 5-10 sec x 10
  • This can also be done in standing
Iliopsoas
  • Lying on your back with knees bent over 2 pillows
  • Imagine lifting your affected leg off the pillows without actually moving your leg
  • Hold 5-10 sec x 10

 

 

Some of these exercises can be difficult – if you have any questions or concerns, please come and see our experienced physiotherapists for a detailed assessment and tailored exercise plan.

Book Online

Stay tuned for part 2 – hip strengthening exercises! Want to find out more about how you can improve your health and wellbeing? Check out these simple lifestyle changes you can make.

This post was written by Lucy Beumer, Sports Physiotherapist and Clinical Pilates Instructor at Stafford Physiotherapy Centre. 

What is Rocktape? Find out everything you need to know

If you’ve had treatment from one of our physiotherapists, chances are you’ve probably had strapping tape used on you at some point. There are three main types of strapping tape: rigid, kinesiology and dynamic. Today we will discuss Rocktape, Australia’s leading brand of kinesiology tape.

What Is Rocktape and How Does it Work?

Physiotherapist applying rocktape | Stafford Physiotherapy Centre Kinesiology tape was originally developed by Dr Kenzo Kase in the 1970s. It is an elastic strapping tape that has the ability to stretch longitudinally (lengthways) but not transversely (horizontally). Rocktape was later developed in the USA by chiropractor Greg van den Dries, who wanted a stickier and stretchier product.

Applying an elastic tape on the skin creates a lifting effect, decompressing the subcutaneous layers beneath the tape. There are three proposed mechanisms by which Rocktape can influence the body:

Fluid effect – improved fluid flow by reducing compression of vascular (e.g. veins) and lymphatic vessels

Mechanical effect – decompression of soft tissue layers to allows better glide between tissue layers (e.g. muscle and fascia)

Neurological effect – decreased pain and improved body awareness.

Figure 1: Compressive forces on fascia, neurovascular bundle and muscle.

Figure 2: Rocktape applied to reduce compression on fascia, lymphatic vessels and neurovascular bundle and muscle.

 

The Advantages of Rocktape

Some of the reasons we use Rocktape over other types of tape include:

  • The elasticity in the tape allows for a full range of motion, so it is very comfortable and doesn’t limit your movement.
  • The tape can be worn for up to 5 days.
  • Loss of muscle strength is limited by allowing and encouraging pain-free movement to occur.
  • The tape encourages normal movement and therefore decreasing compensatory reactions.
  • It provides a sensory sensation to the skin to help improve body awareness

 

How Do You Apply Rocktape?

Rocktape is made of 91% cotton, 3% nylon and an acrylic adhesive similar to a BandAid. It is 100% latex free. We encourage you to check with your physiotherapist on whether Rocktape may be able to help you. We can identify the best Rocktape application for you and show you how to apply it yourself in future.

General Rules of Application:

  • Ensure skin is clean, dry and free of oils/moisturiser
  • Clip Very hairy areas
  • Round the edges of the tape
  • Don’t apply tension to the first or last 2.5 – 5 cm of tape
  • Don’t use much stretch in the tape- “less is more”
  • This tape sticks better to skin than to itself
  • Can cut tape into fans, X, Y or V shapes
  • Glue is heat activated so give it a good rub to make it stick
  • Apply at least one hour before activity, two hours before swimming

When applying Rocktape, precaution should be taken if you:

  • Are elderly with thin skin
  • Are a diabetic
  • Have any history of tape allergies

Rocktape should be not used if you have:

  • Open wounds or broken skin
  • Active infection
  • Cellulitis
  • Adhesive allergies

Click here to view a video showing these principles.

When removing Rocktape, it is important to remove the tape slowly and in the direction of the hair. Rocktape comes off easily when wet and you can also use oil to help break down the adhesive.

 

Examples of Rocktape Applications

Below are some examples of Rocktape applications.

Regional applications (on joints and muscles) of Rocktape can help to improve range of motion, decrease pain and improve muscle activity.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Inflammation and oedema applications can improve fluid flow, reduce pain and improve range of motion.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Postural taping applications can reduce pain, influence muscle activity and cue body position.

 

 

 

 

 

Find out More

You can find more information on Rocktape at www.rocktape.com.au. If you have any questions about the content in this post, don’t hesitate to contact us.

Ask Us About Rocktape

Book a Physiotherapy Appointment

This post was written by Lucy Beumer. Lucy is a sports physiotherapist and clinical Pilates instructor at Stafford Physiotherapy Centre. She is also a presenter for Rocktape Australia and has presented courses in Queensland and Darwin for the last 4 and a half years. She was not paid for this blog post.

How to get pain relief (without codeine!)

As of the first of February 2018, pharmaceutical opioids such as codeine are no longer available over the counter, but have become prescription-only medication. Though this might distress some people suffering with pain, it has been brought about to combat the significant increase in opioid overdoses in Australia over the last decade. It’s quite alarming that between 2001 and 2012 over 8,547 Australians died as a result of opioid overdoses*, and that over half of these deaths were from pharmaceutical opioids rather than heroin or methadone.

So if you cannot get relief from other over-the-counter pain medications such as paracetamol or ibuprofen, you could seek a prescription from your GP for stronger opioid-based medication,

OR

you could seek drug-free pain relief from your physiotherapist!

Your physiotherapist is the perfect place to start when you are in pain. Physiotherapists are highly trained health professionals equipped with the knowledge and techniques to give you a better understanding of pain, what is driving it, and how to manage it.

Allyson Flanagan | Stafford Physiotherapy Centre | Physio Brisbane NorthWhat happens when I visit my physiotherapist?

Here at Stafford Physiotherapy Centre, a physiotherapist will assess your area of pain through a series of questions and physical testing. We can then help you understand the cause behind your pain and start you on the road to better pain management.

Our treatment plan may involve activity modification and advice; manual techniques for joint mobilisations and soft tissue release; western acupuncture and dry needling; individually tailored exercise programs for the home, gym or Pilates; strapping or bracing for tissue support; and appropriate referrals for holistic management.

For safer ways to prevent, reduce, cope with, and manage your pain today, book online or phone 3857 5815. It’s time to make the change.

This post was written by Allyson Flanagan, Physiotherapist and Clinical Pilates Instructor. 

*Source: Alcohol and Drug Foundation 

Meet Our Team: Megan

Megan is a physiotherapist and Pilates instructor at Stafford Physiotherapy Centre. She has worked with us since 2013, after completing degrees in both Physiotherapy and Human Movement Studies. She’s pretty impressive! 


What motivates you? 
Moving/exercising regularly, being outdoors, trying new activities and seeing results! I love helping people to improve in their movement and feel great, and motivating others to get the most out of their bodies and enjoy an active life.

What’s your favourite 3pm snack? A coffee and Chobani yoghurt or a protein bar.

Megan and Regina Tilyard Physiotherapist Stafford Physiotherapy CentreWhat do you enjoy most about your job? I love being able to assist people to move better and without pain, providing them with the knowledge and tools to keep injury free, and seeing patients find/rediscover a love for exercise, no matter what sort!

What’s your favourite part of the day? I love to exercise in the morning, it makes me feel positive and happy, and a much nicer person for the rest of the day! Plus breakfast and a coffee are the best reward after.

If you weren’t a physio, what would you be? A travel blogger or professional puppy cuddler.

What’s your favourite restaurant/ cafe? Rogue Bar + Bistro in Newstead.

Would you rather dance, or do karaoke? Karaoke in the car to Sia, Hilltop Hoods or Queen. But I’d much rather go for a run to the music!

Read more about Megan here. 

Simple lifestyle changes to improve your health and wellbeing

As January draws to a close, only 11 months remain to achieve your New Year goal of improved health and wellbeing. Traditionally, January and February are when people are most motivated – although sometimes the approach is a little too gung-ho. Improving your health and wellbeing is best approached as the turtle not the hare; making small changes slowly is the best way to prevent injuries, make continuous progress towards your goal, and to form new and lasting habits.

Here are some suggestions for a healthier you:

  • If you sit at a desk during the day, try to get up every 30 minutes. Walk to the kitchen/toilet/printer; maybe even do some squats!
  • Shoulder rolls and gentle neck stretches during the day may help relieve neck and shoulder tension, especially if you use a computer
  • Park your car further from the bus-stop, train station or workplace and walk the extra distance (2 minutes or 20 minutes depending on your fitness)
  • Try to be active on your lunch break rather than sitting – go for a walk,
    go to the gym, do some stretches, stand up to eat
  • Assess your workstation ergonomics – check your elbows are at 90 degrees, the top of your computer screen is at eye level, and your feet are flat on the floor
  • Add some stretching to your day – morning, lunch, evening – whatever time suits you
  • Have a walk-and-talk meeting rather than sitting around a table – you can still take your coffee!
  • Don’t forget to breathe. Take a long, slow breath in through your nose, then out through your mouth. Repeat 4 times.
  • Schedule time to exercise. If it’s a ‘date’, you’ll be less likely to skip it
  • Exercise with a friend or family member
  • Remember that exercise doesn’t have to mean running a marathon. Find what you enjoy doing – boxing, bushwalking, swimming, Pilates, yoga, running, weights, crossfit. There are so many options out there!
  • When eating, take your time. Chew your food and enjoy it.
  • Have that niggly pain assessed and diagnosed; prevention is always better than cure.
  • And finally, don’t forget to put a smile on your dial – it keeps those face muscles strong and you never know who might be watching. ☺

Not sure how to make small and safe changes to your lifestyle? Our dedicated team of physiotherapists can help. We are movement and exercise specialists who want to help you improve your health and wellbeing. We recognise that all our clients have different goals and abilities and are always happy to help.

If you’re unsure about your body’s abilities, how to perform an exercise, or need further lifestyle advice – we are only a phone call away.

This post was written by Lucy Beumer, Sports Physiotherapist and Clinical Pilates Instructor. 

Meet Our Team: Juhi

Juhi Ranjit | physiotherapist at Stafford Physiotherapy Centre | Physio and pilates on brisbane northside

Juhi is a physiotherapist at Stafford Physiotherapy Centre. She has worked with us since 2012, when she joined the team as a receptionist. After completing her studies (with honours!) in 2015 she put her hard work to good use and began working as a physiotherapist.  


What motivates you? 
Being able to help people move better and get back to the things they love!

What’s your favourite 3pm snack? I do love an occasional cheeky Boost chocolate to get me through the afternoon 🙂

What do you enjoy most about your job?Getting to know my patients and the hands-on help we can provide to aid their recovery.

Juhi Ranjit | physiotherapist at Stafford Physiotherapy Centre | Physio and pilates on brisbane northsideWhat’s your favourite part of the day? Morning walks with my dog (the best personal trainer I’ll ever have).

If you weren’t a physio, what would you be? A professional dog-sitter

What’s your favourite restaurant/ cafe? Hatch & Co, Newstead and The Smug Fig, East Brisbane.

Would you rather dance, or do karaoke? I’m known to do both simultaneously, but not very well. I love a good 90’s or 00’s throwback.

Read more about Juhi here. 

Meet Our Team: Sandra

Sandra Day | owner, physiotherapist and pilates instructor at Stafford Physiotherapy CentreSandra established Stafford Physiotherapy Centre in 1988 and, with over 30 years in ‘the biz’, is one of Brisbane’s most experienced physiotherapists. Sandra also takes a number of our Pilates classes and is particularly passionate about treating musculoskeletal problems, sporting injuries and headaches.

Sandra’s philosophy of life involves three things:

1. Have fun
2. Be kind to people
3. During your life, work towards being a healthy old person (and that means exercising regularly, eating well and being positive).

 

What motivates you? I love caring about people – their health and wellbeing. Helping people be the best they can be. I love the science of physiotherapy, but it is also an art and a passion to learn more. I love trying new sorts of exercise. Over the years, I have done ballet, was a good sprinter, played netball, indoor cricket, squash, and enjoyed aerobics and Step in the 80s, swimming, LeRoc dancing, yoga, Tai chi, Pilates and, lately, Xtend Barre.

What’s your favourite 3pm snack? Fresh raw green beans, banana or raw carrots (Don’t be fooled though; I’m not perfect, especially after 8pm!)

What do you enjoy most about your job? Helping people in pain, working out how to fix musculoskeletal problems by easing pain and helping strengthen the body. Having a laugh with patients and staff. Putting a smile on someone’s face.

What’s your favourite part of the day? Late! After 10pm.

Sandra Day | owner, physiotherapist and pilates instructor at Stafford Physiotherapy CentreIf you weren’t a physio what would you be? Another caring health professional role – maybe speech pathologist or music therapist

What’s your favourite restaurant/café? Pod, Stafford; Little Loco, New Farm; Libertine, Barracks; Sono, Portside; Stokehouse, Southbank, Aria for special occasions. Can you tell I like food? 🙂

Would you rather dance or do karaoke, and to which song? Dance! I love music with a good beat from any era. Some of my favourites are:

  • Twist and Shout – Beatles
  • Rock Lobster – B52s
  • Walk Like an Egyptian – The Bangles
  • Dance Dance – Fallout Boy
  • Can’t Stop – Red Hot Chilli Peppers
  • Old Yellow Bricks, Brianstorm and Teddy Picker – Arctic Monkeys
  • Last Nite and Heart in a Cage – The Strokes
  • Cloud Nine – Baker Boy

Read more about Sandra here.

Meet Our Team: Lucy

Lucy Beumer Physiotherapist at Stafford Physiotherapy Centre Brisbane Northside

Lucy is a physiotherapist and clinical Pilates instructor at Stafford Physiotherapy Centre. With a masters in Sports Physiotherapy, Lucy is passionate about helping her clients achieve their goals – whether it be simply going for a stroll without experiencing pain, or competing in a triathlon! 

 

 

What motivates you? I enjoy helping people achieve their goals. Being able to play a small part in a patient’s journey and watching their success and progress is very rewarding.

What’s your favourite 3pm snack? 2 squares of 70% lindt dark chocolate and a cup of lemon and ginger tea – everything in moderation!

Lucy Beumer physiotherapist from Stafford Physiotherapy Centre treating a patientWhat do you enjoy most about your job? Apart from helping people, I love that every day is different and I’m not stuck behind a desk. I get to meet numerous people and treat a wide variety of injuries as well as teach clinical pilates.

What’s your favourite part of the day? The morning – I am a morning person. I prefer to exercise early and start the day in an active way before getting into work.

If you weren’t a physio, what would you be? I would be a teacher or run a café.

Would you rather dance, or do karaoke? Neither. 😊 Can I go to the gym or a yoga class instead?

Read more about Lucy here. 

Setting Realistic New Year’s Resolutions

New year’s resolutions… We’ve all been there and done that!

I want to lose weight. I want to eat better. I want to do park run every Saturday. I want to take up yoga. I want to return to playing soccer.

Did you know 80% of people have given up on their resolution/s by February? By the end of 2018 only 8% will succeed in achieving their new year’s resolutions.

“Setting goals is the first step in making the invisible into the visible” Tony Robbins.

Goal setting is important when setting resolutions and the best goals are ‘SMART’. So, what is a SMART goal?

Lucy Beumer | Physiotherapist at Stafford Physiotherapy treating pilates clientS = Specific

Outline in as much detail as possible what your goal is. Ask yourself the following questions: What do you want to achieve? When do you want to achieve it? How will you achieve it? Who will help you achieve it?

M = Measurable

How will you measure your success in your goal? This can be done in a number of ways, but needs to be relevant to you and your goal: How many kilometres do you want to run? How much weight do you want to lose? How fast do you want to run 5km?

A = Achievable

Is your goal achievable? Consider how you will achieve it? Do you need to consider time and financial constraints? Do you have an old injury that is bothering you and might limit your success?

R = Realistic

Have you been realistic in what you can achieve and how you will achieve it? Do you love chocolate way too much to give it up completely? Are you really going to have the time to exercise every day? Make sure you’re not setting yourself up for failure!

T = Time based

Set a time frame that you would like to complete your goal within. Remember it needs to be achievable and realistic.

So, how can physiotherapists help?

As physiotherapists we can support you in achieving your new year’s resolutions. We are movement and exercise specialists and can help you by:

  • Assisting you in setting SMART goals
  • Providing you with a detailed physical assessment prior to starting an exercise program
  • Planning a tailored exercise program for you including stretching, Pilates, gym and running programs
  • Suggesting injury prevention and recovery strategies
  • Showing you correct form and how to exercise with good technique and safely
  • Communicating with your support team, such as your coach and/or doctor
  • Recommending appropriate footwear, braces and supports

And if things go awry, we can help you tackle any injuries or aches and pains that you get so that you’re able to get back on track as soon as possible. No matter how slow you go, you’re still making more progress than if you were doing nothing!

This post was written by Lucy Beumer, Physiotherapist and Clinical Pilates Instructor at Stafford Physiotherapy Centre.