If you are experiencing leg pain from your hip to your foot, it may be because you’re not moving your joints enough. When you’ve been sitting for hours, the first thing you want to do when you get up is stretch. Your body is meant to move, and when it doesn’t, joint stiffness, swollen feet, and pain may be the result.
Another cause of foot, knee and hip problems is bad posture. When your upper and lower body is not aligned, your weight distributes unevenly. This puts too much pressure on your lower extremities when you move. The nerves controlling the lower extremities begin in the lower back. This is why lower back problems often result in pain that radiates down to your feet.
When your nerves are compressed, you may experience tingling, numbness and weakness, as well as pain in your lower extremities. When one muscle or joint in the body moves, a chain reaction occurs in the associated muscles and joints. Poor posture, inactivity due to injury or lack of motion not only causes pain in affected muscles or joints, but it creates discomfort in others, too.
Therefore, if your hips are weak, your knees are at a higher risk of injury. But before resorting to medication, try doing daily exercises. The regular use of medication has unwanted side effects. For example, the frequent use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like Ibuprofen and Advil can even cause kidney, liver and stomach damage.
Exercises can strengthen your posture and move your joints and muscles fluidly again to deal with the pain. If you get your body moving with the right exercises, you could even save yourself from a knee or hip replacement when you’re older.
1. Kneeling Hip Stretch, Pelvic Lift and Hip Rotation
Your hips form the junction between upper and lower body. If the hips are strong, they move smoothly and efficiently. They have some large muscle groups that create motion throughout your body. When the hips are weak, pain, deficiency in movement and even injury can result. Imagine not being able to walk, bend or climb stairs. That’s what can happen when hip flexors are neglected.
Simple hip stretching exercises can help you to avoid this. For a kneeling hip stretch, kneel on your right knee with your toes down and your left foot in front with the knee bent. Place your hands on your left thigh and press your hips forward until you feel the tension in your front right hip. Hold the position for 30 seconds, Switch legs.
To strengthen and stabilize your hips do the following exercise. Lie on your back, bend your knees and keep your feet flat on the floor. Your feet should be hip-width apart. Contract your abs to flatten your lower back to the floor. Exhale and lift your pelvis and lower back off the floor, pressing the heels into the floor for added stability. Hold the position for five seconds and lower slowly to starting position. Repeat 5 to 10 times.
External hip rotation is a good stretching exercise. Sit with your knees bent outward and your feet together. Use your hands to press your knees down to the floor. Alternatively, you can lie down on your back and part your knees while keeping your feet together. Move your knees further apart to the point where you can feel the stretch, hold for about 10 seconds and relax. Repeat 5 to 10 times.