Today Americans exercise more than ever before.  We are doing everything from walking, jogging, weight lifting and aerobics to leisure sports/activities such as golf, hiking or tennis.  However, over the past several years, physical therapists and doctors are seeing an increase in hip labral tears.

This is occurring at an alarming rate in 25-45 year old age group with individuals who are active, including men, women and professional athletes.  Furthermore, with professional athletes, we are seeing more injuries altogether, including “oblique” (abdominal) muscle strains. If our professional athletes are bigger, stronger and faster and Americans in general are doing more exercise, why are we seeing more injuries, particularly hip labral tears and abdominal muscle strains/tears?  What is going on?

The answer is actually very simple……COMPUTERS!

Every day Americans are spending more time at the office and at home on their computers. Since the advent of Facebook, it has grown out of control.  Texting and tweeting are also to share the blame.  Why are our computers and cell phones to blame?  Because we are SITTING!  Therefore, our hip flexors tighten as well as our gluteal (buttock) muscles weaken and our abdominal muscles weaken.  The answer is not necessarily to do more exercise, but to do LESS SITTING!

Plain old exercise walking would actually be more helpful to people than heavy weights or aerobics, for those of you who sit a lot at work and again at home on your laptops or watching TV.  The reason is that we are going from one extreme to the other when we are sitting a lot and later working out too hard.  Remember grandma always said “everything in moderation.”  Professional athletes work their bodies hard during the season and sometimes even in the off season, then they go on Facebook!  Working out hard is fine for those of you who are not spending hours sitting.

Questions? Comments? Let me hear from you!

~ Peter St.Germain, PT