Somatic Exercises: Hip Pain Relief


Do You Have a Frozen Hip or Hip Pain? Somatic Exercises Can Help!

Has a medical professional or physical therapist recommended somatic exercises for your frozen hip? It’s a good call. Somatic exercises work in concert with the body’s nervous system to relax muscle tension, ease chronic hip pain, improve posture, and restore fluidity when you move. These therapeutic exercises for hip conditions are designed to be done slowly and gently, making them a great fit for every age and fitness level.

The functional rehabilitation therapists at the National Stem Cell Institute (NSI) regularly incorporate somatic exercises into the therapeutic routines of people who undergo the Institute’s regenerative medicine therapy for frozen hip and other hip conditions. This article will take a close look at what make somatic exercises so effective and what types can be practiced right at home.

A Brief History of Somatic Exercises

This therapeutic technique was originally developed by the late Thomas Hanna, Ph. D. His Clinical Somatic Education, also known as Hanna Somatic Education, combines neurophysiology with physical exercises to retrain the nervous system. In practical therapeutic applications, Hanna’s method has become better known simply as somatic exercises.

How Somatic Exercises Work

Somatic exercises are used to prevent, relieve, and augment recovery for a range of musculoskeletal conditions that include:

  • Frozen hip and other hip conditions
  • Chronic muscular and/or joint pain
  • Spinal disc injuries
  • Sciatica
  • Scoliosis
  • Rounded posture
  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Temporomandibular joint problems

Older person hip pain

Getting the Most from Somatic Exercises

The somatic exercises that are outlined in this article should be done slowly, gently, and fluidly, so make sure to block out enough time to prevent rushing through them. Doing home exercises for your frozen hip or other joint pain is as important as when you are at the physical therapist. So be sure to ask your family not to interrupt your exercise time.

Set aside time intervals that work for your schedule. If you can’t spare more than five minutes at a time, that’s certainly better than no time at all. The best way to manage small intervals of somatic exercises is to plan several of these short sessions throughout the day, focusing on one to two exercises during each interval. But if you can reserve a block of twenty to thirty minutes, it’s recommended to do so.

The important thing is to get in your full set of somatic exercises daily, whether in short bites or one longer session.

Keep in mind that you will likely have days when you can set aside longer periods of time than others. Doing your somatic exercises in several, smaller bites of time and getting in longer periods whenever you can is just fine.

No matter how you get your sets in be sure to limit distractions as much as possible, focus completely on the exercise at hand and be sure to move slowly. Respect your frozen hip or joint pain by performing the exercises gently and fluidly.

You’ll need to have enough room to lie down and be able to stretch out your arms and legs without restrictions. Doing the exercises on the floor is your best bet, but be sure to do so on a carpet or an exercise mat. The idea is to be comfortable but be on a firm enough surface that you’ll be assured of getting proper sensory feedback. Take a “Goldilocks” approach. A mattress is too soft. A bare floor is too hard.

treating joint pain

As much as possible, keep your eyes closed during your somatic exercises.

Doing so helps the brain to focus on how the body feels during movement. This is because keeping eyes closed helps to prevent visual distractions, which can cause the mind to wander rather than concentrate. Focusing on how each of the somatic exercises is affecting your pain, stiffness, or frozen hip is an essential part of effective practice.

Slow is the absolute key to effective somatic exercises. Movement speed is akin to that of yoga. Keep in mind that the exercises are also done gently. In fact, slowness and gentleness are key in all effective somatic exercises. The idea is to retrain your nervous system to release chronic muscle contraction and to help you stand and move in a new, healthier way.

It’s natural to think not much is going on during the exercises. But there is!

If you’re new to somatic exercises, it may seem to you that not much is getting accomplished while you’re doing them. Your body will tell you a different story when you stand up after your exercise session.

Keep in mind, also, that somatic exercises are not to be done like stretching exercises. As you do each one, you are gently contracting then very slowly relaxing the affected muscles. One way to know if you’re practicing good form with somatic exercises is this: if you feel a sensation of pulling in the muscles, you’re doing it wrong. But don’t be discouraged. Simply note it and re-focus on a slow, gently, fluid motion.

hip pain stretches

You should not feel pain during somatic exercises.

Your sessions should feel relaxing and comfortable. Should your frozen hip resist too much or you feel pain, make the movements of the exercises smaller. If you find you can’t do one of the exercises at all without pain or discomfort, don’t worry. Do the exercises that you can. In time, as your body and nervous system adjust, you’ll be able to test the exercises that you couldn’t previously do and go from there.

You’re In Charge of Your Somatic Exercises!

Trust your instincts as well as what your body is telling you. Don’t over-do it, strain, or “push your limits.” Part of the reason somatic exercises are done slowly and gently is to allow you to feel how your body moves and how the nervous system is retraining your frozen hip and/or other muscles and joints.

Remember, even though somatic exercises are done slowly and gently you will definitely feel if you’ve over-done them when you’ve finished.

If your chronic pain prevents you from completing a full class or the full twenty to thirty minute daily home session, you will want to practice only one or two exercises daily until your body and nervous system adjust.

Don’t use somatic exercises like a pre-workout stretch.

Intense or vigorous workouts should not follow your somatic exercises. Doing so can cause the body to fall into old movement patterns that contradict what it has been learning through the somatic sessions. However, taking a relaxed walk afterward can help your body and nervous system better integrate what they have learned during the exercises.

running for joint health

Remember: Observe, Observe, Observe While You Practice

The best way to get the most out of somatic exercises is to approach each session as if it’s the first time you have done the exercises. Such a mindset helps you notice how your body feels with every move. It is not unusual at all for your body to respond differently to one exercise or another from one day to the next. Somatic exercises are gentle movement patterns that help teach the central nervous system to create new muscular habits. It’s not just okay to enjoy the exercises, it’s encouraged!

exercises for hip painA Sampling of Home Somatic Exercises

As with any new exercise routine, it’s strongly recommended that you consult with your physician before beginning these somatic exercises. Each of the exercises below is linked to a helpful YouTube video. Remember that all somatic exercises should be done gently and slowly. They should never be used as a pre-workout stretch routine.

Washcloth (or Washrag)

Foot & Head Lifts

Arch & Flatten

Diagonal Arch & Flatten

About the National Stem Cell Institute (NSI)

NSI is a fully licensed regenerative medicine facility (also known as stem cell clinics) that strictly adheres to FDA guidelines. Below, NSI offers tips on selecting the right stem cell clinic for you.

What to Look for in a Stem Cell Medical Clinic

When searching for a qualified stem cell therapy center it’s important to remember that not all of them are created equal. Stem cells, when used properly, are your body’s most powerful means for healing that can repair everything from ligaments, tendons, and cartilage to organs including your liver, pancreas and lungs and even neurological tissue like your brain, nerves, and spinal cord.

Unfortunately, the majority of so-called “regenerative medicine clinics” in the world aren’t trained in the latest, most technologically advanced procedures and will, therefore, provide poor results if any.

The good news is the National Stem Cell Institute (NSI) has established the most advanced stem cell and platelet rich plasma procedures on the planet which has drawn patients from all over the world as well as professional athletes and celebrities because they are recognized as the best in the world at stem cell therapy.

What makes NSI Stem Cell the top stem cell clinic in the world is demonstrated in 5 key areas:

1. Highly trained and experienced, board-certified doctors and team members who have performed stem cell procedures on thousands of patients with incredible results.

2. Cutting edge procedures utilizing all that regenerative medicine has to offer for many chronic degenerative conditions.

3. Leading scientific researchers who follow the advanced guidelines to maximize the healing potential of your stem cells and to maintain compliance and ethics

4. Use of only the most potent and viable resource of living, viable stem cells and harvested on the same day. No vial that you can purchase will contain living stem cells. If there is no harvest then there are no stem cells.

5. Post-operative guidance for supporting stem-cell growth including rehabilitation, diet and supplement protocols. NSI is a full-service healthcare center focused on patient outcomes. Stem cell therapy is only one tool used to help improve patients’ lives.

Patients have raved about their experience at NSI Stem Cell Clinics testifying that it was their unique cutting-edge procedures that helped them experience a breakthrough when nothing else worked.

If you want to learn more about NSI Stem Cell Clinics, you can set up a complimentary consultation today to see if you are a candidate. You can contact the National Stem Cell Institute at (877) 278-3623.

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* Disclaimer: Individual patient results may vary. As each patient’s problem is different, each treatment must be tailored around your specific needs.