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Why do My Hips Hurt When Doing Sit Ups?

written by: R. Elizabeth C. Kitchen • edited by: Cheryl Gabbert • updated: 2/26/2010

Do you ever ask yourself "why do my hips hurt when doing sit ups?" If so, read on to learn why your hips may hurt when you are doing sit ups.

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    Sit ups are a type of exercise that are very popular for strengthening and toning the abdominal muscles. Some people's hips hurt when doing sit ups. Hypermobility of the hip joints, referred to as joint hypermobility syndrome, is a common cause of sit up related hip pain, as is exercising too much and not exercising enough. If you're asking the question, "why do my hips hurt when doing sit ups?", the following will make things a lot more clear.

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    What is Joint Hypermobility Syndrome?

    why do my hips hurt when doing sit ups Those who have hypermobile hip joints have hip joints that move easily past the normal range that a hip joint should. This condition is benign and tends to run in families. In many cases, the looseness of the joints is enough to cause some pain and discomfort during sit ups, but in rare cases, the pain could be associated with one of two rare and serious disorders, including Marfan syndrome or Ehlers-Danlos syndrome.

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    Treating Joint Hypermobility Syndrome

    Physical therapy is the most common type of treatment. Through physical therapy patients will learn to prevent hyperextension and they will learn the exercises that will strengthen and stretch their hip joints. As the patient progresses through physical therapy they will notice a decrease in their hips hurting when doing sit ups.

    Activity modification may also be beneficial for some patients. They may not be able to do sit ups at all in order to avoid pain and discomfort in their hips, or they may have to modify the way they do sit ups. Placing a ball under the small of the back can sometimes help to reduce pain when doing sit ups.

    For patients whose pain does not go away after stopping doing sit ups may be prescribed pain medication to help alleviate the pain.

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    Over-Exercising and Under-Exercising

    Those who exercise too much, or over-exercise, may experience hip pain when doing sit ups, which leads to many people wondering, "why do my hips hurt when doing sit ups?" If over-exercising is the reason for their hip pain they will need to cut down on the sit ups and other exercising they do. They should not stop exercising all together, but they should exercise every other day for 45 minutes to 60 minutes, instead of what they are doing now.

    Not exercising or exercising too little, can lead to hip pain during sit ups. This occurs because the hip joint is weak and under-conditioned. If this is the cause of the patient's hip pain they should slow down and build their exercise program gradually. For example, they should begin with one set of fifteen sit ups, two to three days per week. Patients should gradually build up to three sets of fifteen sit ups, three to four days per week. If this gradual increase still causes discomfort, patients should consult a physician or physical therapist for further advice and instruction.

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    Mayo Clinic. (2009). Joint Hypermobility: What Causes Loose Joints? Retrieved on February 25, 2010 from the Mayo Clinic:

    Medicine Net. (2010). Joint Hypermobility Syndrome. Retrieved on February 25, 2010 from Medicine Net:

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    Image Credits

    Hip Joint: Author Unknown – Wikimedia Commons

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