Hips don’t get a lot of respect. From the verbal assaults you throw at them to the long hours you spend sitting on your butt every day, your hips can be unhappy campers—and that could spell trouble down the road. Here’s why and how to correct it.
When you’re inactive for long periods—think sitting at your desk or watching TV for hours—your hips get tight. Large muscles called hip flexors, which originate in your low back and cross over your hips, can tighten when they aren’t stretched. When that happens, you can develop low back pain, says Marty Matney, LAT, ATC, an athletic trainer in Seattle, Wash. and chair of the National Athletic Trainer’s Association Council on Practice Advancement, adding that many other smaller muscles that act on the hip can become tight from inactivity, too. If left unchecked and tightness worsens, you can experience changes in the movement and function of your hip joint as you walk, which can lead to painful hip osteoarthritis. In worst cases, you may need surgery.
Excerpted from Real Simple